I would even do it for free, just for them.
If I succeed, I'll make O'Dowd put a picture of JD Drew on his desk. (and ask for a raise)
Ringolsby November 3, 2003 wrote: Rockies will be looking for some bargains again
The Colorado Rockies will be doing a lot of tire kicking on the open market in the next month or so. They figure to slam a lot of doors and even check out the sticker prices on players who are available.
It is going to be close to Christmas, though - maybe even later - before they start doing some serious shopping.
As they did last off-season, teams will be inclined to wait for the market prices to fall, although there will be plenty of speculation about the Rockies' potential interest in various individuals. The front-office staff is contacting representatives of every player who is of even remote interest to the Rockies.
The Rockies still have decisions to make before they make too strong a push to bring in new players.
They already have decided not to tender a contract to former closer Jose Jimenez, making him a free agent, and have declined options for right-handed reliever Steve Reed and infielder Chris Stynes. They also let left-handed pitcher Darren Oliver, catcher Gregg Zaun, third baseman Greg Norton and outfielder Mark Sweeney file for free agency.
Now they must decide whether they can find a way to make reliever Justin Speier, outfielder Jay Payton, second baseman Ronnie Belliard and starting pitcher Shawn Chacon, each of whom is eligible for arbitration, fit into the 2004 payroll.
With $53.1 million committed to five players and the $2 million they will kick in for Mike Hampton's salary in Atlanta, general manager Dan O'Dowd has roughly $7 million to fill the final 20 spots on the Rockies' Opening Day roster. That doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room. It is why O'Dowd has to be a careful shopper, looking for the bargains like the ones that paid off so well last year - Oliver ($350,000) and Belliard ($450,000).
Here are key dates that will play into the Rockies' shopping plans:
• Dec. 7: It's the last day for a team to offer arbitration to a former player who has declared free agency. If a club offers arbitration, it retains compensation rights. If it declines arbitration, it loses all rights to sign the player until May 1.
Compensation can be a factor. If the Rockies sign a Type A or Type B player, they would lose next June's second-round draft choice. Type A players include Vinny Castilla, Dave Veres, Jose Hernandez, Reggie Sanders and Mike
DeJean. Among Type B players are Deivi Cruz, Brooks Fordyce, Jason Grimsley, Jeromy Burnitz, Eric Young and Jose Cruz Jr.
The Rockies have two ranked free agents - Reed is Type A and Stynes is Type C. If Reed signs before the Rockies decline arbitration, the Rockies would receive not only a top pick from the signing team but also a bonus selection between the first and second rounds. Type C free agents provide the former team a bonus pick between the second and third rounds.
• Dec. 19: Deadline for a free agent to accept arbitration from his former team. If the player rejects the offer, his former team loses negotiating rights to sign him until after Jan. 8.
• Dec. 20: Contracts must be tendered to all players on the 40-man major league roster. Those who are not tendered become unrestricted free agents.
CHACON WOULD seem the most likely of the four arbitration-eligible players to remain with the Rockies, followed by Speier, Payton and Belliard. Prime alternatives to Payton would be Burnitz, a left-handed power hitter, or Sanders.
STYNES WANTS to sign a new contract with the Rockies, who also have the edge in retaining Norton, Sweeney and Zaun. Reed figures to be a victim of budget constraints. Oliver will need time to find out whether a multiyear deal is available elsewhere.
Stynes can play third base and second, which gives the Rockies flexibility in shopping for players to fill out the roster.
ROCKIES FIRST BASEMAN Todd Helton has overcome the Coors Field prejudice, which is apparent in his selection to the National League Silver Slugger team for the fourth consecutive year. The team is selected by NL managers and coaches, based on a player's offensive production.
"I don't expect anything," Helton said. "The rewarding part of this (selection) is, it is voted on by guys you really respect."
Helton's four selections are the most of any Rockies player. Vinny Castilla (1995, 1997, 1998) was a three-time selection; Larry Walker (1997 and 1999) and Mike Hampton (2000, 2001) were two-time selections, and Dante Bichette (1995), Ellis Burks (1996), Andres Galarraga (1996) and Young (1996) were honored once each.