Rockies news and links for February 28 , 2019"ckies Game ThreadsRockies Fan ExperienceRockpileThe homegrown stars ready to lead the Colorado RockiesNew,187commentsRockies news and links for February 28, 2019MSTShareTweetShareShareThe homegrown stars ready to lead the Colorado RockiesIn next era of Rockies baseball, Nolan Arenado’s buying and Kyle Freeland’s driving | The GazetteThe Colorado Rockies look to have the nucleus for their contender now that Nolan Arenado is signed to a multi-year contract. As Paul Klee points out in this article, Arenado joins Kyle Freeland to form a pair of homegrown star players who are the faces of the franchise.Klee makes interesting points about how the Rockies have always been known for their loyalty. That was to their detriment in some cases, but now it serves them well as they have developed a deep and talented farm system. In Arenado’s specific case, it positioned them to pony up a mega contract offer when other owners and teams are shying away from such deals.There are also notes in here about Arenado’s stated desire to spend his career with one franchise. The caveat, of course, will be that team must consistently reach the playoffs. Hopefully the Rockies force Arenado to be a man of his word with strong showings and maybe even a division title in the next three seasons.Nolan Arenado Would Rather Lead the Rockies Than Test the Market | New York TimesThere is the lingering question of the current state of free agency and how that affected Arenado’s decision to sign this contract, but as Tyler Kepner notes in this piece, the Rockies’ superstar insists that didn’t motivate him here.Arenado insists he “wasn’t afraid of free agency.” With the deal Manny Machado recently signed, that sentiment is more believable. But I still bet he was a little scared of free agency, or at least his representation was. This article also provides another example of how Arenado has us all singing his praise and envisioning the glory days ahead now that we don’t have to worry about him leaving.One other point: in this article, owner Dick Monfort is quoted as saying, “We can operate on an A.A.V. with anybody.” He’s referring to average annual value. We’ve all been on quite the journey with Monfort, but can we all agree the days of calling him cheap are well behind us?Know your enemy: Colorado Rockies | Bleed Cubbie BlueWith respect to our colleagues at SB Nation’s Chicago Cubs site, this article is an exercise in how stats can mislead on the state of a team. The thrust of this rundown of the Rockies by Al Yellon is that the Rockies offense is good and back for 2019 and that pitching was a struggle last year. I don’t imagine many readers here would agree with that, even with some raw statistics pointing analysis in that direction. At least it seems like the Rockies front office finally came around to seeing that this wasn’t so.Yellon does note the young talent the Rockies have on the pitching side Derek Holland Jersey , and he points out the history the Rockies and Cubs now share because of that crazy Wild Card game. Here’s hoping there are more fun, meaningful games to come, naturally as the Rockies work their way towards a division title.Blackmon doubles in 2 in Cactus League debut | MLB.comCharlie Blackmon wasn’t the only one to have an impact in Wednesday’s Cactus League action against the Los Angeles Angels. Trevor Story launched a two-run home run.German Mrquez made his debut in this game in what might be called a typical first game of Spring Training. On the negative side, a couple pitchers competing for bullpen spots struggled. Jeff Hoffman had an especially ugly showing, allowing four earned runs with a couple walks over two innings. His command was spotty and he left too many pitches up.Carlos Est茅vez followed that up with a three-walk showing. There’s a long way to go, but the Rockies will be hoping for more from those two electric arms as they piece together their bullpen. Speaking of electric arms, Scott Oberg pitched in this game and looked great.Sources: MLB prepared to ditch clock until 2022 | ESPNThe league is dealing with pace of play issues. We all know that. What strikes me about this report from Jeff Passan is the way that the pitch clock is connected to other collective bargaining issues. MLB has reportedly agreed to kick the pitch clock can down the road as part of a proposal to implement a three-hitter minimum for relievers and roster size changes sooner than that. Not only that, but all of those pace of play negotiations are connected to the players’ collective concern about the state of free agency.Passan details other proposals from the league, but it’s just one more reminder: labor strife is coming.nally, Purple Row’s Eric Garcia McKinley was on SB Nation Radio to talk about, among other things, Arenado’s shiny new contract. You can listen to it right here. The Giants didn't sell at the trade deadline, but they didn't buy either, and with a 55-54 record, they sit five games back in fourth place in the NL West standings. In other words, it's hard to see them climbing back into the playoff picture between now and Aug. 31.As an upcoming free agent with a $14.75 million salary, Andrew McCutchen looks like a prime candidate to be dumped by a Giants team that is up against the luxury tax threshold.According to Jon Paul Morosi of, the New York Yankees , Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians all showed some level of interest in the veteran outfielder leading up to the deadline.The Indians addressed their outfield need by acquiring Leonys Martin from the Detroit Tigers, but Yankees and Phillies could still be potential fits.The 31-year-old McCutchen is hitting .258/.353/.413 for a 109 OPS+ with 24 doubles, 11 home runs and 44 RBI. Defensive metrics have also been much kinder to his work in right field, compared to his struggles in center field the past few seasons.SP Matt Harvey, Cincinnati RedsJohn Minchillo/Associated PressIt came as something of a surprise that Matt Harvey was not traded ahead of the non-waiver deadline.The rebuilding Reds picked him up in a no-risk trade with the Mets that sent expensive backup catcher Devin Mesoraco out of town, and little was expected from the former All-Star when he joined the team sporting a 7.00 ERA.However, he's gone 5-4 with a 4.44 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 56 strikeouts in 73 innings over 14 starts since joining the Reds, and in a thin market for starting pitching, more than a few teams were interested, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.Cincinnati general manager Dick Williams explained the team's position to reporters after the deadline passed and Harvey stayed put:"He's a free agent at the end of the year. We understand that and are open to moving him if the appropriate deal comes along. We said all along, you can't execute a good trade if you put yourself in a position of feeling like you have to have one done by the end of the day. We set, what we thought, were appropriate parameters and we held to it. In the interim, he is very much bringing positive contributions to our team."It sounds like they're happy to have him but more than open to trading him, so a deal could yet be made between now and his first foray into free agency.3B Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue JaysDerik Hamilton/Associated PressAn injury-plagued season from former AL MVP Josh Donaldson has cost the Blue Jays what would have been one of the most valuable trade chips on the market.The free-agent-to-be has been sidelined since May 28 with a left calf injury, but he's expected to return at some point in August.Will he have enough time to prove to a contender that he's capable of making an impact?His $23 million salary and sketchy health situation make him a safe bet to clear waivers , so it will come down to whether the Blue Jays get an offer that's more attractive than the draft pick compensation that would come with extending him a qualifying offer at the onset of the upcoming offseason.The 32-year-old is undoubtedly the wild card of the waiver-trade period.Other Waiver Trade Candidates:OF Jose Bautista (NYM), 3B Adrian Beltre (TEX), RP Jerry Blevins (NYM), C A.J. Ellis (SD), SP Marco Estrada (TOR), 2B Logan Forsythe (MIN), SP Gio Gonzalez (WAS), OF Curtis Granderson (TOR), SP Jeremy Hellickson (WAS), SS Jose Iglesias (DET), RP Francisco Liriano (DET), C Devin Mesoraco (NYM), RP Bud Norris (STL), SP Ervin Santana (MIN), SP James Shields (CWS) All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.