March 15: Colome is guaranteed $4.1MM on the contract, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
March 12: The Rockies have agreed to a one-year deal with Alex Colome, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas reports (via Twitter). The contract will become official when Colome passes a physical. Colome is represented by the Wasserman Agency.
Daniel Bard and Carlos Estevez combined for 31 of the Rockies’ 33 total saves in 2021, though Colome’s more established track record as a closer could make him the top ninth-inning choice for the Rox next year. Bard and Estevez could be moved back into set-up roles, or manager Bud Black could simply take a committee approach with his closer’s role.
Colome is coming off something of an unusual season that saw him post a respectable 4.15 ERA over 65 innings with the Twins, despite a swath of unfavorable Statcast metrics. While Colome’s bottom-line numbers have generally been much better than his advanced metrics over his career, Minnesota still declined its end of a $5.5MM mutual option on Colome’s services for 2022, instead buying the reliever out for $1.25MM.
Apart from the 22 1/3-inning outlier of the shortened 2020 season, Colome has always posted below-average hard-hit ball rates over his career. While his whiff rate has remained above average, Colome’s strikeout rates have been mediocre since the start of the 2019 season, while his walk rates have hovered around the league average mark. A .211 BABIP was of great help to Colome during his 2019-20 seasons with the White Sox, as his 2.27 ERA was far below his 4.52 xFIP and 4.42 SIERA over those two years.
Generating grounders has become an increasingly large part of Colome’s gameplan as his strikeouts have been on the wane, and the 53.4% grounder rate he has posted over the last two seasons will be of great help at Coors Field. After spending all nine of his MLB seasons in the American League, the 33-year-old has only a single appearance at Coors Field over his 393 career games.