Didn’t we learn anything as a society from the Cold War? Didn’t we learn of the madness that comes with an unfettered arms buildup? When one team gets a Miguel Tejada, that does not mean that another team has to get a Ty Wigginton. Lunacy! No one can win like this -- when the Giants play the Rockies, every bunt, every strikeout, and every ground ball will happen under a dark cloud of mutually assured destruction.
The threat of total annihilation will guide our society, and one day Bill Neukom will get up at a huge rally and say something like, "Mr. Monfort: Tear down that humidor!" A couple of years later, there will be a bloodless coup, probably led by one of the sixteen ex-Giants catchers that the Rockies employed at one time or another, and the next thing we know, we’re bombarded with images of Rockies players waiting in hour-long lines for rosin bags.
Which is all to say: the Rockies acquired Ty Wigginton. They just might have had a more boring offseason when it comes to free-agent acquisitions than did the Giants. Look for yourself:
Oh, that’s right. Jose Lopez. He’s like Juan Uribe, but without the orc-fattened wallet. That was a good low-risk pickup, I guess.
Jeff Francis (maybe)
Well, that’s even less exciting than whom they acquired. There isn’t a crushing loss to be found in that list. Well, Francis would be kind of a crushing loss in that Noah-Lowry-shake-your-fist-at-the-heavens-because-you-were-looking-forward-to-watching-that-young-lefty-pitch-for-a-decade-in-your-ballpark kind of way, but it’s not a huge baseball loss compared to last year.
So the Rockies of last year are the Rockies of next year. On the surface, that would seem like a good thing, seeing as the Rockies didn’t win the division*, but the Rockies are probably better than the third-place finish from last year. It’s a good, well-built team. And the real story of their offseason didn’t have much to do with acquisitions or losses in the traditional sense.
Troy Tulowitzki for a long, long time
Carlos Gonzalez for a long, long time
Several Brinks trucks, some ownership shares, and a couple of Van Goghs
The Rockies did more than stand pat; they committed to standing pat for the better part of a decade. They looked at those two players and said "There is the franchise, for better or for worse, for richer and for much poorer, in sickness and in health" before slipping a ring on them. There is some debate about how those contracts will look in 2015, but for right now, the fans are pumped at the commitment from ownership. We just need to introduce Tulowitzki to Rhianna and a bottle of Dr. Taugle’s Step-Losing Tonic, and the Giants can hopefully weather the storm.
The Rockies also re-signed Jorge De La Rosa for two years, which is about one fewer than I thought he’d get from another team. The Yankees are digging through the free box at the church flea market, trying to find a poor man’s Todd Wellemeyer, but they couldn’t offer a third year to De La Rosa? That stinks. Use your money for good one of these days, Yankees, not evil. Good short-term move for the Rockies, dang it.
Next year, and in the years to follow, the Rockies will probably be good. They have a strange fascination with right-handed utility types, and they’re obsessed with bowkering Chris Ianetta, but they’re a well-run organization. They develop well, and they understand the PR benefit of holding a team together. For this offseason, though, they didn’t do a danged thing to bring in a lot of help. Like the Giants, they probably didn’t need to.
* The 2010 National League West was won by the San Francisco Giants, who also went on to win the World Series