Quantrill, 29 in February, spent the past three and a half years with Cleveland. He first qualified for arbitration for the 2022 season as a Super Two player. He made $2.51MM that year and then $5.55MM last year. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected him for a raise to $6.6MM in 2024 but the Guards decided to move on, designating him for assignment in November to open a roster spot prior to the Rule 5 draft. Shortly thereafter, he was acquired by the Rockies, with minor league catcher Kody Huff going the other way.
Friday is the deadline for clubs and arbitration-eligible players to submit salary figures, with hearings set to take place in late January. Many cases will be resolved as that deadline approaches, such as this case, with Quantrill agreeing to a salary just a shade below the projection.
Quantrill is coming off a frustrating season but had a solid run over the three prior campaigns. From 2020 to 2022, the righty tossed 368 innings with an earned run average of 3.08. His 18.4% strikeout rate was subpar, but he limited walks to a 6.7% rate, got grounders at a 42.7% clip and generally limited hard contact. Last year, however, his ERA shot up to 5.24 in a season where he twice went to the injured list due to shoulder inflammation. His walk rate was still good but his punchouts dropped to 13.1% as his hard hit rate and barrel rate both ticked up.
The Rockies are almost always in need of pitching and that’s especially been the case lately. Attracting free agents to the hitter-friendly environs of Coors Field is always a challenge and significant injuries have hit incumbents arms, with each of Germán Márquez and Antonio Senzatela currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. Quantrill should be locked into a rotation spot to start the year alongside Kyle Freeland, with pitchers like Dakota Hudson, Ryan Feltner, Austin Gomber, Peter Lambert and Noah Davis also in the mix.
If Quantrill is able to have a bounceback season in 2024, he can be retained via arbitration in 2025. That could be by the Rockies or perhaps some other club, if Quantrill is throwing well enough to be a midseason trade candidate.