First they locked up team leader Troy Tulowitzki. When I say locked up, they took a man already under contract through 2014 and extended him out through 2020. 2020! By then we'll have flying cars! It's a decade long $134 million commitment that's none to surprising coming from Rox GM Dan O'Dowd. This totally fits his M.O. of providing long term deals to franchise-level talent so they can act as the rock of the franchise (pun intended). While O'Dowd whiffed on Mike Hampton's $124 million, 8 year deal in late 2000, in 2001 O'Dowd threw 9 years and $141 million at franchise cornerstone Todd Helton, and it's obvious that this Tulo deal is meant to echo the Helton one from a decade ago. Position players are much easier to project long term production for, and this is why deals like the Helton one, and potentially this Tulo one, are usually safe-ish bets for a franchise.
(Homeboy's about to get paaaiiiiiiid)Second, they agreement, in principal, to re-sign free-agent pitcher Jorge De La Rosa. The word is that the pending deal is a 2-year contract for $21 million with various options for 3rd and 4th years. It was widely accepted that Jorge was the second-best free agent starter available heading into the free agency period, and for the Rockies to keep him is a firm sign of their continued commitment to stay at the competitive level they had shown over the past 3 seasons. Reportedly, they had been interested in Carl Pavano, but I'm glad they chose to stick with DLR. Besides the fact that Jorge is 5 years younger than Pavano, and that he is a strong Latino role model in an area with a large Latino population, Carl has a history of blowing up in the faces of GM's who put financial faith in him. Anyways, I think it's good policy to stick with talent already in your system as it avoids transition pains and keeps expectations in the realistic range. The Rockies, from field staff to the front office, know what they're going to get from Jorge.
(Resigning talent like DLR is the first step to ensuring that the current success continues)
Sure, the Tulo deal is useless for current purposes, since he wasn't going anywhere (but I still like the deal.) But combine it with locking up your big free-agent potential departure, and you've shown, in one fell swoop, that you are serious about remaining on top. If the knock on Dan O'Dowd is that he routinely lets young talent leave after their 6 team-control years are up, then this can be a sign that the status-quo has changed, and that the Rox are willing to spend to keep the good times rolling. Kudos to O'Dowd and the Rox for taking the necessary steps to remain competitive. If they add one more decent free agency chip (say a veteran bat) for a reasonable price, then O'Dowd will have done his franchise a good service, and positioned them to win not only now, but in the future as well.