The Colorado Rockies have signed left-handed reliever Mike Dunn to a three-year, $19 million deal. The contract also has a club option for the fourth year worth $6 million and has a buyout of $1 million. The option can also vest if Dunn pitches 130 game in 2018-2019 combined, or 60 games in 2019.
UPDATE 12/15 10:29 a.m. MT:
Thomas Harding is reporting that the breakdown of the deal is $4 million in 2017, $7 million in both 2018 and 2019, with a $1 million buyout on the $6 million option in 2020. Similar to the Ian Desmond contract, this provides the Rockies with more flexibility this year while the team is still paying off the Reyes contract.
The Rockies have also schedule the press conference to introduce Dunn at 12:30 MST today.
In typical Rockies fashion, the deal was negotiated in complete silence and the first rumor anyone heard of the deal was in USA Today’s report on the Rockies this morning. Bob Nightengale first reported that the Rockies were hoping to Dunn to a multi-year deal by the end of the week but it appears that the Rockies have moved even quicker than expected. The team has already scheduled a press conference to introduce Dunn for this afternoon.
The former Florida Marlin was one of the best relievers left on the market with the big three closers having now signed. Over the past four years, Dunn has struck out 242 batters in 221 innings (9.9 K/9) and recorded a 3.38 ERA and 3.44 FIP. Over that same time frame Dunn has a 114 ERA+. For his eight-year MLB career the numbers are very similar, with a 3.54 ERA, 3.70 FIP, and 110 ERA+ while racking up 10.0 K/9.
Nightengale’s report also mentions that the Rockies may still not be done after signing Dunn. He says that the Rockies are still in negotiations with both Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnación. This seems to imply that the Rockies are still trying to trade either Charlie Blackmon or Carlos González. However, Jayson Stark from ESPN is reporting that it seems doubtful that the Rockies will be able to trade Blackmon due to their demands.
The other big piece of information from Nightengale’s report is he puts a number on what has previously only been Dick Monfort’s vague promise to raise the Rockies’ payroll to record levels. It appears that that raise is at least $20 million over last season’s $109.7 million payroll.
The Rockies current salary commitments, including Desmond’s new contract, is $83 million. Add in Nolan Arenado, Tyler Chatwood and Blackmon’s expected arbitration salaries and the minimum salary commitments to the pre-arbitration players and the Rockies currently are sitting at roughly a $117 million payroll. With Dunn’s expected $6 million salary, that leaves the Rockies with $7 million which doesn’t seem to be enough to sign one of the free agent first baseman unless they first trade one of their outfielders.