DENVER -- Here are five things the Rockies have to do between now and Spring Training, as they prepare for a shot at a third straight postseason appearance:1. Sign Nolan Arenado to a multi-year contract
It may or may not happen, depending on what the Rockies can afford versus what
DENVER -- Here are five things the Rockies have to do between now and Spring Training, as they prepare for a shot at a third straight postseason appearance:
1. Sign Nolan Arenado to a multi-year contract
It may or may not happen, depending on what the Rockies can afford versus what could be available to him on the open market after the 2019 season.
2. Consider a catching upgrade
This is here because the fans clamor for more offense than what Chris Iannetta and Tony Wolters provide. However, it's not as stark a problem if the club can find run production from outfielder David Dahl and infielder Ryan McMahon.
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3. Comb for low-cost relief help
Will the Rockies land an under-the-radar reliever through a trade or free agency? Based on their track records, Colorado expects left-handers Chris Rusin and Jake McGee and right-hander Bryan Shaw to rebound from their rough 2018 seasons. While the club shows confidence, the fans likely feel angst.
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4. Decide what to do with the bench
The offense off the bench didn't become solidified until McMahon found pinch-hit success after two options to Triple-A Albuquerque, left-handed-hitting Gerardo Parra segued from a starting job to a key reserve and right-handed-hitting Matthew Holliday joined the team late in the year. Parra and Holliday are free agents. It's not clear whether the Rockies will try to go young the way they did at the start of last season, or look at veterans.
5. Be thankful for pitching depth
In an industry that's experimenting with avant-garde, bullpen-oriented pitching structures, partly because of lack of depth, the Rockies are fortunate. Lefty Kyle Freeland finished fourth in National League Cy Young Award voting, righty German Marquez grew into a force, lefty Tyler Anderson logged the most innings of his career and righty Antonio Senzatela did enough with his opportunities to earn a postseason start. If Jon Gray can rebound from rough patches in 2018, and Chad Bettis can shake blisters that ruined his season, the Rockies could have more depth than most clubs. Righty Jeff Hoffman will push to be included, and No. 3 prospect Peter Lambert made 11 Triple-A starts at age 21 last season.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.