Carlos González signed a minor-league contract with Cleveland on Saturday. That probably brings an end to CarGo as a member of the Colorado Rockies. While it wouldn’t have made any sense roster-wise, most Rockies fans probably felt that there was a slim possibility that they’d bring him back on another one year deal — even while hoping that it wouldn’t happen.
The Rockies acquired González in the Matt Holliday trade with the A’s after the 2008 season. While CarGo’s free agency last year technically shut the door on the life of the trade, that he has now signed with another team truly finalizes it. In his 10 years with the team, CarGo ranks fifth among all players in Baseball-Reference WAR — five ahead of Holliday, who ranks sixth. González has played the second most games for the Rockies in team history. His 1,247 games is exactly 1,000 behind Told Helton’s career 2,247 games. He also ranks in the top ten in just about every imaginable offensive category:
Hits: 1,330 (3rd)
Home runs: 227 (4th)
Doubles: 277 (3rd)
Triples: 39 (3rd)
RBI: 739 (4th)
Walks: 417 (4th)
Strikeouts: 1,107 (2nd)
Stolen bases: 118 (3rd)
Batting average: .290 (10th)
On-base percentage: .349 (10th)
Slugging percentage: .516 (7th)
OPS+: 116 (6th)
Courtesy of Baseball Reference’s Play Index
As a member of the Rockies, CarGo also won three Gold Gloves, made three All-Star Games, and came in third in the National League MVP race in 2010 — easily the best season of his career. And, while not quantifiable, I’m confident in saying CarGo had the prettiest swing in Rockies history (Nick Walsh picked the right swing to highlight here).
CarGo’s a pretty good bet to make the team in Cleveland. It’ll be a bit weird to see him in a different uniform, but CarGo makes a lot more sense playing for them than he does for us. Let’s wish him and his dazzling swing the best of luck.