The Colorado Rockies are facing a rocky spring, no pun intended. Shortstop, Jose Reyes was involved in a domestic dispute in the offseason. This issue resulted in the arrest of Reyes in Maui. On October 31st, Jose Reyes allegedly abused his wife in their hotel room at luxe Four Season.
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Two months before the incident, Major League Baseball and the player’s union agreed on a new domestic violence policy. A player accused of domestic violence can be suspended with pay while the charges are pending. Both parties likely did not foresee an impact player being affected by this policy so soon. This week, the MLB put Jose Reyes on a paid leave, pending the completion of his domestic violence charges in Hawaii.
The Rockies are looking to bounce back after a terrible 2015 season. To cap the disappointing season, the Rockies traded the face of the franchise, Troy Tulowitzki, to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package of players including Reyes. The trade marked an end of an era in Colorado and showed signs of a rebuild.
The Rockies possess a top shortstop prospect in Trevor Story. Story has been impressive at every level thus far, but could use a smooth transition into the major league level. Having the current issues revolving around Reyes, Story appears to have the leg up on the starting shortstop job.
Being thrown right into the starting position is not what the Rockies expected in 2016. Although the Rockies had a tough 2015 season, they still have several impact players in the lineup. The presence of Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and newly signed Gerardo Parra, make the Rockies a potentially competitive team in the NL West.
At this point in the spring, not many quality players are still available as free agents. Now that the Baltimore Orioles have gone out and signed Dexter Fowler and Yovani Gallardo, the remaining quality free agent is Ian Desmond.
Desmond decided to turn down a lucrative contract offer from the Washington Nationals, before entering the 2015 season. Unfortunately for Desmond, last year was a sub-par season statistically. Despite the down year, Desmond is a player with great power and the ability to play multiple positions. Although he is not the greatest defensive shortstop, Desmond can handle the position full time.
The Rockies have a protected draft pick this year, picking fourth in the amateur draft. Ian Desmond is attached to a compensatory pick, which is a reason he is still available. However, the Rockies would only have to surrender a second-round pick, unlike most teams, who would have to surrender a first-round pick. This should increase the chances of the two parties connecting before spring training games begin.
Desmond would benefit from a short-term contract in Colorado. Colorado is a hitter friendly park and could be a ticket for Desmond to cash in on a big contract year. The Rockies would be provided a safety net for the Reyes situation and prevent Story from being rushed into the starting role. A one or two-year contract would serve the team and player well. Desmond is not looking to break the bank on this contract and can likely be had for $9-10 million per year.