Welcome to the 2023 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2023. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.
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No. 22, Germán Márquez: 0.2 rWAR
It’s safe to say that 2023 was not the season Germán Márquez had hoped for. He was, after all, coming off a marginal 2022 season that saw him giving up a career-high 30 home runs as well as 63 walks. (He’d issued 64 in 2021.) For Márquez, this was the year to get back on track during the final season of his five-year, $43 million contract. (The Rockies also held a $16.5 million team option with a $2.5 million buyout.)
He had a lot at stake.
Things did not go well. He exited an April 10 game early with pain in his right arm. On April 26, he would leave after 3 2⁄3 innings against the Cleveland Guardians. Tests revealed significant elbow damage.
On May 12, Márquez underwent Tommy John surgery, ending his 2023 campaign and taking him out for most of 2024.
He started in four games earning a 4.95 ERA. In 20 IP, he had a 21.3% K%, a 3.8% BB%, and a 48.3% GB%. Márquez gave up four home runs, walked three, and struck out 17.
It’s worth noting that he is within two Ks of Jorge De La Rosa’s 985-career strikeouts, a club record.
In addition to a lost season, Márquez faced an uncertain future. Would he seek an extension with the Colorado Rockies, or would he test the free-agent market and continue his career in a less pitcher-hostile environment?
As it turns out, he would choose Door #1. In September, the Rockies announced they had agreed with Márquez on a two-year, $20 million extension. Patrick Saunders reported the details of the contract:
The Rockies, who announced the extension on Friday, did not disclose the terms of the deal, but a major league source confirmed that Marquez will make $10 in 2024 and $10 million in ’25. He also has performance incentives for the 2025 season that could earn him as much as $10 million. Marquez would also receive a $1 million assignment bonus if he’s traded.
General manager Bill Schmidt has said he hopes Márquez will return to the Rockies after the 2025 All-Star Game.
Still, let’s take a moment to appreciate the master at work.
Hopefully, Germán Márquez is back in 2024 and makes quick work of Jorge De La Rosa’s K record.
He’s earned it.