New Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt has been busy today. Hot off the heels Antonio Senzatela’s five year extension, the Colorado Rockies have announced that they have come to an agreement with power-hitting first baseman CJ Cron.
The two year deal will keep CJ with the Rockies through the 2023 season and pay him $14.5 million—a nice pay raise for the 31-year-old first baseman who signed a one-year minor league contract with the Rockies before the 2021 season.
Cron was the true offensive leader for the Rockies this year, posting career-high numbers and leading the club in multiple fields:
CJ Cron - 2021 Batting Stats
He also had a truly explosive August, slashing .387/.463/.828 with 11 home runs, 34 RBIs, and a wRC+ of 217—league high marks for the month across the board except for home runs, where he trailed the Royals’ Salvador Perez by one.
CJ Cron provided overall production from the first base position that the Rockies have rarely seen since Todd Helton retired after the 2013 season, and matches Justin Morneau’s 3.4 bWAR as the majority starter. He hit the second-most home runs of any first baseman from 2014-2021 (behind Mark Reynolds’ 30 in 2017), the best OBP and SLG, and third-best overall batting average. Cron was also solid defensively, though his overall fielding percentage was hurt by early- and late-season season errors—five from April 1st through May 22nd, and four in September. However, from May 23rd to August 31st he committed just just one total error at first base.
Rockies 1B - 2014 to 2021
By locking down Cron for the next two seasons, the Rockies hope he will continue providing strong production at first base, while at the same time giving their first base prospects more time to develop. Michael Toglia, the team’s best first base prospect, only just reached Double-A Hartford this season, and he struggled to adjust to the higher level of play. Meanwhile, Grant Lavigne played the season with High-A Spokane. Colton Welker reached the majors this year, and will likely still see some playing time at both first and third base in the future.
★ ★ ★
Purple Row is monitoring this situation and will continue to update as more information becomes available.