Carlos Gonzalez and the Rockies have agreed to terms on a 7 year, $80M contract extension. I once declared this an impossibility, but I will gladly eat my plate of exquisitely delicious crow. This contract is a terrific deal for the Rox. Gonzalez, one of the youngest superstars in baseball, seemed destined to follow the path of Matt Holliday. Scott Boras, the agent for Holliday and Gonzalez, has never had a client in CarGo’s situation sign prior to reaching free agency or for such an enormous hometown discount. However, it seems that Boras had little say in this deal and the real driving force behind the agreement was Gonzalez.
Carlos won the NL batting title, a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove in 2010, while only making $406K. Under his old contract, he wouldn’t have been arbitration eligible until 2012 and wouldn’t have been up for free agency until 2015. With this contract, he will receive roughly an $11M pay raise next season and his salary is guaranteed for the next seven years. Meanwhile, the Rockies have the assurance that Gonzalez will be theirs until at least 2017, and his affordable contract will not bog down the team’s payroll.
Earlier this winter, the Nationals agreed to a 7 year/$126M contract with another Boras client, Jayson Werth. He is a fine player, but is inferior to Gonzalez in every way. Gonzalez is a better hitter, fielder, and base-runner. Also, Carlos turned 25 in October and Werth will be 32 next season. As expected, Boras was able to convince a team to grossly overpay for Werth. He almost always gets top dollar for his clients. That’s why I don’t think he played much of a role in this extension.
Most players allow Boras to take full control of the process. He seemingly cares only about money and has no regard for anything else. Countless times he has convinced clients to leave comfortable situations for “greener” pastures. But not Gonzalez. Not that $80M is chump change, but, had he held out until 2015, CarGo probably would have been offered $200M (not by the Rockies, obviously). By ignoring Scott Boras and signing for a contract that undervalues his worth, Carlos did something rare for a professional athlete and a Boras client. He put money aside and went with his heart. In doing so, he endeared himself to the Rockies’ fan base. Gonzalez is now just as beloved as Troy Tulowitzki.
With Ubaldo Jimenez, Tulo, and Carlos all locked up until at least 2015, the Rockies have one of the best foundations in baseball. All three players are elite and still in their twenties. Plus, as fans, we know that these players are as committed to Denver as Denver is to them. That is exceptional in this day and age.
Michael Young Update
Apparently, the Rockies-Rangers on-again-off-again Michael Young trade talks are officially dead. The Rangers have decided to keep Young and use him in a utility role. Texas has known for almost a week that a deal with Adrian Beltre was imminent and the Rangers have been trying to convince the Rockies to take Young off their hands. However, because of Young’s huge contract and the Ranger’s asking price, the Rockies have wisely declined.