8:02pm: Chatwood will earn $1MM in both 2015 and 2016, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. He will be able to earn an additional $250K in 2016 based on games started.
7:09pm: The Rockies announced tonight that they’ve inked right-hander Tyler Chatwood to a two-year deal to avoid arbitration. The contract will pay the RMG Baseball client roughly $1MM in 2015 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, per the Denver Post’s Nick Groke (Twitter link), though complete terms of the deal aren’t yet known.
The 25-year-old Chatwood enjoyed an excellent season in 2013, pitching to a 3.15 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 58.5 percent ground-ball rate in 111 1/3 innings of work for the Rockies. However, he was limited to just 24 innings and a 4.50 ERA in 2014 before an injury sidelined him and eventually led to his operation on July 19.
Originally a second-round pick of the Angels back in 2008, Chatwood was acquired by the Rockies in a one-for-one swap that sent Chris Iannetta to the Halos. He’s yet to establish himself as a consistent force in the Majors, though he appeared to potentially be on his way to doing so prior to his injury. While he’s unlikely to pitch until late in the 2015 season at the earliest, the Rockies will retain control of him through the 2017 season, so he still has time to deliver value. In particular, his excellent ground-ball rate — he posted a 57.7 percent mark from 2012-13 when healthy — is very well-suited for the homer-friendly Coors Field.