The last week in MLB was about a dynamic outfielder agreeing to a multi-year contract, a general manager in the National League signs a contract extension and a reliever will be on the shelf for several weeks.
Colorado Rockies Sign Outfielder Charlie Blackmon to Six-Year Deal
The Colorado Rockies have a great lineup filled with dangerous hitters and one those of players will be with the club over the next several years.
The Rockies have signed outfielder Charlie Blackmon to a six-year, $108 million contract, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
Blackmon’s deal is worth $108 million for the six years, according to a source. Can be worth as much as $116 million based on incentives.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) April 4, 2018
The final two years of the deal are player options, and the total value of the contract can be increased up to $116 million with incentives.
The contract will start this year and replaces the $14 million contract he signed in January to avoid arbitration, so he’ll earn a base salary of $12 million, and it includes a $2 million signing bonus.
Blackmon is coming off a remarkable campaign in 2017, by leading the National League in runs scored, batting average, triples and total bases at 137, .331, 14 and 387, respectively. He also had 37 home runs, 104 RBIs, swiped 14 bases and finished fifth in the NL MVP voting.
He established himself as one of the best leadoff hitters in MLB last year.
This is a great deal for not only Blackmon but the Rockies as well. The uber-talented outfielder receives financial security, and the Rockies keep a player for several years that’s a valuable member of their roster.
The amount that Blackmon signed might seem low for a player of his caliber, but there are several factors to consider. The first one is Blackmon’s age as he will turn 32 on July 1st, the second is the Coors Field effect, and the other is uncertainty.
There weren’t many players at the age of 32, who signed a contract over three years during the offseason, and according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network only one position player inked a deal of three years or more at age 32 or older.
Why did Charlie Blackmon sign a long-term deal, so close to free agency? One reason: He turns 32 in July. This offseason, only one position player signed a deal of 3+ years at age 32 or older: Zack Cozart to the Angels at $38 million over 3 years. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) April 4, 2018
It’s no secret that playing half of your games in Coors will help you produce as the ballpark is a haven for hitters.
Blackmon was no different, by compiling a .391 average with 24 homers and 60 RBIs in 78 games at home. However, his production on the road did suffer a significant decline, by accumulating a .276 average with 13 homers and 44 RBIs in 81 games on the road.
The uncertainty factor is there’s no guarantee that Blackmon will have a healthy 2018 season and if he does, would a team be willing to commit six years and at least $100 million to a 32-year old outfielder.
This offseason taught us that nothing is guaranteed.
Washington Nationals Extend General Manager Mike Rizzo for Two Years
The Washington Nationals announced a couple of days ago they agreed on a contract extension with president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo.
We’ve agreed to a contract extension with President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. pic.twitter.com/mVruboZEiA
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 5, 2018
The length of the extension is two years, per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.
The Nationals announce they’ve agreed to a two-year contract extension with Mike Rizzo.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) April 5, 2018
Rizzo succeeded Jim Bowden as the Nationals general manager in 2009 and was named the club’s president in 2013.
The Nats have been one of the best teams in the Majors with Rizzo at the helm, as they’ve made the playoffs in four of the last six years.
The team has struggled to play baseball in October, considering they haven’t made it past the National League Division Series since advancing to the National League Championship Series as the Montreal Expos in 1981.
Despite the team coming up short in the postseason, the Nationals have a talented roster on the Majors and in the minors as well. This is due to Rizzo drafting well and making smart trades to improve the ballclub.
The most prominent challenge for Rizzo will be signing superstar outfielder Bryce Harper to a long-term deal as Harper will be a free agent next offseason.
Milwaukee Brewers Closer Corey Knebel Out Six Weeks with Left Hamstring Strain
The Milwaukee Brewers lost a critical player to their team on Thursday, when their closer Corey Knebel suffered an injury after throwing a pitch.
Knebel was placed on the 10-day disabled the following day with a hamstring strain, per an announcement by the team.
RHP Corey Knebel has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. RHP Adrian Houser has been recalled from Double-A @BiloxiShuckers.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 6, 2018
Brewers manager Craig Counsell spoke to Jon Morosi of MLB Network and said that Knebel would be sidelined for “a minimum of six weeks.”
Corey Knebel will miss “a minimum of six weeks” with left hamstring strain, @Brewers manager Craig Counsell just told us on @MLBNetworkRadio. Team will share closer’s role among multiple relievers in meantime. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) April 6, 2018
It’s a significant loss for the Brewers to be without Knebel for several weeks. The reliever was spectacular for the club last year, by posting a 1.78 ERA in 76 games with 39 saves and struck out 126 batters.
Counsell said that Matt Albers, Jacob Barnes, Jeremy Jeffress and Dan Jennings would be options to close while Knebel is out, while also mentioning that Josh Hader would be utilized as a multiple-inning reliever, per Morosi.
. @Brewers manager Craig Counsell mentioned Matt Albers, Jacob Barnes, Jeremy Jeffress and Dan Jennings as options for the 9th inning while Corey Knebel is out. Counsell prefers to keep Josh Hader in a multi-inning role. @MLB @MLBNetwork @MLBNetworkRadio
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) April 6, 2018