Five Best Colorado Rockies Offseason Acquisitions of the Last 20 Seasons

Rockies Offseason

Colorado Rockies offseason acquisitions are something of a mixed bag. Coors Field is something no other team has to factor in. It’s caused hitters to win batting titles and fine pitchers to falter. Free agency is notoriously hard for a franchise with Colorado’s unique situation to consistently evaluate quality talent. And yet, there have been some successes in the organization’s history. Here are the five best offseason acquisitions of the past 20 years.

Five Best Colorado Rockies Offseason Acquisitions of the Last 20 Seasons

2008 Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez joined the Rockies thanks to a trade with the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Matt Holliday and Colorado was not disappointed. The outfielder would play for the Rockies for ten seasons and accumulate some of the best stats in franchise history. Gonzalez hit .290/.349/.516 with 227 home runs in just over 5,000 plate appearances. As usual, some will say that Coors Field was the primary reason Gonzalez was so good, but his plate discipline was always great and his defense was worthy of three Gold Glove awards. His 23.7 WAR with Colorado places him fifth in franchise history, leaving no doubt that ‘Cargo’ was an outstanding acquisition.

2011 Michael Cuddyer

It was hard to expect much from Michael Cuddyer when he joined the Rockies’ organization as a free agent between 2011 and 2012. He was entering his age-33 season and had come off several very average seasons with the Minnesota Twins. However, he found a boost with the Rockies during his three seasons in Coors Field. Cuddyer found a real groove in 2013 with a .331/.389/.530 slash line and 20 home runs in 540 plate appearances. It was a season that won the veteran outfielder a batting title, a Silver Slugger, and down-ballot MVP support. It was Cuddyer’s last full season of above-average production, but it was a huge bright spot in Todd Helton‘s final season as a player.

2011 DJ LeMahieu

It’s hard to believe that the Chicago Cubs traded DJ LeMahieu after his rookie season, but their loss was Colorado’s gain. The former second-round pick from 2009 turned into a rockstar for the Rockies. He hit .299/.352/.408 in 3,737 plate appearances. The second baseman also won three Gold Gloves and a batting title in 2016 thanks to an incredible .348 average. The 16.1 WAR in seven seasons doesn’t leap off the stats page, but there is no question that LeMahieu is one of the most important players in Rockies history. He is easily the second baseman against whom all future players will be measured in Denver.

2012 Adam Ottavino

Both Colorado and Adam Ottavino deserve credit for this relationship. The team claimed the 2006 first-round selection off of waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals after a dreadful rookie season. The 6’5″ reliever had a very uneven time with the Rockies until he hit 2018 and remade himself into one of the best bullpen options in baseball. Ottavino threw 53 1/3 innings in 2017 with a 5.06 ERA. He rebuilt himself in the offseason and would go on to post a 2.43 ERA in 77 2/3 innings in 2018. A 2.74 FIP indicates some good luck, but it’s hard to argue with roughly 2.0 WAR pitching in a Colorado bullpen. His sinker/slider combination was a deadly combination for opponents. He a significant factor in getting Colorado to the NLDS that year.

2016 German Marquez

German Marquez was one of the two pitchers the Rockies acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in January 2016. The former international free agent has transformed himself into Colorado’s best and arguably most important hurler. He has accumulated 634 1/3 innings across 109 games with a 4.24 ERA and 640 strikeouts. His 230 strikeouts in 2018 is currently the best total in franchise history. That figure is all the more incredible when you consider that he threw fewer than 200 innings in that year. Marquez could easily end up as the most productive pitcher in the organization’s history with one more good season; he is roughly just six WAR behind current franchise leader, Ubaldo Jimenez. Not bad for a winter trade.

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