The Rockies might be headed to arbitration with Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu, according to the salary filings reported by Jon Heyman.
First, the Rockies and Blackmon filed substantially different arbitration numbers:
Charlie Blackmon filed at 3.9M, rockies at 2.7M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 15, 2016
Both figures are lower than the $4.5 million MLB Trade Rumors projected Blackmon to get. The divide is notable for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the low offer suggests that the Rockies are willing to let an arbitrator decide the case. The divide indicates that there's little chance for agreement, and an arbitration case is almost certain to take place. It also might be a sign that the Rockies intend to trade Blackmon very soon. Doing so would essentially pass the case on to his new team.
Blackmon hit .287/.347/.450 in 2015. The numbers that might be most significant for an arbitration case, however, are his 17 home runs and 43 stolen bases. These are the types of statistics that have more weight in such hearings. In other words, Blackmon has a good shot at winning this case if it comes to it.
The divide between the Rockies and LeMahieu isn't quite as large:
Dj lemahieu filed at 3.3M, rockies at 2.8M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 15, 2016
LeMahieu hit .301/.388/.388 in 2015 and made his first All-Star appearance. He was also a finalist for the Gold Glove award, but he was unable to capture it for the second consecutive year. While the gap is only half a million dollars, it is still possible that this case goes to an arbitrator as well. MLB Trade Rumors projected LeMahieu to get $3.7 million.
Last offseason, the Rockies went to arbitration with Wilin Rosario. Rosario filed for $3.3 million, while the Rockies filed for $2.8 million. The Rockies won the case. It was the first time that the Rockies had gone to arbitration with a player since Brian Fuentes in 2008. This year, they might be headed there with two players.
Earlier today, it was reported that the Rockies and Nolan Arenado avoided arbitration, as the sides agreed to a $5 million deal. Stay tuned to Purple Row for further developments in the Blackmon and LeMahieu cases.