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Kiszla: With hot stove at a simmer, Rockies need to sign Carlos Santana or another big bat

We don’t need no stinkin’ power hitter. The Rockies have Ian Desmond.

OK, so National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton was never coming to Colorado. But how about trading for Marcell Ozuna, when knucklehead Derek Jeter was selling off sluggers at garage-sale prices down in Miami? Was Denver ever going to pursue Ozuna, if most fans around don’t care enough to know his name? That’s a deal made in a real baseball town, like St. Louis.

The Rockies went to the winter meetings, baseball’s meat-and-greet market. General manager Jeff Bridich got the T-shirt. And more. He restocked the Colorado bullpen. By signing durable Bryan Shaw from Cleveland and retaining Jake McGee, while keeping the door open for Greg Holland, Bridich has given manager Bud Black buttons to push in the late innings.

Not bad work. But is it greedy to want more?

Give me Carlos Santana. Not the musician. At age 70, he’s supernatural on guitar. But the Rockies need a first baseman. And free agent Carlos Santana of the Cleveland Indians has 20-homer pop in his bat.

While the bullpen is of critical importance to any manager in Colorado, what made Black a serious manager of a year candidate in 2017 was his ability to guide the Rockies to a playoff berth with a batting order that was Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado and seven guys named Smoke and Mirrors.

In the 25th year of the franchise, the Rockies have a chance to grow up and elbow their way past the struggling Broncos as the team in Colorado that’s most serious about winning a championship.

I want a hot stove with heat. It beats sitting out in the cold, yammering about whether the Broncos should tank for a better draft pick, which is a conversation about losers, by losers, for losers.

The Broncos stink, and haven’t we beaten that dead horse enough? The Rockies have a golden opportunity give Colorado fans an alternative to wallowing in football misery. Of course, there’s the problem of opportunity cost. Rockies owner Dick Monfort would have to reach deep in his wallet to pay Santana, rather than pocket the savings of letting outfielder Carlos Gonzalez walk as a free agent.

Yes, ownership did invest $70 million for a five-year contract given to Desmond last winter. I never bought the idea Desmond was a first baseman, even after the Rockies issued him a big, new mitt and asked him to be a corner infielder for the first time in his major-league career. From the start, it appeared to me Desmond was signed as the replacement for CarGo in the outfield.

Guess what. The Rockies now tell us Desmond will be their starting left fielder in 2018. To quote the late, great Gomer Pyle: Surprise, surprise, surprise. After battling injuries for a large chunk of last season, I’m willing to let Desmond hit the reset button. But Colorado cannot afford to have a $70 million corner outfielder with a weak .375 slugging percentage again next season.

Santana is not Stanton. Heck, he’s not even as flashy as free agent Eric Hosmer, the first baseman from Kansas City whom Bridich has already declared to be too rich for Colorado’s budget. But Santana would work the count for a walk, lace a double in the gap and maybe show Arenado the Rockies are serious about winning every year.

Praise is due Bridich for constructing a roster that returned playoff baseball to Colorado. Well, almost. The Rockies made the postseason for the first time since 2009 but were eliminated by Arizona during a tense play-in game, which denied fans the actual experience of playoff fever at Coors Field.

Signing Shaw and McGee is all well and good. But it’s not front-page news. Our expectations for the Rockies, however, have been conditioned to be so low that when Bridich stands at a stove set to simmer, fans get what they get and don’t throw a fit.

C’mon, Rockies. A big bat is not a luxury. It’s a necessity, if you’re serious about getting back to the playoffs in 2018.

Turn up the heat. Please.