The Rockies have signed shortstop Jose Iglesias to a one-year contract, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (via Twitter). Univision’s Mike Rodriguez tweeted earlier tonight that Iglesias and the Rox were close to reaching a deal, and later noted that Iglesias will earn $5MM. Iglesias is represented by MVP Sports Group.
As Nick Groke of The Athletic notes, the Rockies signing Iglesias to play shortstop means “the door is shut on the Trevor Story era.” Story picked up the mantle as Colorado’s regular shortstop from Troy Tulowitzki in 2016, finishing fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting and garnering MVP votes in each of the 2018-20 seasons. The Rockies extended the $18.4MM qualifying offer to Story in November, and he remains a free agent. The Iglesias signing also solidifies former third overall draft pick Brendan Rodgers as the team’s second baseman.
Iglesias, 32, has played for the Red Sox, Tigers, Reds, Orioles, and Angels in his 10-year MLB career. Iglesias signed with the Red Sox as a slick-fielding shortstop out of Cuba back in 2009. On his way to a second place Rookie of the Year finish in 2013, Iglesias was traded to the Tigers in a three-team deal at the July deadline. Stress fractures in both of his legs kept him out for the entire 2014 season, but Iglesias went on to make his lone All-Star Game in 2015 and served as the Tigers’ shortstop for four seasons.
Iglesias joined the Reds on a surprising minor league deal in late February of 2019, ultimately serving as the club’s starter at shortstop. He joined the Orioles as a free agent in January 2020, posting an uncharacteristic 160 wRC+ in 150 plate appearances. That led Baltimore to pick up Iglesias’ $3.5MM club option for 2021, though they traded him to the Angels for a pair of minor leaguers a month later. Iglesias took the bulk of the Angels’ innings at shortstop in 2021, yet was released in September. He came home to the Red Sox on a big league deal and hit well in his brief time there, though he was ineligible for the club’s postseason roster.
With a career 87 wRC+ at the plate, defense is Iglesias’ calling card. His Statcast Outs Above Average metrics dating back to 2016 have generally been above average. Iglesias’ Defensive Runs Saved metrics have been erratic, and he struggled in Ultimate Zone Rating in ’21.
Iglesias has endured what you might call a lack of respect from the game in the most recent years of his solid career, from the minor league deal with the Reds to the release by the Angels. Nonetheless, he’s served as his team’s primary shortstop in every season dating back to 2015, and just signed the largest contract of his big league career since coming over from Cuba. The post-lockout free agent market has quickly provided homes for the few non-star free agent players who tallied 500+ innings at shortstop in 2021, with the Cubs signing Andrelton Simmons to a $4MM deal yesterday and the Astros adding Niko Goodrum on a $2.1MM pact today. Story and Carlos Correa, with much higher expected price tags and qualifying offers attached, have yet to sign.
For the Rockies, Iglesias will help bridge the gap to their top shortstop prospect, 20-year-old Ezequiel Tovar. Baseball America ranked the Venezuelan ninth among Rockies prospects, explaining, “Tovar still has several years of growth ahead of him, but he’s talented enough defensively to eventually be the Rockies’ starting shortstop.” Having gone with an affordable light-hitting veteran option for 2022 in Iglesias, the Rockies figure to fill their stated goal of adding offense via the outfield.
Interesting… we knew Story was gone, this might be a good addition for them. Too bad he can’t pitch.
The strength of the Rockies roster is their starting pitching. The problem is hitting, especially on the road. Has been for years.
Wanted him back in Boston as a part time second baseman and backup elsewhere.
Yeah, I’m surprised. He was big after the trade and a huge clubhouse guy
Hope the Rox can give him the energy to be stellar on defense again
Smooch the Goose Watson
This signing reeks of “I have no idea what I’m doing”… Borja Iglesias is a soccer player, and he’s about to retire… 4/10
He passed the eye test at second base with the Red Sox after putting up Jeter-like defensive numbers at SS with Anaheim. It might be defensively optimal to put Iglesias at 2B and slide McMahon over to short while putting Fuentes/Hampson/Montero at third (barring any other moves by Colorado)
There’s also DH for one of those guys. Colorado should love the DH in that stadium.
They’ll probably rotate DH between Joe, Cron, Blackmon, Elias Diaz and whoever else Black decides to give an off-day to. Would not want Hampson or Fuentes at DH for long though
i like al conin
Brendan Rodgers is going to get his chance. Looks like he might be ticketed for 2b.
Forgot about him. He looked promising in the second half last season. I know people like to clown on the Rockies but they have a pretty solid group of young guys
Can’t shake the Rockies history of letting vets take away at bats from the young guys.
Fuentes isn’t on the Rockies anymore
I was talking about Nick not Josh
Ca$hman is still missing in action. These stopgap shortstops are all disappearing. No Galvis, No Simmons, and now no Iglesias. Ca$hman last seen on a milk carton.
it’s Story or Correa now.
Yeah, c’mon Trevor Story! Olson (or Freeman), Story, & we can still salvage this thing.
Every media-rumored stopgap SS for the Yankees is dropping off the board, and I’m fine with that, because it means something better is coming.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Man, gotta be. Right?
Doesn’t look like DeJong is available either. So: who left? Story, Rizzo, Pham, & a starter smells like that 95 win Hal-Ever-So-Sweet#Spot to me.
If I was the Cardinals I’d give you guys DeJong!!
Seems that way doesn’t it Clipper. I never thought Correa was a realistic possibility. Not much left. Cashman has always said their top priority has been shortstop, I don’t believe he ever mentioned a stop gap SS. The stop gap has only been speculation. Still think Rizzo is a possibility at 1B.
Mickey7s: Yeah, I could take Rizzo at 1B with Story and another add or two…. Like Ducky always says, spread that money on some depth after Story/Rizzo? Sure! That’s still a win for a team like the Yanks.
Olson/Freeman & Story though? Yeah, that’s big-league, man. I’m big on Villar if they’re going to spread the dough after Story & 1B, because he’s so useful and checks nearly all the boxes missing from the Yanks right now for pretty cheap comparatively.
Love Villar!!! He’s my fall back SS if Cash wiffs on Story. Would of course much prefer Story, but Villar/Urshela platoon at SS wouldn’t be a total disaster. As far as depth goes, would love another starting pitcher but not much left.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Keep forgetting about him. Pretty rugged with the glove as an everyday SS. Like that switch hitting power/speed combo though. We would have to get a good fielding 1Bman to make it work.
But it could.
Who’s turn to call Cash is it?
The problem with Villar/Urshela platoon is maybe adequate defense. How about including Gleyber as part of the Olson deal and having LeMahieu and 2nd and Urshela at third with Villar as utility?
Ducky Buckin Fent
I would be ecstatic to see Villar as the Tyler Wade replacement. That would be ideal, Mick.
Was just thinking about Villar as the proverbial stopgap.
Yanks completely M.I.A. on stopgap SS’s, Story on a pillow contract..? I can’t see it. But what do I know I’m a Tigers fan.
@TusconRon That’s what many are alluding to but I can’t see Story doing a one-year. He’ll be on the wrong side of 30 next year. Four-year minimum with an opt-out after ’22 would be my base.
@YBC Totally agree Story get his money and I also like the structure of a 4 year deal with opt outs.
Cashman will not sign or trade for a shortstop. You will see either Peraza or Urshela at short.
Jose Peraza? Highly doubt that. Yankees will go big.
I meant Oswald, and I could see how big they’re going so far. Steinbrenner still doesn’t want to breach the cap, unless they start unloading players which I don’t see.
Yankees will not go big at SS.
Yeah! Rockies coming through BIG time for once! Go Rox!!! Whoooo
I have no idea why he was interested but I hope the Kevin Newman rumors were true. I would much rather went with a cheapie.
Guess Brendan Rodgers is staying at 2B.
Pretty smack you in the face clear that story isn’t coming back now…
Did anyone think he was?
He never was going back. The FO peddled that false hope for both Story and Gray’s return since last year. Neither was ever gonna happen.
I wish the Angels were more patient with Iglesias. He and Fletcher up the middle were very good.
Great short gap.can man the position and hold it down good club house guy.
Excellent glove in the motor city !
Gave away Arenado. Don’t try to sign Story. What a piss poor organization.
He should have been signed by Boston to play 2b. He provided excellent defense late in the year.
Underrated SS. Gets on base and plays great at SS.