The Rockies and left-hander Austin Gomber have agreed to a $1.65MM salary for 2023 and thus avoided arbitration, reports Robert Murray of FanSided. This comes in just under the $1.8MM figure that was projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. The Rockies subsequently announced that they have indeed signed Gomber to a one-year deal.
Gomber, 29, was a Cardinals draftee but he came over to the Rockies prior to the 2021 season as part of the Nolan Arenado trade. His first season with Colorado went well, as he made 23 starts and tossed 115 1/3 innings. He posted an ERA of 4.53 in that time along with a 23.2% strikeout rate, 8.4% walk rate and 44.3% ground ball rate.
Last year, however, he wasn’t able to be quite as effective. By the middle of June, he was sitting on a 6.43 ERA through 12 starts. He spent more time in the bullpen from that point on, making five further starts and 16 relief appearances. He had better results in the second half and pushed his season down but it still settled at a high level of 5.56.
Disappointing results aside, Gomber crossed the three-year service mark and qualified for arbitration for the first time. He’ll get a modest raise this year and will be in line for two further trips through arbitration after that before reaching free agency. It’s possible he may get a shot to retake a rotation job since the club has been fairly quiet in that department this offseason. Antonio Senzatela suffered a torn ACL last year and will likely miss the beginning of the season. Until he returns, the rotation projects to be Germán Márquez, Kyle Freeland and José Ureña, with Gomber, Ryan Feltner, Peter Lambert and Noah Davis the candidates for the back end.