The Colorado Rockies announced Wednesday evening that they have non-tendered outfielder David Dahl, catcher Tony Wolters and pitcher Chi Chi González.
The Rockies announced today that they have non-tendered OF David Dahl, RHP Chi Chi González and C Tony Wolters.— Rockies Club Information (@RockiesClubInfo) December 3, 2020
The Rockies currently have 37 players on their 40-man roster.
Wednesday at 6 PM MT was the deadline for teams to tender contracts to players for the 2021 season. Dahl, González and Wolters were all eligible for arbitration.
In his second year of arbitration, Dahl was projected to earn $2.6 million, as projected by MLB Trade Rumors. In his third season of arbitration eligibility, Wolters was projected at $2.05 million. For González, he was projected to make $1.2 million in his first year of arbitration.
The Rockies went to an arbitration hearing with Wolters prior to the 2020 season after both sides could not agree on a contract. The judge sided with the Rockies, who offered $1.9 million, while Wolters filed at $2.475 million.
For obvious reasons, there will not be a need for a hearing with Wolters in 2021, as he, Dahl and González will now hit the free agent market.
Bridich met with members of the Denver media shortly after the Wednesday evening announcement and referred to the roster moves as “business decisions.”
The oft-injured Dahl was the 10th overall pick by the Rockies in 2012. He made the All-Star team in 2019 and is a .286 career hitter. In 24 games in 2020, Dahl struggled to the tune of a .183/.222/.247 slash line in what was another season shortened due to injury.
When asked about the decision to non-tender Dahl, Bridich said that “there are a good number of outfielders that we currently have on the roster, some of whom we’d like to get hopefully some more playing time.”
The Rockies currently have six outfielders on their 40-man roster: Charlie Blackmon, Bret Boswell, Yonathan Daza, Ian Desmond, Sam Hilliard, and Raimel Tapia. Garrett Hampson was also mentioned by Bridich as a possibility to stay in the outfield.
“And then there’s some financial decisions and the health part of it too,” Bridich continued, “which has been a struggle for David at times with us. It will be a new opportunity for him to find…a great opportunity somewhere else and get to know a new team. Sometimes it’s not always what you want to do, but sometimes what you have to do.”
Wolters has been the Rockies’ primary catcher over the past five seasons and has rated as an above average defender and several members of the pitching staff have spoken highly of his presence behind the plate. The offense of Wolters has been well below average, however, even for the typically limited position. In 391 games with the Rockies, Wolters has batted .238/.323/.319. He hit .230/.280/.270 in 42 games in 2020.
In regards to Wolters, Bridich didn’t have much to say. He did say “it falls under the category of ‘this is not business as usual’ and sometimes you have to make difficult decisions. Were there financial decisions in play? Yeah, that was part of it. And I think we also feel good about having somebody like Dom Nuñez, who is banging at the major league door to become part of a major league catching rotation, and we came to an agreement with Elias Diaz as well. So we’ll see what other catchers that we can bring into the fold to complement those guys, but that’s a decision we had to make.”
González suited up for the Rockies for the second straight year in 2020, collecting a 6.86 ERA in 19 2⁄3 innings. He signed a minor league deal with the Rockies prior to the 2019 season and remained on the 40-man roster ever since his contract was selected.
This could be just one of a number of salary-shedding moves made by the Rockies this offseason.