Rockies' players drawing interest from other clubs
GM Bridich hearing from mostly AL teams about Rosario
By Thomas Harding
SAN DIEGO -- Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said Monday the club is keeping star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki abreast of multiple trade rumors.
The New York Daily News reported that the Mets -- judged as the team best equipped to make an acceptable offer for Tulowitzki -- had turned down the Rockies' trade interest. Various reports indicated the Mets have serious concerns about what Tulowitzki's contract, which guarantees him $114 million through 2020, would do to their payroll. However, Bridich said the Rockies and Mets had not met formally.
The rumors are an outgrowth of Bridich's public position this offseason that they'll listen to all offers, as the Rockies attempt to shore up their pitching quality and depth in hopes of going from fourth place in the National League West in 2014 to a contender in 2015.
Bridich said the Rockies, who have said they don't necessarily have to trade Tulowitzki or star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (owed $53 million through 2017), are making sure Tulowitzki hears whatever is going on from the Rockies.
"In the case of Tulo, that's true, because his name has been out there more than any others, for obvious reasons," Bridich said. "So, yes, we have been trying to keep Troy up to date. That's something we told Troy we would do out of respect to him."
Meanwhile, Bridich acknowledged that interest in catcher Wilin Rosario, whose main attraction is power hitting, comes from American League clubs that can use him as a designated hitter or at first base, where he has played on a handful of occasions for the Rockies. Rosario is a first-time arbitration-eligible player who is projected to make $3.6 million in 2015.
Rumors last week of a possible deal with the Mariners gained no traction, with the Mariners looking in other areas. The Rangers, looking to add a catcher to work in tandem with Robinson Chirinos, like Rosario's bat more than his glove and could make a bid. Rosario hit 49 homers over the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but dropped to 13 in a 2014 season that saw him miss time with a wrist injury and the flu.
"There's interest," Bridich said, not addressing any specific possible trading partner. "There are some National League teams that have checked in, but the majority of them have been American League teams.
"He is a big, right-handed bat. He is at an age [26 on Feb. 23] where he's still either in his prime or about to enter his prime. He's still learning and growing at the Major League level. He fits on our club for good reasons, and he fits in that category of our eyes and our ears are open. But it's not like we're in the mood to just give him away. There's a lot of RBI potential and home run potential."
Should the Rockies deal Rosario, they would seek another catcher, most likely through the free-agent market, with Nick Hundley, David Ross and Geovany Soto as possible options.
Trade possibilities are slim. For example, the Blue Jays' Dioner Navarro is available but the Rockies are unlikely to bite. Navarro is due $5 million in 2015 and is a free agent after the season. A free agent would give the Rockies the chance for a multi-year deal.
Bridich said the Rockies also are receiving interest in right-handed-hitting outfielder Drew Stubbs "from teams looking for very specific fits in their outfield." Stubbs, in his final year of arbitration, is projected at a $5.7 million salary for 2015.
Being in listening mode means the Rockies are hearing teams out when they inquire about anyone, including two-time Rawlings Gold Glove-winning third baseman Nolan Arenado (who won in his first two years in the Majors) and outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson. All spent last year in the starting lineup and have low salaries, which make them valuable to other clubs. But it's highly unlikely the Rockies will move them.
"Very popular names," Bridich said. "We're not supremely motivated to trade any of those players. It's great. It's not like there's any sort of frustration or anger when teams ask.
"But with those players in particular, we have to be wowed to a certain degree."