The Rockies are next in our 2012 Contract Issues series. Here's what the team faces after the 2011 season:
Eligible For Free Agency (3)
- The Rockies don't have any crucial players eligible for free agency after the season. Jose Lopez is the closest to a regular, but he's been terrible this year.
- Role players Jason Giambi and Alfredo Amezaga are also eligible for free agency.
Contract Options (1)
- Aaron Cook: $11MM mutual option with a $500K buyout. Cook is rehabbing from a shoulder injury and a broken finger. The Rockies won't be exercising their side of this option.
Arbitration Eligible (6)
- First time: Seth Smith, Dexter Fowler, Franklin Morales
- Second time: Ian Stewart, Felipe Paulino
- Third time: Ryan Spilborghs
The Rockies' arbitration class lacks intrigue as well. Smith and Fowler may have emerged as quality regulars, but they don't have robust career numbers and won't be paid a ton. Stewart, Spilborghs, and Paulino have struggled mightily in the early going, so they'll be eyeing the non-tender deadline with trepidation.
2012 Payroll Obligation
The Rockies' 2012 payroll obligation, according to Cot's, is $65.284MM. This club is all about cost certainty. We can throw in $6MM for first-timers Smith, Fowler, and Morales to get to the $71MM range, about $11MM short of this year's payroll. One thing I haven't mentioned in these posts is that minimum-salary players require millions of dollars too, and they're not factored into these rough calculations. At any rate, even if they let Stewart, Spilborghs, and Paulino go, the Rockies don't project to have much money to work with if they hold payroll steady. That might be fine, because they have players they can pencil in at every spot.