Don’t count the Rockies out, yet!
As it’s now been reported by a number of people on Twitter, the Colorado Rockies have signed outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond to a five-year contract worth $70 million:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 7, 2016
In the process of signing Desmond with a huge guarantee (more on that in a second), the Rockies will forfeit the 11th pick in the 2017 MLB Draft – the most valuable losable pick (the first ten picks are protected). Considering how expensive he is and the loss of that particular pick, you figure the Rockies really like Desmond … or maybe have another move already planned.
According to Bob Nightengale, with Desmond in tow, the Rockies may now be free to shop and trade outfielder Charlie Blackmon (who hit .324/.381/.552 in 2016) for a nice return. Blackmon is under control for two more seasons via arbitration, and the St. Louis Cardinals – who’ve been openly searching for an outfielder – are considered a possible match. With that said, Ken Rosenthal has claimed that the Cardinals are keeping eyes on Dexter Fowler, as a deal for Blackmon remains a long shot. But let’s stay on Desmond.
If his deal sounds expensive to you, I’m inclined to agree.
Although the 31-year-old had a nice three-year peak in Washington from 2012-2014, Desmond’s offense took a huge step back in 2015 and only slightly rebounded in 2016. In total, he has just a career 101 wRC+. But, according to Jeff Passan, the former shortstop’s positional versatility helped, and Ken Rosenthal suggests he might play first base, as well as the outfield.
With the Rockies’ forfeiture of the 11th pick in the draft, the Chicago Cubs pick moves up from 30th overall to number 29. And if they don’t sign one of the six remaining players associated with draft pick compensation, that’s where their pick will stay, unless more unprotected picks ahead of the Cubs are sacrificed.