Rockies Notes: McMahon, – MLB Trade Rumors

Of Trevor Story The Rockies, who will turn down the qualifying offer in search of a multi-year contract elsewhere, are entering the low season with a question mark over the shortstop for the first time in years. Among the options considered: moving third baseman Ryan McMahon the defensive spectrum too short, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

(Moving McMahon) is something we discussedColorado CEO Bill Schmidt told Saunders. “Ryan has a good range and we saw that last year when he played third base with the shift on.While McMahon told Saunders he hadn’t heard from the organization about the possibility, he sounded receptive to the idea. “I would like to think that I could work in any (position) and at the very least become a solid defender there‘ says the 26-year-old.

Kicking McMahon to shortstop on a regular basis would be quite a risk. Not only has he never started a game there in the major leagues, he has logged all three innings at the position in his professional career. The California native went from shortstop to third base in high school and he bounced like a pro between the hot corner, second base and first base.

However, as Schmidt suggested, McMahon is coming off an excellent defensive season in multiple spots on the diamond. Defensive Runs Saved estimated he had twelve runs above average over 848 2/3 innings at third base (a position at which he was a Gold Glove finalist) and scored him an incredible nine runs better than average in just 368 1/ 3 frames on second base. Statcast credited him with twelve Outs Above Average between the two positions, a score that ties into tenth place among infielders in the entire league.

If the Rockies were to tackle the position internally, it looks like McMahon will carry it sooner than Brendan Rodgers. While Rodgers came out as a shortstop prospect, he spent most of his time at second base in recent seasons. That was mainly out of respect for Story, but Schmidt reiterated in a conversation with Saunders that the club would rather keep Rodgers on the cornerstone.

Of course, the Rox don’t rule out the possibility of tackling shortstop from outside the organization. Schmidt told Saunders that the front office is exploring the free agent market. A full-fledged pursuit of one of the best shortstops on the market seems unlikely, but the club could be pursuing a shorter-term deal with a player like Andrelton Simmons or Freddy Galvis to at least stabilize the defense.

While a run at one of the top shortstops probably isn’t in the cards, the Rockies are expected to target a power-hitting outfielder in the coming months. During a conversation with Nick Groke of the Athletic, Schmidt confirmed that the front office sees an addition in the grass as the “best place” for a meaningful lineup upgrade. Kyle Schwarber, Chris Taylor, Avisail Garcia, Jorge Soler and Michael Comfort belong to a fairly strong group of available free agent outfielders.

Signing Taylor of Conforto – who have both turned down qualifying offers from their previous clubs – would cost the Rockies their third-highest pick in the 2022 draft. With the Rockies facing an uphill battle to compete in a loaded NL West next year, there is a case that Colorado should prioritize future design considerations over shorter-term additions.

However, Schmidt doesn’t rule out a run on a qualified free agent, telling Groke he’s open to handing in draft compensation in the right scenario. “You have to look at it on a case by case basis and explore your options‘ said the experienced director. “You can’t just say, “There’s a draft pick compensation, we’re out.” You have to think about who the player is, what the purchase costs are and what your alternatives are.

Schmidt’s win-now attitude is the latest confirmation that Colorado Brass doesn’t consider itself far from a bone of contention. Unsurprisingly, given the stance that the Rockies aren’t expected to trade staff bait German Marquez this off-season, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic writes. While Colorado could certainly deliver a huge crop for a talented, controllable rotational building block like Márquez, they had seemingly paid little attention to moving the 26-year-old on last summer’s trade deadline. Instead, it looks like the righthander will be back for his third consecutive Opening Day start in purple and black.

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