Colorado Rockies and Mark Melancon Have “Mutual Interest”
According to an article on FanRags Sports, the Colorado Rockies and free agent closer Mark Melancon are said to have “mutual interest” in each other.
While Adam Ottavino reclaimed his closer spot toward the end of 2016 with the Rockies, Melancon is one of the top free agent relievers on the market. Melancon logged a league-high 51 saves with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015 and had 47 in duties with Pittsburgh and the Washington Nationals in 2016.
Melancon coming to the Rockies makes sense in not only the Rockies wanting to upgrade their bullpen, but also from a sentimental standpoint. The 31-year-old right-hander is very familiar with the Denver area after being born in Wheat Ridge and attending high school in Golden.
In his recent article, Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com said the addition of Melancon to the Colorado bullpen could set a potent late-inning combination with Ottavino. Additionally, Ringolsby quotes Melancon about the famed thin air of Denver, “I grew up pitching in these conditions. It doesn’t bother me.”
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Melancon backs up his words with stats, showing that he’s 5-for-5 in save opportunities at Coors Field with 6.2 scoreless innings pitching over six outings.
Prior to last season, Melancon signed a one-year, $9.65 million deal with the Pirates and he’s one of the most prized free agent relievers out there, competing with Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen for suitors.
The acquisition of Melancon would certainly help the Rockies bullpen, but it would also not come cheap and would cause some shuffling to occur. It also poses some interesting questions with returning pieces of the bullpen puzzle.
Would Ottavino be OK with a setup role after working so hard to regain closer status last season? Would Bud Black institute a system where the starter might be asked to go just five or six innings and then turn it over to the bullpen with set roles? Is a high price tag potentially spent on Melancon enough to change Colorado’s pursuit of a high-impact first baseman?
One thing is for sure: If Melancon joins the Rockies, it signals to the fan base and the rest of Major League Baseball that the Rockies are serious about making a run at the postseason in 2017.