The Colorado Rockies and All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu came to an agreement on a two-year, $7.8 million dollar deal hours before their scheduled arbitration meeting, settling the last arbitration case of the offseason for the Rockies. LeMahieu is entering his first year of arbitration and was due for a big raise after two solid years manning second base and is now signed through his first two years providing some certainty and stability to both sides.
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LeMahieu posted a slash line of .301/.358/.388 in his first All-Star campaign to add on to his Gold Glove award from 2014. His career line of .284/.329/.370 isn’t all that impressive, but LeMahieu will never blow you away with his bat. His glove is solid and is boosted by his 6’4″ frame, but he brings stability to an otherwise unstable position in Colorado Rockies history. Before 2015, the Rockies had 14 different starters at second for the last 14 Opening Day games, featuring names like Kaz Matsui, Josh Rutledge and Aaron Miles and finally ending with LeMahieu.
The $7.8 million is staggered over two years; $3 million in 2016 and $4.8 million in 2017, preemptively giving LeMahieu the raise he would inevitably receive in arbitration, providing he stays healthy and produces another above average season. That’s the risk taken on the Rockies side; LeMahieu could get hurt or regress, placing his value lower than the projection. If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last three years of watching DJ is that he’s not going to try and outplay his part; he’s one guy that you know what you’ll get from him each season.
This will be LeMahieu’s first year off of the rookie scale contract, where he’s made around $500,000 over the past two seasons. He’ll have one more year of arbitration left after the expiration of this contract, as he’s set to hit the free agent market in 2019.
This week, Isaac and Logan take a deep dive into the pitchers on the expanded Rockies Spring Training roster. We give you six guys who will make an impact, talk about non-roster invitees and pick a top prospect that could make an impact in the majors this year. We also select a way-too-early 12-man pitching roster that they think will be on the Opening Day 25-man roster.