Checking In On Colorado’s Offseason Extensions

The Rockies were one of the most aggressive teams in baseball in terms of extensions last offseason. They locked six of their players up on multiyear deals, including two contracts worth $80MM or more.

It’s still too early to say with much authority that the deals failed or succeeded, but Troy Tulowitzki’s contract doesn’t expire until 2020 at the earliest and that’s a long wait, so let's check in on the deals now. The early verdict? Nearly five months into the season, the Rockies’ new deals are going well, largely because their biggest investments are looking good. That in itself doesn't justify the moves, but it's certainly better than the alternative.

Tulowitzki (ten years, $157.75MM), Carlos Gonzalez (seven years, $80MM), Matt Lindstrom (two years, $6.6MM), Jason Hammel (two years, $7.75MM), Rafael Betancourt (two years, $8.02MM) and Matt Belisle (two years, $6.125MM) all signed long-term last winter. Conventional wisdom says multiyear deals for relievers and megadeals for players already under long-term control aren’t the most prudent ways of spending money, especially for a mid-market team. Nevertheless, the Rockies went ahead with the moves and they’re going well so far this year.

It would be hard to argue that Tulowitzki isn’t the best shortstop in the game. Gonzalez has boosted his walk rate, lowered his strikeout rate and, thanks to a recent hot streak that has included seven home runs in 12 days, raised his season line to .289/.360/.523. Betancourt, Belisle and Lindstrom (now on the DL) have each pitched at least 43 2/3 innings with at least 6.2 K/9, no more than 2.3 BB/9 and an ERA of 3.41 or below. Even Hammel, who just lost his rotation spot to Alex White, provided Colorado with three months’ worth of solid starts before faltering in July and August.

The extensions look good so far, despite the Rockies’ disappointing 63-68 record. At this point, that’s all Colorado could hope for. But every player they locked up could have been on the team this year even if GM Dan O’Dowd hadn’t inked them to long-term deals, so the final verdict on the 2010-11 offseason deals will have to wait for another decade or so.


Leave a Reply

10 Comments on "Checking In On Colorado’s Offseason Extensions"


Thomas W
4 years 4 days ago

Cargo’s Line since recovering from the flu .309/.384/.587 22HR and 14SB all with a .326BABIP and still only 25 years old

Baseballfan83
4 years 3 days ago

It looks like that big extension will be a bargain for the Rockies when its all said and done.

notsureifsrs
4 years 3 days ago

still features a miraculous home/away split, too:

home: .430 wOBA (ryan braun level)
away: .315 wOBA (maicer izturis level)

Isaac
4 years 3 days ago

Well that’s why he plays at coors field :) haha

Thomas W
4 years 3 days ago

Justin Upton has a
home .469wOBA
away .323wOBA  
 
Even Ryan Braun has a 65 point split between home and away
Last year Josh Hamilton won the AL MVP with a
home .504wOBA
road .384wOBA
which is 5 points bigger than Cargo’s split

Thomas W
4 years 3 days ago

Not only that but I will go ahead and guess that Gonzalez is a bit unlucky with his .258BABIP on the road 

notsureifsrs
4 years 3 days ago

nah. LD% down and GB% up on the road – unlike upton, he’s prolly earned it. upton also had no split at all in 2010. cargo?

2010 home: .487 wOBA (.391 BABIP)
2010 away: .339 wOBA (.375 BABIP)

$1742854
4 years 4 days ago

Though Hammel has been disappointing, I wouldn’t be putting him in the bullpen. I’d still be getting him starts in hopes he finishes strong and improves his trade value. Many teams would take on his affordable salary for their #4 starter slot.

Baseballfan83
4 years 3 days ago

Even if he pitches in the bullpen for the Rockies, who get to use a young starter instead, other teams will still view him as a starter in trade. And his value as far a trade will be fairly low either way. 

Leonard Washington
4 years 4 days ago

At this point Tulo is doing what we all expected minus health issues, and Cargo has kicked up as of late so everything looks good. Im sure their best years are still to come if they can stay healthy.