Fresh off their first postseason berth since 2009, the Rockies are far from satisfied. Colorado won 87 games in 2017, earning the last Wild Card despite a deep NL West that saw the Dodgers win 104 games and the Diamondbacks 93. Arizona ultimately sent the Rockies home after one game in October, but Colorado was undoubtedly one of baseball’s best stories last season. The Rockies will have higher expectations than that of a lovable underdog in 2018, though. Colorado has jumped on the bullpen bandwagon this winter, assembling a group of relievers that, while lacking multiple big names like the bullpens of the Yankees, Indians and Dodgers, will compete with the best of them. The Rockies have committed $106 million to their pen this offseason, re-signing Jake McGee and adding Bryan Shaw and Wade Davis, the grand prize among this free-agent class of relievers. Davis gives the Rockies an upgrade in the ninth inning over free agent Greg Holland, who coincidentally was also replaced by Davis as the Royals’ closer a few years back. Davis didn’t come cheap, though, fetching a three-year deal worth $52 million. It’s the highest average annual salary for a relief pitcher ever and could end up costing $66 million if a fourth-year vesting option comes to fruition. “There’s a lot to like,” Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said of Davis, according to The Denver Post. “His track record speaks for itself. And his experience pitching in important games, in playoff games, the presence that he has at the back end, is important. He’s earned a lot of trust.” It’s an ambitious deal for an organization not known for splashy moves, but the Rockies have watched on as “bullpenning” has become the game’s new craze. Now they want in.
Ambitious Rockies hoping for baseball’s next lethal bullpen
Sporting News | Jan 2