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MLB Offseason 2017: Reviewing the Rockies existing contracts

Colorado Rockies have five players under contract for 2018

Previously, we began looking at the status of every player currently on the Rockies 40-man roster. We covered the free agents earlier as well as anyone with options in the first article, so be sure to check that out. Now, we move forward to the players that have a guaranteed contract for 2018 as well as the player that may be going through arbitration this offseason unless the team decides to non-tender them.

Under Contract

Nolan Arenado

Rather than go year-to-year in arbitration with Arenado, the Rockies bought our last year and this year’s arbitration with a two-year deal that will pay Arenado $17.75M this season. That buyout will probably save the Rockies roughly $3M in arbitration this offseason as Arenado would have been in line for over $20M in arbitration this offseason if he had chosen to go to arbitration each season.

After 2018, he will still be under Rockies control for 2019 in his final year of arbitration. With the Rockies having proven that they are a contender and no contentious arbitration to worry about this offseason, now might be the perfect time to start negotiations on a long-term deal with Arenado.

Ian Desmond

With so much money coming off the books this offseason, the Rockies structured Desmond’s contract so that he would earn $8 million last season but $22 million this season. The contract levels off at $15 million in 2019 and 2020 and then drops back to $8 million in 2021. As poorly as Desmond performed in his debut season for the Rockies, the idea that he will earn $22 million this next season is stomach-turning. Hopefully, he bounces back in a big way in 2018 and we can stop talking about how bad his contract is.

Mike Dunn

Dunn has three years left on the deal that he signed last offseason. He’ll earn $7 million each of the next two seasons and has a vesting $6 million option for 2020. The option will vest if Dunn has 130 appearances combined in 2018 and 2019, or 60 appearances in 2019. Dunn’s first season with the Rockies was a roller coaster mostly due to an injury early in the season. Both before the injury and after he got back on track, Dunn was a solid piece of the bullpen. While I hate having relievers under contract for as long as Dunn is due to the volatile nature of relievers, he should be able to earn his salary next season rather easily.

Adam Ottavino

So about that volatile reliever statement. Ottavino had the most disappointing season of any Rockies pitcher last season. Prior to the Greg Holland signing, Ottavino was supposed to be the Rockies closer. By the end of the season, Ottavino wasn’t even on the Wild Card roster. Ottavino will earn $7 million in 2018, the final year of his contract. Hopefully an offseason of work will help Ottavino harness his electric stuff again and return to his dominant form. The Rockies will probably be needing to fill Holland’s shoes this offseason and it’s sad that the former heir apparent will probably not be involved in many conversations surrounding that hole.

Gerardo Parra

Coming into 2017, Parra’s contract was seen as the huge albatross on the Rockies books. Thanks to Desmond’s struggles and Parra’s rebound, the $10 million that he will earn in 2018 is hardly worth noting. Due to David Dahl’s disappearance and Carlos Gonzalez hitting free agency, Parra will probably be one of the Rockies starting outfielders along with Charlie Blackmon and Raimel Tapia next season. The Rockies have a $12M team option for 2019 as well with a $1.5 million buyout and that decision will probably rest on how Tapia and Dahl perform this next season.