The Rockies have signed manager Bud Black to a one-year extension through the 2024 season, Black himself announced at Rockies camp this morning (Twitter link via Danielle Allentuck of the Denver Gazette).
The 2023 season will be the seventh at the Rockies’ helm for the 65-year-old Black, who’s thus far compiled a 417-453 record in that role. That losing mark is many ways reflective of persistently sub-par rosters that Black has been handed in recent years, though not for lack of trying. The Rockies have extended various players they’ve deemed core contributors — German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela, Kyle Freeland, Ryan McMahon among them — and as recently as last offseason put down a hefty $182MM investment in outfielder Kris Bryant as they’ve sought to put a contending team on the field.
That said, the Rox have also not only traded Nolan Arenado away but paid $50MM of his salary in order to facilitate that swap with the Cardinals, and they’ve at times sat out the free-agent market almost entirely (this season included). Colorado has endured four straight losing seasons and turned over the GM’s chair from Jeff Bridich to longtime scouting director Bill Schmidt, while also seeing an exodus in the assistant GM ranks and some turmoil in analytics department that’s among the smallest in the league.
Along the way, owner Dick Monfort has steadfastly refused to embark on any sort of rebuild, and even short-term “sell” moves at the deadline have been passed over. The Rockies, for instance, opted not to trade either Trevor Story or Jon Gray when both were impending free agents and the Rox were out of contention. Story walked and netted the Rockies a draft pick after rejecting a qualifying offer. Colorado did not extend a QO to Gray, essentially agreeing to let the former No. 3 overall pick leave with no compensation. Last summer, when closer Daniel Bard would’ve been one of the market’s most sought-after arms, the Rockies instead extended him on a two-year, $19MM contract. They took a similar approach with first baseman C.J. Cron the summer prior.
The commitment to fielding a winning club is commendable, but the decision-making behind those good intentions has often proven faulty. Schmidt is only entering his second full season as the team’s general manager, and he’ll surely have a fair bit of leash with regards to his autonomy in the baseball ops department.
Extending Black through the 2024 season assures hat the veteran skipper won’t play out the 2023 season under dreaded lame-duck status. It’ll also provide some further continuity and stability as Schmidt looks to turn the team’s fortunes and get the Rockies at least back to a respectable level of play. Monfort’s proclamation of a 94-win season prior to the 2020 campaign (before it was learned that the schedule would need to be shortened) drew plenty of criticism, and even his recent, more-measured suggestion that his club could play .500 ball this season has drawn similar scrutiny.
It’ll be incumbent upon Black to maximize the results from what looks like another flawed roster in 2023; the Rockies went into the offseason with the goal of acquiring a center fielder but came up empty in those pursuits, and the team’s already shaky rotation and bullpen went largely unaddressed as well. Colorado’s farm system has improved in recent years, but they’ll need some impactful contributions from the minor league ranks to right the ship. Black, entering his 16th season as a Major League manager, has plenty of experience in working to harness the young talent of up-and-coming prospects, but the Rockies will need to work some magic to avoid a fifth consecutive season finishing either fourth or fifth in the NL West.
You know a scene from MONEYBALL in the hallway between Beane/Seymour Hoffman’s Art Howe took place recently.
“I can’t manage this team on a one year deal.”
“Wellll sure ya can, Art!”
I remember when he pitched for the Royals. That was a long time ago. Nothing else to add.
Remembering when his batterymate was Steve Decker, forming the Black and Decker battery.
He was The Padres manager before he went to the Rox.
Only coach to have consecutive playoff years in franchise history… and the patience with the owners. Why not?
Manager. This is baseball.
Get Off My Mound
Poor Bud getting wasted away in Colorado. Then again, he keeps deciding to stay…
He keeps coming back because he probably wont be a manager for any of the other teams
Might as well. Liked by players and fans. Seems to do a decent job considering what he is given to work with.
Hey, if the most delusional franchise in pro sports wants to keep handing out money, why not? Nice retirement fund if you can get it.
I think it’s commendable on Bud Black’s part that he stays and deals with that front office and ownership. The man has a lot of patience.
Better than going home to mow the lawn.
Bud Black does a slightly above average job with a below average roster. He is no hero but it ain’t his fault. Owner spends ok but unwisely especially when they overpay for guys in spots where they are less valuable like Desmond and Bryant. And they should have just let Arenado opt out rather than pay 50 million for Montero.
The Rockies most significant move of the offseason!
Ski to Coors
At least its only a year. If pitching doesn’t improve soon, they need to move on in 2025.
If the Rockies were to win a WS someday with him at the helm it’d make a great story. Nice to see management not blame him for their failures like most other teams.
He is the only one in mgmt that has a clue. Fire him, lose 100.
The Rockies might not be the worst run team in baseball or pro sports, but they’re certainly in the running.
As long as Dick Monfort is under the impression he’s smarter than everyone else, this probably won’t change.
And people show up to the games — attendance annually is always good — and the TV ratings are at least okay, Monfort probably assumes he doesn’t need to do anything differently.
Montfort’s legacy has largely already been written:in nearly 3 decades, not one division title. Not one World Series win and yet he keeps pressing on with his loyalty first approach. Poor Rockies fans literally have no hope.
I don’t understand starting a sentence with “ The Rockies, for instance, opted not…” instead of the clearer “For instance, the Rockies opted not…”
MLBTR’s writers get pretty distinct.
The Rockies trading out Nolan for Kris Bryant has to be one of the dumbest decision making of the last decade.