The Colorado Rockies are all but playing out the string in 2022, but you might not know it from their maneuverings leading up to Tuesday's MLB trade deadline.
With a record of 45-56 entering Saturday's action, Colorado was pulling up the rear in the NL West, and 8.5 games back for the final NL wild card spot.
But instead of selling off any assets of interest to build for the future, the Rockies seemed to be doubling down on mediocrity.
On Saturday, the club signed 37-year-old veteran reliever Daniel Bard to a two-year, $19 million extension, potentially keeping the previously pending free agent in Denver through 2024.
Bard's resurgence with the Rockies has been a nice story. The 2020 NL Comeback Player of the Year has reestablished himself as a solid bullpen option after bouncing around the minor leagues for several years and even retiring for a spell. Incredibly, he went six years between Major League appearances before resurfacing with the Rox during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. Since then, he's logged 47 saves and a 3.94 ERA while pitching half his home games in the hitters haven that is Coors Field.
Most rebuilding teams would consider that found money, and cash out on Bard in exchange for younger players. And in a trade market thought to be bereft of viable relievers, Bard stood out as arguably the best possible trade target for teams looking to bolster their relief corps.
Instead, he'll remain with a Rockies team that doesn't appear to have a viable path to contention anytime soon.
And it's not just Bard who the Rockies seem to be clutching onto for no apparent reason. According to Audacy MLB insider Jon Heyman, veteran starters Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela and German Marquez were also unavailable. Ditto first baseman CJ Cron, a pending free agent and arguably Colorado's most appealing potential trade asset.
So, what the hell are the Rockies doing? Baseball journalists and fans on social media had some good laughs trying to make sense of it: