Scott Boras' clients very rarely sign hometown discounts buying out free agent years, as Rox Girl discussed yesterday. Yet Dan O'Dowd appears to have gotten his 25-year-old superstar outfielder to agree to a 7-year $80million extension, which seems too cheap to be true to some. Dan Szymborski (father of ZiPS) projects it to be a savings of $18-32million, depending on whether he plays as a center fielder or left fielder.
I will let Jeff Aberle expand more upon the financials and contract details tomorrow. I am sure he will provide a more than convincing case that the benefits of the contract outweigh the risks, although some have already expressed "slight concern," behind some of Gonzalez' weaker peripherals.
Provided this deal actually goes through, the Rockies will have actually gone for broke in locking down two superstar players. The news symbolically came as the Broncos clinched the NFL's second-worst record. The Nuggets appear to be on the last gasp of a decline, and while the Avalanche are trending upward, they remain a 6th-9th seed after failing to win any of their past six games in regulation. The Rockies are surging and the Monforts are grabbing the torch in an attempt to paint Denver purple. Thusly, this offseason could be critical not only for the Rockies, but for the entire sports scene in Colorado.
So that's pretty interesting. But one of the under-discussed themes of the offseason (and possibly most interesting to me) was recently brought up by Todd Helton:
"Eight years ago, this wouldn't have happened. Guys would come to Colorado but just use it to go somewhere else after a rebound year," - Todd Helton, via Troy Renck
Remember Chris Stynes? Royce Clayton? Todd Zeile? Shawn Estes? Jeromy Burnitz? Jose Hernandez? Yeah. While offseason fluff pieces can be filled with quotes by players who apparently love playing for their current team, the passion from players desiring to play in purple pinstripes (and at a discount) is unmistakenly greater than ever before:
- "It's not about getting top dollar. I don't want to be anywhere else. We are going to win here...I can see myself being a Rockie for life." - Troy Tulowitzki, via Troy Renck
- "I am very happy with this agreement...I like the Rockies. They are a great team." - Carlos Gonzalez, via Troy Renck
- Jorge De La Rosa rebuffed more lucrative offers to remain a Rockie... "Why did I do it? Because I wanted to be a Rockie." - Jorge de la Rosa, via Troy Renck
It has not just been the big three contracts handed out that have been so happy with the organization. Several spurned role players were practically begging for the Rockies to retain them rather than testing the open market, but only one has ever been on the Rockies' radar.
Joe Beimel claimed the Rockies were his first choice, Jeff Francis wanted to stay, Melvin Mora wanted to retrun, while Miguel Olivo and Jason Giambi were each on record multiple times that they loved playing in Colorado.
Rockies management have clearly fostered an environment that attracts quality players. As 20th and Blake becomes more of a desirable destination for players, so too will it be for fans. Fans bring revenue, and the snowball commences flying down the hill.
Baseball Video Highlights & Clips | Start practicing your handshakes - Video | MLB.com: Multimedia Don't miss the Rockies' promotional videos, which won't make waiting for April even harder.
Twitter / Mike Puma: The Mets signed Chris Capuano and Taylor Buchholz. Naturally, Buchholz is noteworthy in that he was a former Rockie and the best piece received in the trade for Jason Jennings, who still ranks second in franchise history in wins. But Capuano is arguably more noteworthy, as the Mets will no longer be in pursuit of Jeff Francis. The weak possibility that the market will fold and Francis returns on a minor league contract just rose slightly.
MLB: if Adrian Beltre is in Texas, Michael Young is back on the market, even on his own team - ESPN Buster Olney says the CarGo deal "sure as heck seems like a great win-win" situation.
Cincinnati Reds » Setting the market for Votto? | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty said he is "sure (the CarGo contract) will affect (a Votto extension) some down the line."