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BRAIN ATHLETE SPORTZ

NL Notes: Rockies, Phillies, Fuld, Urena, Cardinals

The Rockies would like to add another bat to the lineup, preferably in the outfield or on the right side of the infield, manager Bud Black told reporters (including Thomas Harding of MLB.com). That leaves plenty of options for GM Jeff Bridich and the front office, but Harding casts doubt on Colorado playing at the top or even second tier of the free agent market. The Rockies have had discussions this offseason with free agent outfielder Kevin Pillar, who performed reasonably for Colorado last season after being acquired from the Red Sox in a midseason trade. The Rockies got next to nothing from their first and second basemen in 2020. The free agent market is significantly deeper at the latter position.

More out of the National League:

  • The Phillies have revamped their front office this winter, bringing in Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations and promoting Sam Fuld to general manager. Dombrowski has final say over personnel decisions. That’s not a responsibility he’s planning to give up any time soon, but Dombrowski acknowledged that part of his job is to prepare Fuld to potentially lead his own front office someday. “I’m not looking to move out because I just started with the Phillies organization, I have a lot of energy and I look to do this for a while,” Dombrowski told reporters (including Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia). “I’m not, though, 44. I’m 64. And if I’m doing my job correctly and we’re doing our job correctly, as Sam progresses, he will be the guy making those types of decisions, the final decisions. That’s where my goal is.” Seidman chronicles Fuld’s quick ascent as an executive in a piece that’s worth reading in full.
  • The Phillies were among the teams interested in right-hander José Ureña, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). Ureña ultimately wound up signing a one-year deal with the Tigers. The 29-year-old had spent his entire pro career with the Phils’ division rivals in Miami, pitching to a 4.60 ERA/4.74 FIP over parts of six seasons with the Marlins.
  • The Cardinals have been exploring “cash-neutral” trades this winter, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as part of a reader mailbag. More specifically, a framework in which St. Louis moves MLB pitching for big league ready offensive help makes some sense, Goold feels. Cardinals hitters ranked just nineteenth leaguewide in park-adjusted hitting last season, with particularly dismal work from the outfielders. The St. Louis organization has generally been expected to have a quiet offseason after chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. claimed the baseball industry “isn’t very profitable” in June. Nevertheless, the front office exploring cash-neutral deals perhaps hints there’s no organizational mandate to further slash costs. St. Louis currently projects for a 2021 payroll around $131MM, per Roster Resource, after opening the 2020 season in the $167MM range (before prorating).
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