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Sunday Rockpile: Renck asks who's next on the long term commitment list?

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Troy Renck argues that Jhoulys Chacin might be next in line among Rockies for a multi-season extension, following the pattern set by the team in locking up other young arbitration eligible players. Chacin's not a bad choice, and I'd probably tend to agree given that the one other likely option for this type of contract would be Dexter Fowler, and the chances of him signing a multi-season pact before free agency diminish significantly with Scott Boras as an agent. While you can go ahead and click on the link to read more about Chacin's situation (O'Dowd says it's not going to happen just yet) this got me to thinking about how likely that it would be that Fowler would be open to such an extension and willing to buck the Boras trend and advice ala Carlos Gonzalez last winter.

First of all, the background is that Fowler's set to reach free agency in advance of the 2016 season. 2016 is distant enough that even with Boras as an agent, there is a decent chance that Fowler signs a three year pact next winter to give the Rockies some cost certainty with the center fielder through his arbitration years. Fowler would have to produce above his last two seasons' production in 2012 obviously to make this happen, but at that point it's a matter of how much a stretch it would be to add a season or two to the contract. Given that Fowler will be 30 at the time of his current projected entry into the open market, it already might be a stretch as he'd want to maximize that first free agency contract, and it might be undesirable for the Rockies anyway to lock a declining player too deep into their fourth decade. That said, with Gonzalez in tow until 2017, I would think the Rockies might want to try to keep Fowler around at least through the same period.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rockies push for a three year contract plus a fourth year, fairly lucrative option should Fowler have a strong 2012.

Renck also talks about a humidor in Colorado Springs, which apparently isn't going to happen this upcoming season, but needs to fairly soon if the Rockies want to have the Sky Sox as anything more than an extended bench. Developmentally for the big league club, the place remains mostly useless in its current state.