The Rockies and All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu have agreed to a two-year deal worth $7.8MM, reports Jon Heyman (links to Twitter). LeMahieu, a client of Excel Sports Management, will earn $3MM in 2016 and $4.8MM in 2017. LeMahieu’s case was the lone arbitration case left to be resolved not only for the Rockies but throughout the entire league. He’d filed for a $3.3MM salary, whereas the team countered with a $2.8MM sum, as can be seen in MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker.
LeMahieu, 27, is coming off the best season of his relatively young career, having batted .301/.358/.388 with six homers, 23 steals and solid defensive contributions. While those offensive numbers are bolstered by his home park of Coors Field (hence park-adjusted metrics like OPS+ and wRC+ feeling that LeMahieu was anywhere from eight to 11 percent below league average with the bat) and his defense has drawn better reviews in previous seasons, LeMahieu was nonetheless a very solid all-around contributor for the Rox last season. The deal does not extend Colorado’s control over LeMahieu, instead buying out the first two of his three arbitration years. He’ll be arbitration-eligible once more after the 2017 season and is slated to hit the open market following the 2018 campaign — in advance of his age-30 season.
That LeMahieu and the Rockies avoided a hearing means that there were only four arbitration hearings in total this winter — a marked decline from last year’s abnormally lofty total of 14 hearings. Three players — Drew Smyly, Jesse Chavez and J.J. Hoover — won arbitration hearings over their respective teams, while Astros catcher Jason Castro lost his side of a hearing.