If the cost of a star shortstop from here on out is going to be $16 million a season -in light of the Michael Young extension with the Rangers yesterday- then the Rockies better start saving. Essentially what that means is that the moment Todd Helton's contract officially comes off the books, we could expect it to be taken up again by Troy Tulowitzki. I mean, we should at least hope Tulo will be that type of player.
Let's also hope that there's either a market correction before Troy reaches free agency, or that revenues catch up to these contracts that are being dished out. Even if we can project the payroll going up to $80 million or so in five years, that still means a $16 million contract takes up a fifth of that, at $100 million, it's a sixth of payroll, which is probably still too much for any one player. The problem is that good shortstops are still enough of a scarcity, that it could be a cost we have to swallow if we want to compete. Should Hector Gomez materialize into as solid a player, then maybe we could just deal Tulo for a lot of goods to feed the farm, but otherwise, this could mean trouble.
Cain the pain will be a more direct thorn in the Rockies' side over the next four seasons, as the Giants re-upped their number one starter to keep him away from the arbiter.
Tracy Ringolsby had a piece this morning on Ubaldo Jimenez. There's also a note in there that the Rockies picking up Oscar Rivera from Yucatan "seems probable" at this point. He also says in a separate article that reconsidering the Helton trade as a possibility is a waste of time, and implies there's still some bad blood over the breakdown in talks last month.