Rockies could address first base, 'pen in free agency

Rockies could address first base, 'pen in free agency

DENVER -- The Rockies finished the 2016 season believing they were closer to contending than their 75-87 record would indicate. As has been the case most offseasons, the Rockies aren't expected to spend big in free agency, but some shrewd moves here and there could settle a first-base question and improve a bullpen that wasn't strong enough to keep the team in contention.

BIGGEST POTENTIAL FREE-AGENCY LOSS: Lefty Boone Logan (3.69 ERA in 66 games) was solid while the team was in contention, after battling injury for the first two years of his three-year deal. Logan said at season's end he is open to returning.

POTENTIAL FREE-AGENCY TARGETS: There are options at first base, where Mark Reynolds is a free agent. The club can stick with him on an economical deal and possibly platoon him with a lefty bat, or go for a veteran such as Matt Holliday or Mike Napoli on a short-term deal, or Mark Trumbo or Brandon Moss on a longer deal and have him make a full conversion from the outfield to first base.

As for the bullpen, the Rockies will seek either power or the ability to force ground balls. They'd be wise to avoid pitchers who battled injury last season. After all, three veteran acquisitions last year -- Jake McGee in a trade, Jason Motte and Chad Qualls via free agency -- spent considerable time on the disabled list this year after being hurt late in 2015.

WILD CARD SCENARIO: The tempting move would be for the Rox to deal some of their outfield depth for help at first base and/or in the bullpen. But all of general manager Jeff Bridich's statements have centered on holding onto the outfield depth.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.