Rockies, Todd Helton Sign Extension

The Rockies and first baseman Todd Helton signed a two-year extension that covers the 2012-13 seasons.  Contract details: it's a two-year, $9.9MM extension paying $4.9MM in '12 and $5MM in '13.  Helton will defer $13.1MM beginning next season.

Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports first reported the extension and its terms and Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported that it had been signed. Renck writes that Helton will work for the Rockies once he's done playing, perhaps as a coach. The club wants to keep him in a Rockies uniform for life.

"We view him in the same way as a Cal Ripken, George Brett and Tony Gwynn. He's a Rockie, and a Hall of Famer we believe," said GM Dan O'Dowd.

As part of his mammoth nine-year, $141.5MM deal, Helton was set to earn $16.6MM this year, $19.1MM in '11, and presumably a $4.6MM buyout after that season.  The Rockies freed up $8.6MM on their 2011 payroll, as Helton will now earn $10.5MM during that season.  The move is reminiscent of the Reds' recent restructuring of Scott Rolen's contract.

Now, instead of concluding his Rockies contract at age 38, Helton will be 40.  Helton is on track to perhaps retire a Rockie once his contract is up.  Despite his back woes, he really only slipped in 2008. 

22 Responses to Rockies, Todd Helton Sign Extension Leave a Reply

  1. LittleOtterPaws 5 years ago

    Bad move, could have fetched considerable trade value with a AL team in need of DH. A slugger on the decline look at his power numbers fall into an abyss. all he has left is a high BA and a large quantity of Doubles. Money could have been well spent elseware besides an injury prone declining hitter

    • alxn 5 years ago

      “Money could have been well spent elseware besides an injury prone declining hitter”

      that is the entire point of this deal

    • coolstorybro222 5 years ago

      Yeah, he actually wanted to stay with the Rockies, and I think this is a pay cut. Besides, who are they going to get to play first base if they traded him?

    • rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

      Like O’Dowd said, its like Ripken or Gwynn. Trade him to the Red Sox and the Rockies would have a move on their hands. Great move Colorado to save some money and keep around one of the best guys in baseball.

      • theWeiz 5 years ago

        more like barry larkin. ripken and gwynn are extremely elite players.

    • Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

      hey first off, don’t make my name look bad by saying this was a bad move. rockies free up a lot of money doing this and insure that he retires as a Rockie. Hes great in the clubhouse and at 4.5MM a season for a potential future HOFer great move overall.

  2. bjsguess 5 years ago

    *** Meant as a reply to FutureGeneralManager ***

    Wait – are you suggesting that Helton is tradeable to an AL team? If so, I think you are significantly overvaluing Helton. The Rockies were on the hook for either 2/$40 or 3/$60. There is NO way that any team would be paying anything close to that amount of money to sign a guy like Helton in FA. That’s a solid $3m more per year than a guy like Holliday just got (who hits just as well, plays a more challenging position, and is 6 years younger).

    If Helton were marketed as a DH I would be surprised if he got more than 2/$20 type deal on the open market.

  3. Yankees10 5 years ago

    Good move, one of the most underrated players of the generation and the best player in Rockies history. It would be good to see him retire in a Rockie uniform.

  4. j6takish 5 years ago

    The Helton deal gets an undeserved amount of flack I think. Jeter and Pujols get the “franchise player blank check” treatment (Pujols deserves a blank check don’t get me wrong)…but for some reason the same standard dosen’t apply to Helton. A-rod will be getting 25m when he is 42, and Todd still puts up great numbers, plus arguably the thickest beard in the MLB

  5. kimofromkauai 5 years ago


    If the present value of the new contract is $1.00 more than the present value of the old contract then the Rockies were screwed. Even if Helton is very popular his production is no way close to being worth this type of money.

  6. gocrazy 5 years ago

    Didn’t see this one coming.

  7. Redhawk 5 years ago

    As a Rockies Fan, this is WONDERFUL news. Not the 2 more years for Helton, which is fine. It’s financial restructuring of next year’s balloon payment. He was set to make $23.4 Million next year with the buy out. The buy out was assumed, cause if the Buy out wasn’t exicuted, he was set to make in 2012 something like 22 Million! The money this deal saves a ton of cash in 2011, and 2012, gives the Rockies a lot of payroll flexibility. Helton at that point would be taking up nearly a quarter of the Rockies total available payroll!

    For those saying he’s aging as a slugger..yeah he is. It’s doubtful he’ll ever hit 30 Homers again but his OBP is still solid and he’s still an amazing fielder at 1st. But all of that isn’t the point at all…it’s about getting out of that back ended balloon payments.

  8. bigpat 5 years ago

    Good move, even though I don’t know how good he’ll be in a few years. I have a feeling that he’s the kind of guy who will retire if he starts to decline too bad, and the Rockies won’t have to deal with an Eric Chavez situation, paying a guy for nothing.

    He’s also the kind of guy who has much more value to Colorado than any other team. Granted, he’s still a very good first baseman, but that’s one of the deepest positions in the league and teams wouldn’t trade a lot for him when you consider there are younger and better guys to be had. And if Jim Thome couldn’t find a full time DH job, I don’t see how Helton can. He should still be able to field his position for the next few years.

  9. hoagiebuchanan 5 years ago

    the best raw hitter of this decade , great move by the rockies

  10. elliotlc 5 years ago

    CLASSY move by a classy player. I think anyone who thinks the Rockies should trade Hrlton is a complete idiot… He is Mr. Rockie and should stay a rockie retire as a rockie and always be a rockie. In fact that statue in front of coors will probably be moved so heltons statue can go up. I can’t believe anyone would think of trading him still. One of the major reasons he was almost traded to the red sox was to win a world series and play first base in doing so not to DH because he is an excellent defender

  11. barroomhero 5 years ago

    When I first saw this, I was like, seriously…. wtf? Then looking into their planning, I like it. It sort of just spreads out the risk so that if something does end up happening, the rockies are not nearly as hamstrung next season by his salary. Nice working of the books there by the Rockies (and Helton for agreeing to it). All in all, a good deal in my opinion.

  12. mrj171 5 years ago

    As a Rockies fan I think this is a great move, Heltoncan still contribute by getting on base and into scoring position and is still a pretty solid defender. Down the road he can always fill the role that Giambi has now as a mentor, great PH and backup 1B.

  13. edhua 5 years ago

    Has anyone done the math ? He was getting 40.3MM for 2 years (16.1 + 19.1 + 4.6 buy out) and now is getting 45.6MM for 4 years with 13MM deferred for 10 years. At present value he is playing close to FREE for two years.

    • horatioalgae 5 years ago

      Excellent point, edhua. The present value of deferred compensation is not something most fans are aware of. This gives the Rockies much greater flexibility in 2011-2 and gives Helton a better chance to reach 3000 hits or other career milestones.

  14. edhua 5 years ago

    Has anyone done the math ? He was getting 40.3MM for 2 years (16.1 + 19.1 + 4.6 buy out) and now is getting 45.6MM for 4 years with 13MM deferred for 10 years. At present value he is playing close to FREE for two years.

  15. mrj171 5 years ago

    Think whatever you want, I hated him simply because he played for the Yanks and I didn’t know anything about him other than he wore a gold thong. But the guy has been around the game, knows how to hit, and by all accounts is a great teammate and leader. The fact is, loads of players used performance enhancing drugs, including the pitchers that guys like Giambi, Bonds and McGuire had to face. Get over it.

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