Rockies will give up Draft pick for right pitcher

Rockies will give up Draft pick for right pitcher

DENVER -- The Rockies have used the MLB Draft to build a highly regarded farm system, so the picks are gold to them. But general manager Jeff Bridich said the club will consider giving up a pick if it finds the right pitcher on the free-agent market and reach a deal.

Bridich, at the General Managers Meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., said the Rockies, like other teams, are "still trying to figure out the free-agent reality of the free-agent market." At least for the Rockies, the penalty for signing a free agent who received and turned down a $15.8 million qualifying offer from his former club isn't as high as for other teams.

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The top 10 picks of the Draft are protected under the system, meaning the Rockies will keep the fourth-overall pick, which they received based on their 68-94 record in 2015. Signing a player who turned down a qualifying offer would cost the Rockies their second-highest pick.

"The fact that it isn't your first-round pick, the fact we do have that competitive-balance pick [between the first and second rounds], that's where it really comes down to the fit of the pitcher and the timing of it all," Bridich said. "You have to time it up right where you think it's not just going to be a one-year deal for a pitcher you sign like that. There are other things you consider that way."

A FOX Sports report last week said the Rockies have had "internal discussions" about infielder Daniel Murphy, who had an outstanding postseason for the Mets. But Bridich said those discussions are far from any offer.

"That was complete speculation, really," Bridich said. "We've had conversations about him, just like we would with all of our free agents, and all that might fit a need. But once a qualifying offer is attached, you have to think really hard about that fit."

Bridich also addressed the recent arrest of shortstop Jose Reyes on a domestic violence charge, which came to light Monday.

"Obviously, it's a serious and unfortunate situation," Bridich said. "Just like we've said, there is an ongoing investigation now. It's serious in terms of a professional sports industry. It's serious in terms of a larger social issue. And it's so serious that there is a joint agreement now between MLB and the union about addressing it. So that's where it is now.

"We'll let the investigation take its course and see what becomes of it."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. Joe Frisaro contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.