It’s time for the Jeff Bridich era in Colorado to come to a merciful end
At the beginning of the season, the Rockies were one of the best teams in Major League Baseball, starting 11-4, making it the sixth time a Rockies team had that a record to start the season. Those years were 1995, 1997, 2011, 2013 and 2017. Notably, Colorado only made the playoffs in ’95, and ’17.
So to baseball fans, it doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you handle the adversity and finish the season with bright leadership. For the Rockies, leadership starts with Jeff Bridich and he has no one else to blame but himself for the team’s collapse, as they’re now 24-30. Between failed free agents, drafting poorly and upsetting a future Hall of Famer, the Rockies general manager would be smart to resign with his head somewhat held up high.
Last weekend, the Rockies designated closer Wade Davis for assignment, making him the third pitcher signed in massive deals to not finish their contracts with the Rockies. Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw were all Bridich signees and though they did help the Rockies make noise in the 2017 and 2018 postseason, those bullpen guys failed to reach the end of the contracts and were rightfully released by the team.
In 2020, Davis pitched about four innings total in five games with an ERA of 20.77, and that’s no joke. Opponents batting average against Davis was .406, as he gave up nine hits with only two saves. Injured or not, the story was telling. Davis was on the decline last year and should have been released then, but wasn’t because of oblivious GM.
If you combine the contracts of Shaw (three years, $27 million), McGee (three years, $27 million), and Davis (three years, $52 million), it totals to $106 million. That’s a lot to spend on a statistically below-average bullpen for only three arms.
Another failed free agency sign for Bridich has been Daniel Murphy. He inked the infielder to a two-year contract for $24 million. The team had the option to resign D.J. LeMahieu at second base, but failed to do so at the expense of Bridich’s confidence.
LeMahieu signed with the Yankees for two years and $24 million. In New York, he’s become an All-Star and MVP candidate.
Rumor had it that there was a grand plan with top prospect Brendan Rodgers to replace LeMahieu, but with injuries, the team has had to settle with Ryan McMahon, which has paid some dividends for the young talent in McMahon.
Rodgers hasn’t been a disappointment, but the slow progress and his inability to stay healthy has fans thinking deja vu, similar to the Troy Tulowitzki story of potential greatness only to come up short due to injuries. Now, it looks like Nolan Arenado’s cousin Josh Fuentes has outright won the job at firs base showing amazing leather and great pop with the bat.
Though Ian Desmond opted out of this season, his decline during his time with the Rockies has been apparent too. From 2016-18, Desmond’s batting average dropped from .274 to .255 and had a BA of .236 in 2017. Those are not the numbers you want to see when you move to Coors Field as a home field. The former All-Star with Washington was in a decline, but Bridich gave him the money with that five-year, $70 million contract.
So let’s do more math, with the three bullpen arms at $106 million, plus Murphy and Desmond, the total is $200 million in contracts for five guys with negative wins above replacement (WAR) and one playoff game win. So when Arenado this past offseason expressed his frustration with Bridich, I couldn’t have agreed more.
Sure, at the end of the day, it’s the players that play the game. But when you’re given teammates that can’t contribute to wins, that puts the pressure all on Nolan’s shoulders. It’s no wonder why Arenado is on the 10-day inured list with an actual shoulder injury and will miss the rest of the 2020 season.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen next year.” Nolan Arenado said this week. “I think there will be changes.”
With this quote, Arenado put Bridich on alert for this offseason because he can opt out of his mega 8-year $260 million contact after the 2021 season. It would be wise if Bridich plans on making no major transactions this offseason, he should resign now because the Monforts should take Arenado’s passion seriously. The third baseman isn’t looking to only make the playoffs; he actually wants to win a playoff series or two or three.
Bringing in a general manager that knows how to bring winning baseball to Colorado would be wise. Bridich is wasting away the prime years of Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon, German Marquez, Kyle Freeland and Arenado by wasting money on players statistically making a negative impact on the team.
It’s now time to dump Jeff Bridich at Casa Bonita, so he can experience the symbolize it holds. Fancy atmosphere, expensive and a waste of money on bad quality, and makes your stomach upset by the end of the night full of regret.