The Rockies enter 2008 in fine shape. They made it to the World Series with a low payroll ($54.5 million), and their biggest offseason project is negotiating raises for their arbitration-eligible players.
The rotation is strong with young, reasonably priced talent at the top in left-hander Jeff Francis and right-hander Aaron Cook, and prospects with big-game experience in righty Ubaldo Jimenez and lefty Franklin Morales. They could use a little more big-game experience there, but that project might not move to the top of the priority list until closer to Spring Training.
These Winter Meetings could be quiet for the Rockies.
2007 finish: 90-73, second in NL West, National League champions.
Deals so far: Exercised the 2008 option for Cook; reached agreements with C Yorvit Torrealba on a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2010 and RHP Matt Herges on a one-year deal with a club option for 2009.
Players eligible for arbitration: 3B Garrett Atkins, INF Clint Barmes, LHP Brian Fuentes, RF Brad Hawpe, LF Matt Holliday, OF Cory Sullivan, CF Willy Taveras.
Free agents: RHP Jeremy Affeldt, RHP Mike DeJean, RHP Elmer Dessens, RHP Steve Finley, RHP Josh Fogg, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, RHP Jorge Julio, RHP Rodrigo Lopez, C Javy Lopez, OF John Mabry, LHP Tom Martin, RHP Ramon Ortiz, LHP Mark Redman.
Needs: The Rockies could use a starter who has been around to help a talented but young staff. With Herges re-signed but Hawkins still on the market, the Rockies could use another veteran in the bullpen. They learned in 2007 that young players can be depended upon off the bench, but expect them to look for experience regardless. With Matsui bound for Houston, Colorado could be in the market for a second baseman, unless it opts to fill the vacancy from within.
Dealing strengths: Fuentes, who completed a two-year, $5.5 million contract and still has a year of arbitration, has been an All-Star reliever for three seasons but could be had by a club in need of a closer. The Rockies also have multiple young outfielders who may not break into the lineup in Denver but could get the club something.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.