Colorado Rockies Rumors: Neftali Feliz Heading to Denver?

In their annual list of the Top 50 Major League Baseball Free Agents and predictions on where they will land, has the Colorado Rockies landing just one of the top 50 free agents out on the market.

There has been speculation that the Rockies might pursue an elite closer like Aroldis Chapman (we detailed why that’s a bad idea here) or Mark Melancon. However, MLBTR doesn’t see the Rockies getting either pitcher with the duo heading to the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants, respectively. Melancon, a Colorado native, in the Bay Area obviously wouldn’t be a welcome sight for the Rockies.

MLBTR, however, does believe the Rockies will land a top free agent pitcher. The site predicts Colorado will land Neftali Feliz in a three-year, $18 million deal. Here’s what the site says about the reliever who they ranked No. 25 and went 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA in 62 relief appearances for Pittsburgh last season…

After a terrible 2015 season, the Tigers chose not to tender Feliz a contract. The 28-year-old made good on a one-year, $3.9MM deal with the Pirates, striking out 61 batters in 53 2/3 innings while displaying a 96 mile per hour fastball. Feliz had Tommy John surgery in August 2012, and ended his 2016 season with a minor arm injury  Assuming the recent injury is not a concern, Feliz ranks as the top setup man on the free agent market. The Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Cubs, Reds, Rockies, Dodgers, Marlins, Twins, Yankees, Phillies, Giants, and Nationals are potential suitors.

Ranking as “the top setup man on the free agent market” would make for a good fit in the Colorado bullpen. Assuming that Adam Ottavino will once again assume the closing role for the Rockies this season, having Feliz as a setup man would strengthen the back end of the bullpen and free up Carlos Estevez or even the returning Jairo Diaz to move into perhaps more of a seventh-inning role.

It’s been said that one of Pittsburgh’s priorities in the offseason is to re-sign Feliz so it will be interesting to see if he truly hits the open market.

As for other potential Colorado targets, MLBTR is predicting Mark Trumbo will once again be with the Baltimore Orioles and Mike Napoli will re-sign with Cleveland. Matt Holliday is predicted to sign a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Those scenarios would eliminate many of the free agent options for the Rockies at first base that we discussed in this article.

And what about current Rockies who are expected to leave LoDo? MLBTR is forecasting Nick Hundley to sign a two-year deal with the Angels and Boone Logan to become a member of the Chicago White Sox thanks to a two-year agreement.

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