The Colorado Rockies reached deals with three of their eight arbitration-eligible players yesterday, signing outfielder Drew Stubbs and starting pitcher Jordan Lyles to one-year deals worth $5.825 million and $2.475 million, respectively. The team also reached an agreement on a two-year, $2 million deal with right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
You can read about the already completed deals here, but the attention now turns to the five players with whom the Rockies must reach deals if they want to avoid going to salary arbitration for the first time since 2008.
The headliner of the group is right-handed pitcher Jhoulys Chacin. The 27-year-old is coming off an injury-plagued 2014 that saw him make just 11 starts and post a career-worst 5.40 ERA. However, in the three seasons in which he has pitched at least 100 innings, he has had ERAs below 3.70. Look for him to get a deal in the $5 million range, as projected by Matt Swartz, in his final year of arbitration eligibility.
The Rockies have two other arbitration-eligible pitchers yet to sign, both relievers. Righty Adam Ottavino is coming off his third-straight solid season with the Rockies, having posted a 3.60 ERA in 75 appearances, heading into his first year of arbitration eligibility. Lefty Rex Brothers is also a first-time arbitration candidate, but has his worst big league season in 2014, posting a 5.59 ERA.
In addition to the three pitchers yet to sign, the Rockies have a pair of catchers eligible for arbitration in Wilin Rosario and Michael McKenry. Rosario has been the subject of much trade speculation this winter, but the more immediate issue looks to be finalizing a deal with him for the 2015 season. McKenry figures to be back with the Rockies next season after his best year as a big leaguer in 2014.
Sorting through Shortstop - Rockies Zingers
J.J. Buck takes a luck at the system-wide depth the Rockies have at shortstop, starting at the major league level with Troy Tulowitzki and looking at several shortstop prospects including Rosell Herrera and Trevor Story.
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An offseason overhaul that saw the additions of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez has the Red Sox atop Buster Olney's rankings of the best lineups in baseball, with the Rockies coming in a strong fourth, the highest National League team on the list behind just Boston, the LA Angels and Toronto.
The Multiple Plans the Astros Might Have Involving Evan Gattis - Fangraphs
The Astros strengthened their lineup yesterday with the addition of Evan Gattis, whom they acquired for a trio of prospects in a trade with the Braves. Jeff Sullivan has a look with a few of the ways Houston may deploy Gattis in 2015.
Yunel Escobar perfect short-term filler for Nationals' middle-infield - SI.com
Another trade of note yesterday saw Washington ship middle reliever Tyler Clippard to Oakland for infielder Yunel Escobar, Cliff Corcoran examines what Escobar will bring to the Nationals infield this year.