Offseason happenings for the Colorado Rockies
Sept. 27 – Sam Hilliard struck out swinging on a full-count pitch from Arizona’s Riley Smith, finishing off an 11-3 loss at Chase Field that closed the 60-game season for the Rockies. The eight-run loss dropped Colorado to a season-low eight games under .500 (26-34) after it had started the season eight games over that mark at 11-3.
Oct. 28 – The day after the Dodgers captured a World Series crown in six games over the Rays, the Rockies began culling their roster. Veterans Drew Butera, Matt Kemp, Daniel Murphy, Chris Owings, Kevin Pillar and A.J. Ramos were granted free agency. Of that group, only Owings re-signed with Colorado.
Nov. 25 – Pitcher Jeff Hoffman was traded to Cincinnati along with minor leaguer Case Williams for Jameson Hannah and Robert Stephenson.
Dec. 2 – Outfielder David Dahl and catcher Tony Walters were non-tendered, making them free agents. Dahl, a 27-year-old former All-Star, signed for one year, $2.7 million with Texas. Wolters went to Pittsburgh on a minor league deal.
Dec. 10 – Closer Daniel Bard was named National League Comeback Player of the Year. After seven years away from the game because of lost control, Bard emerged as the Rockies’ closer and saved six games with a 3.65 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.
Feb. 1 – Franchise cornerstone Nolan Arenado was traded (along with $50 million) to the Cardinals for Mateo Gill, Tony Locey, Eleuris Montero, Jake Sommers and Austin Gomber. The trade came after a nearly yearlong public rift had developed between Arenado and Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich.
Feb. 15 – Rockies sign veteran first baseman C.J. Cron to a minor league deal. Cron went on to make the opening day roster after posting one of the best spring training slash lines in baseball at .340/.404/.702.
Feb. 21 – Outfielder Ian Desmond opted out of a second consecutive season “for now,” citing a desire to be with family.
March 9 – Rockies announce 21,363 fans (42.6% of the Coors Field capacity) will be allowed at games to open the 2021 season. Fans were not allowed at regular-season games in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 13 – Second baseman Brendan Rodgers came up lame with a hamstring injury on a stolen-base attempt. The injury could keep him out for the first several weeks of the season in a year when Rodgers had been pegged for everyday playing time.
March 23 – Kyle Freeland suffered a shoulder strain while pitching against Oakland. The injury is expected to keep the left-handed starter out a month.
March 25 – Scott Oberg underwent surgery to remove blood clots in his pitching elbow, the fourth such procedure for the reliever and a setback that might end his career. The Rockies had hoped Oberg could fill a key late-inning role in the bullpen.