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Rockies sign José Iglesias to major league contract

The journeyman shortstop’s signing closes the book on Trevor Story

General manager Bill Schmidt and the Colorado Rockies have made their first major league signing in free agency, and it wasn’t the move people expected. The Rockies have signed journeyman shortstop José Iglesias to a one year, $5 million contract for the 2022 season.

The 32-year old Cuban shortstop made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2011, but rose to prominence with the Detroit Tigers from 2013 to 2018. He’s a career .277/.318/.382 hitter over ten total seasons and 10.5 career bWAR. Iglesias played the majority of last season with the Los Angeles Angels, where he slashed .259/.295/.375 through 114 games before being released in September. The Boston Red Sox signed him shortly after for their playoff push, where his bat showed new life. In 23 games and 59 at-bats, Iglesias hit for .356/.406/.508.

The biggest issue Iglesias had in 2021 was his defense. Normally known for his flashy and acrobatic defense at shortstop, Iglesias struggled immensely with the glove. He posted a total -1.4 defensive WAR with a -6.1 UZR and a league worst -22 DRS.

The signing of Iglesias makes it clear that Trevor Story is not returning, and he is immediately in the running to start at shortstop. The Rockies could also choose to deploy him at second base, depending on what develops during spring training with Alan Trejo and Trevor Story.

The Rockies also signed 31-year old right fielder Scott Schebler to a minor league contract this afternoon with an invitation to spring training. Schebler made his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers before a four year stint with the Cincinnati Reds. As the Reds’ primary right fielder in 2017 he hit 30 home runs. Schebler spent 2021 in the Angels organization, slashing .147/.147/.235 with no home runs and three doubles over 34 at-bats.