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Klee blog: Flurry of bullpen cash shows Colorado Rockies thinking World Series in 2018

By: Paul Klee
December 29, 2017 Updated: December 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm
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photo - FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 18, 201,7 file photo, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta throws during the first inning of Game 4 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Chicago. Cubs pitchers Arrieta and Wade Davis  were among nine free agents who turned down $17.4 million qualifying offers from their teams Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 18, 201,7 file photo, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta throws during the first inning of Game 4 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Chicago. Cubs pitchers Arrieta and Wade Davis were among nine free agents who turned down $17.4 million qualifying offers from their teams Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) 

He wore champagne and Coors banquet beer on his head and a smile that said "told ya so." But on the night he returned the Colorado Rockies to the playoffs, Jeff Bridich wasn't budging: his ballclub was not, in fact, ahead of schedule.

"Whose schedule?" the general manager replied, forever defiant.

His actions speak volumes: for the first time in franchise history, the Rockies are operating as if the next World Series is a genuine, achievable, real goal.

Like, for real. For really real.

They just spent $52 million on a closer, for crying out loud. Happy New Year, Wade Davis. The first round's on the former Cubs closer. And that's after they spent $27 million on another reliever, Bryan Shaw. And that's after they spent $27 million on another reliever, Jake McGee.

With that, the Bridich Bullpen replaced the Bridich Barrier as the sight to see at Coors Field. Think of this super-pen as insurance on a young, cheap starting rotation.

The 40-year-old GM has his fingerprints all over this Rox revival. When Bridich was hired to replace Dan O'Dowd in 2014, I wrote that Bridich was not more of the same, despite working under O'Dowd at 20th and Blake. His vision for the Rockies has taken shape: pitching depth, strong defense and a versatile lineup. He's had an appreciation for how the Kansas City Royals built their championship club a few years back. These Rox show shades of those Royals.

Does a highly paid bullpen ensure the Rockies are still playing into October?

Course not. In the NL West, the Dodgers are still a thing.

Does it mean the Rockies are all-in for a World Series run in 2018?

Follow the money.

Twitter: @bypaulklee

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