The Rockies were interested in Kyle Schwarber before the lockout, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writing. With the Rockies known for seeking on-field help and more strikes in general, it’s no surprise that Schwarber is on the team’s target list, and Saunders believes the team will continue to push for the slugger once the transaction freeze is lifted.

Despite Coors Field’s sparse air, the Rockies’ roster has been generally inconsistent in recent years, and the team now faces the likely departure of Trevor’s Story in the free agent market. A proven power bat like Schwarber would go a long way to replacing or even surpassing Story’s offensive production, while solidifying at least one position in Colorado’s outfield. Beyond the longtime staple Charlie Blackmanthe Rox have several outfield options (Raimel Tapia, Connor Joe, Sam Hilliard, Jonathan Daza, Ryan Viladeand multi-position player Garrett Hampson) but none that presents a clear daily response.

There’s also the designated hitter spot to consider, as the likely adoption of the universal DH means the Rockies will have another position to tackle. Schwarber or Blackmon could be options here, and since Schwarber played first base during his stint with the Red Sox last year, the Rockies could potentially use Schwarber in the infield when a regular first baseman CJ Cron receives a day off or a DH day.

It’s not exactly a quiet offseason in Denver, as the Rockies extended Cron before free agency opened, re-signed Jhoulys Chacinand the team also worked on extensions with righty Antonio Senzatela and receiver Elias Diaz. However, the Rox and general manager Bill Schmidt have done little to add new talent to the roster, despite the organization’s oft-stated goal of fighting in 2022.

That said, the Rockies at least explored a few notable additions, as they were also interested in Kris Bryant earlier this winter. Saunders doesn’t think the Rockies will meet Bryant’s asking price, and that same logic could also apply to a pair of other great outfielders still on the open market. Sign either Michel Conforto Where Nick Castellanos (who each rejected the qualifying offer) would cost the Rockies a draft pick, and Castellanos also reportedly sought a long-term commitment of at least seven years for his next contract.

It’s worth noting that the Rockies would get a compensatory pick if/when Story signs elsewhere, so with extra draft capital to play, Schmidt didn’t outright reject the idea of ​​signing a QO free agent. In any case, the qualifying offer does not apply to Schwarber, as his mid-season trade to the Red Sox made him ineligible, so he can be signed without any draft selection penalty.

Between the lack of draft compensation, his stated goal of a relatively modest three-year contract in the $60 million range, and his track record at the plate, Schwarber could be seen as the more attractive option within the tier. superior of the remaining outfielders (Bryant, Castellanos, Conforto and Seiya Suzuki). Of course, the Rockies aren’t the only ones targeting Schwarber, as the Phillies, Marlins, Nationals and Red Sox have all shown varying levels of interest in his services this winter, and a number of other teams are also speculative. Although Schwarber’s contract demand may fall into Colorado’s comfort zone, the Rockies may still have to outbid other teams that can offer either more money or a sharper chance to fight next season. .