A persistent criticism about Rockies owner Dick Monfort among Colorado fans is that he’s cheap. There seems to be a belief that while Rockies ownership will shell out money for a party deck, they are fairly conservative when it comes to paying players and coaches.
Is that fair? Ehhhhh. In 2016, the Rockies ranked 19th in the MLB in total payroll, according to Spotrac. Colorado spent roughly $120.6 million on players this season. They ranked 18th in total payroll in 2015, and 19th in 2014. Not exactly cheap. But Rockies ownership certainly wasn’t going crazy either.
However, in a letter Monfort sent to Rockies season ticket holders Wednesday, it appears ownership might be willing to increase its spending habits this offseason.
“You have invested in us and we will continue to invest in you, both in terms of growing our player payroll and providing the best service and ballpark experience in sports,” Monfort wrote.
Below is the letter in its entirety.
Several key Rockies are set to hit free agency this winter, including starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, reliever Boone Logan, catcher Nick Hundley and first baseman Mark Reynolds.
More than anything, the Rockies need to improve a bullpen that ranked last in the MLB with a 5.13 ERA. That could require spending big money on a relief arm in free agency.
First base is another potential area of need, as Reynolds’ contract is up.
It will be interesting to see how Monfort, general manager Jeff Bridich and Colorado’s front office tackles free agency — especially now that Monfort has indicated the Rockies are going to spend.
Monfort expressed cautious optimism about 2016 in the letter. It’s clear he thinks Colorado can make a postseason push next year.
“… We are committed to working hard again this offseason to put the right pieces in place to make postseason baseball a reality in 2017 and beyond,” Monfort wrote.