Friday was the deadline for teams to come to terms with their arbitration-eligible players. The Colorado Rockies had eight such players with contracts to figure out for the 2019 season. Here are the individual cases:
- Nolan Arenado was the one player that the Rockies failed to agree to terms with on Friday. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Rockies had filed at $24 million, while Arenado was seeking $30 million. MLB Trade Rumors had pegged Arenado for a $26.1 million payday in his final trip through the arbitration process before hitting free agency. Any of the amounts would set a record for an arbitration-eligible player. Some players that don’t sign by the filing deadline go to arbitration hearings with their teams come February. The Rockies do not typically go to hearings with their players. In fact, the last time the Rox went to trial was with Wilin Rosario in 2015. Fortunately, Jeff Passan of ESPN tweeted that there is “a strong sense” that the two sides can work out their differences and an arbitration hearing will not be necessary for Arenado. Not having to go to a hearing (where the Rockies would need to argue why Arenado isn’t worthy of receiving more money) will likely be very important if there is a hope of retaining his services after the 2019 season.
- Trevor Story agreed to a $5 million contract in his first crack at arbitration, the Rockies announced. MLB Trade Rumors had projected a $6.4 million payday for Story.
- Chad Bettis signed a $3.325 million deal in his second go-around through arbitration, as announced by the Rockies. MLB Trade Rumors had forecasted a $3.2 million contract for the right-handed hurler.
- Jon Gray agreed to a $2.925 million deal in his first pass through arbitration, the Rockies announced. MLB Trade Rumors had predicted a $3.2 million deal for Gray.
- Tyler Anderson signed for $2.625 million, the Rockies announced. MLB Trade Rumors had pegged Anderson for a $2.9 million contract in his first trip through the arbitration process.
- Chris Rusin actually agreed to his deal back on November 29, as announced by the Rockies. Rusin will take home $1.6875 million in 2019, his second journey through arbitration. He had been projected to earn $1.7 million by MLB Trade Rumors.
- Scott Oberg signed a $1.3 million deal for 2019, the Rockies announced. MLB Trade Rumors forecasted a $1.2 million deal for the first-time arbitration-eligible reliever.
- Tony Wolters agreed to a $960,000 deal for the 2019 season, as announced by the Rockies. Wolters, in his first trip through the arbitration process, had been projected to receive a $1.1 million contract by MLB Trade Rumors.
Here is the link to all of MLB Trade Rumors’ arbitration contract projections for the 2019 season. Below is the Rockies’ official announcement regarding their arbitration signings.
The Colorado Rockies announced today that the club has agreed to terms on one-year contracts with seven arbitration-eligible players. pic.twitter.com/VuCIRET1ns— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) January 12, 2019
This gives us a much better idea of what the projected 2019 salary looks like, even with exact terms for Arenado still pending.
Rockies Projected 2019 Payroll
|Nolan Arenado #||$26.1|
When you add it all up, that’s $140.825 million committed to players for the 2019 season. Last year the Rockies ran an Opening Day payroll of $136.9 million, a new franchise record. If the Monforts continue their trend of raising payroll by $9 million or more, Jeff Bridich could take advantage of the (*ahem*) buyer’s market and add a couple small pieces, possibly to the bullpen.
Even if Bridich makes no more signings, expect that number to go up a little bit once Nolan and the Rockies agree. The midpoint between the two would be $27 million, which would make a ~$142 million payroll for 2019 Opening Day. No matter what, Nolan will set a record for an arbitration eligible player, and so the 2019 payroll will be a Rockies record.