On Thursday Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that the Colorado Rockies have “expressed interest in free agent Wade Davis and have (sic) also spoken with Baltimore Orioles about Zach Britton via trade.”
Of course, all four players are options still for Jeff Birdich and Bud Black but there are others as well. Either way, it seems that the all-important ninth inning is going to cost a pretty penny but here are all the options the club may consider.
The National League’s co-leader in saves in 2017, Holland, threw 57.1 innings and recorded 41 saves. The three-time All-Star is still most likely to be the Rockies’ closer after a strong season coming off of Tommy John Surgery.
His walks were concerning especially for Coors Field at 4.08 K/9 but his strikeouts were very nice at 10.99 K/9. Yet many fans have a sour taste in their mouth after the Wildcard Game where everyone on the staff struggled to get outs, though Holland tried to take the blame for the loss.
Shap’s Read: Holland is experienced and the Rockies should be happy to have him back, but at 32-years-old the four-year deal the righty is requesting might be a bit scary. An expensive three-year deal would be worth the price and a comfortable fit for both the Rockies and the stud reliever.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old lefty may have never pitched in the 2016 playoffs but if the Rockies trade for him there’s a great chance he’ll be pitching in the 2018 postseason.
Over 501 career innings, he’s recorded 135 saves all within in the past four years. He’s been one of the best closers in the American League for quite some time but he’s coming off a poor year which was plagued by the injury bug. Limited to 38 games because of a forearm injury Britton had his worst season since 2013 as his strikeout rate plummeted. But a fully healthy Britton had a nasty 0.836 WHIP with 74 strikeouts in 64 innings while leading the AL in saves just two seasons ago.
Shap’s Read: Britton will be a free agent after this coming season and with his down year his third-year arbitration salary should stay around $11.4 million like it was this past season. The trade market for him is a guessing game, to say the least, but from the left-side offers a solid fit for the Rockies who like to roll out three lefties in their bullpen. Britton wouldn’t be my first choice but he could be a great low buy candidate for Bridich.
Another former Royals All-Star closer, Davis, spent last season with the Cubs. Last year he hurled 58.2 innings to the tune of a 2.30 ERA with 32 saves. He’s been very solid over the past few years and is a pretty typical right-handed decently-hard throwing reliever.
Shap’s Read: At 32-years-old the only closer who will command more money on the open market than Holland is. He will probably be priced out of the Rockies’ range but if Colorado is all in with their contention window wide open for the next few years it would be a huge play.
The 31-year-old was not good as the closer for the Rockies, he’d tell you that. In fact, he did tell BSN Denver that during his 2016 campaign. But he came back strong in 2017, as arguably their best backend option or at least the most consistent.
Over 57.1 innings he had a 3.63 ERA. The fully healthy McGee found life again on his fastball though struggled when he lost that velocity. Still, McGee should either be a really good team’s setup man or a decent team’s closer.
Shap’s Read: He relies on his fastball 94 percent of the time so if a team were to sign him to a long-term deal and his velocity drops off, there should be a concern. Yet, if the Rockies are ready to pony up McGee would again fit well as an eighth-inning option. I expect McGee to get priced out of the Rockies range and for them to use Mike Dunn more.
The 2017 All-Star split the season between Minnesota and Washington. In 71.1 innings he recorded 29 saves from there right-side, working in tandem with Sean Doolittle once a National.
The 3.03 ERA is very nice—perhaps a foreshadow?—his strikeout rate, however, is very lower for a closer. The 33-year-old has had a few good years here and there but has been inconsistent over the course of his eight seasons.
Shap’s Read: I do not think Kintzler fits the Rockies as a closer.
Thought to be an option at the start of the season to close and even in 2016 “Otto” had by far his worst season in his career.
Shap’s Read: He’s one of the best relievers in Rockies history and already locked in for $7 million in 2018. If he can get his mechanics straightened out like he told BSN Denver that he started to at the end of 2017 he could be a game changer. The Rockies cannot rely on Ottavino to close but if they see the slider-wielding righty return to his rare form he could accelerate right back to the backend.
The soon-to-be 25-year-old profiles perfectly as a closer with his 100+ mph fastball. Even during his rookie season, he saw time as the Rockies closer. But his sophomore season was much rockier as he bounced back and forth between the majors and Triple-A.
Shap’s Read: Not a question of if, but when. Estevez will be the Rockies closer at some point, he has the flair, the stuff, and the mentality.
In 23.2 innings as a reliever, the rookie righty held the opposition to a .157 batting average and a 3.o4 ERA. Entering his age 23 season, many are expecting “Senza” to build off his strong rookie season.
Shap’s Read: The Rockies have a logjam in their rotation with young starters. He has shown an ability to come out of the bullpen but he’s not a closer at this point in time.