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.