At the end of last week, reports of the Adam Ottavino extension made their way onto the internet. Early this week, the club made it official and GM Jeff Bridich spoke about it.
The key quote from Bridich comes here:
"We believe in him; we believe in his rehab progress. We believe that the risk was a good one, based on his talent, his health prognosis and the shared interest in an extended deal."
What this deal tells you is that the Rockies believe Ottavino will become the pitcher he was last April long term once he gets back on the mound. The $7 million the Rockies now owe Ottavino in 2018 is a bargain for a free agent reliever of that caliber who would otherwise be on the market, but a gross overpay for a guy who had question marks surrounding his return.
If the medical staff has done their homework here and there's no major setback, this should end up looking like a good move three years from now. It won't help the club in 2016 as he still isn't due back until mid season, but it should help the club in 2017 (he'll come cheap at $2.1 million) and 2018 (where he otherwise would have been a free agent making a salary that contained an extra digit).
I also don't mind the deal being back loaded. This is a $10.4 million commitment by the Rockies either way. They wouldn't have saved money overall if they made it a flat $3.5 million each year. The money they may have saved here comes in the form of paying Ottavino just $2.1 million 2017, and paying him $7 million instead of about $12 million in 2018. This is different from the Nolan Arenado extension I proposed where you pay him more up front in 2016 to potentially cap the overall figure he makes over a four year period.
Ottavino's injury is already capping that long term money here, and you only get that bargain if you hand him the cash before he comes back 100 percent. The Rockies did that here, and if they're right about what he'll look like when he comes back, it's going to be a win for everybody.
We've talked about the Tulo trade from scores of different angles here, but one that we haven't gone into much is the unique perspective of Trevor Story. After Story was drafted, Tulo took the young shortstop under his wing and worked with him in the offseason.
When Tulo was traded, Story lost a good friend and mentor, but also gained a wide open path to the shortstop position at Coors Field. The summer of 2015 will go down as a very bittersweet season in his young career.
I expect Story to start the year at Triple-A Albuquerque, but by the middle of the season, I think he's playing his home games at 20th and Blake.
Christmas came early this year folks! You will no longer have to mute your TV during World Series games because you can't bear listening to Harold's hogwash for another inning. Now of course, we're not completely out of the woods yet as far as the post season is concerned since there's four broadcast teams for the LDS round. There's still a chance Harold could land on another one of those, but hopefully that doesn't happen.
John Smoltz will be the new lead analyst in the Fox booth with Joe Buck, and while I don't think Smoltz is a terrible choice, the guy I wish they got for the role is Pedro Martinez. He's knowledgeable, he's palpably passionate about baseball, he's experienced in big games, he's fun, and he brings an ethnic flair that sets baseball apart from a sport like the NFL. He's basically everything MLB should be marketing right now, but I'm not going to complain too much since dumping Reynolds was a move that deserves a standing ovation.
Going from the worst possible choice as an analyst to the best in one move was probably too much to ask for.