Colorado Rockies: The contracts with the biggest impact in 2018

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies and Ian Desmond #20 celebrate after beating the San Diego Padres 4-1 in a baseball game at PETCO Park on September 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies and Ian Desmond #20 celebrate after beating the San Diego Padres 4-1 in a baseball game at PETCO Park on September 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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In yesterday’s article, we looked at the Colorado Rockies players who were scheduled to head to arbitration later this offseason. Today, let’s look at some of the bigger contracts that will impact the Rockies and their payroll in the 2018 season.

Among the players heading to arbitration are Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu. Both are players that many Rockies fans would like to see locked up in long-term deals. However, the contracts we will mention below will play a role in that.

Last season, Colorado had the 17th-highest payroll in Major League Baseball at $146.65 million. The league average was $152.33 million. The Los Angeles Dodgers had the highest payroll at $265.15 million while the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox each had payrolls exceeding $200 million.

As you can see (and Rockies fans are well aware), Colorado is historically a franchise that has not opened its wallet very far. With the success of this year’s team and fans wanting to see that success duplicated for years to come, it becomes a fine line for Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich between watching the budget and keeping all of the players he wants for all of the years he wants to keep them.

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With that in mind, here are the biggest salaries (before arbitration and/or any additional long-term deals are inked) currently on the books for the Rockies for the 2018 season.

Ian Desmond — $22 million

The 2018 season will be the second of a five-year deal inked by Desmond last offseason. As it stands now, he will be the highest-paid member of the Rockies. After a season where he saw action in just 95 games after going on the disabled list for the first time in his career with hand and leg injuries, Desmond hit just .274 with seven home runs and 40 RBI. Those numbers will need to improve as he likely takes over the first base job on a full-time basis with Mark Reynolds once again a free agent.

Nolan Arenado — $17.75 million

Arenado is eligible for arbitration in 2019 and can become a free agent in 2020. Locking up Arenado to a long-term deal would seem to be a priority for the Rockies. He is finishing the second year of a two-year, $29.5 million contract in the 2018 season.

Gerardo Parra — $10 million

After a disappointing 2016, Parra bounced back in 2017 to prove his worth on the field and in the clubhouse. The 2018 season will be the last of a three-year, $27.5 million contract. He is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2018 season. However, there is a $12 million team option in place for the 2019 season.

Mike Dunn — $7 million

The southpaw reliever signed a three-year, $19 million contract prior to the 2017 season. After making $4 million last year, he will make $7 million again in the 2019 season before potentially becoming a free agent in 2020. However, there is a $6 million team option available for that season.

Adam Ottavino — $7 million

Ottavino is finishing up a three-year, $10.4 million contract that was backloaded to pay off the most this season. The reliever is scheduled to be a free agent for the 2019 season.

Next: Which free agents could return to Colorado in 2018?

Jose Reyes — $4 million

This will be the last season the Rockies have to pay anything to the shortstop they jettisoned after his legal troubles in Hawaii shortly after the 2015 season concluded. In all, Colorado paid him $41,868,853 over three years after acquiring him from the Toronto Blue Jays as a part of the Troy Tulowitzki deal. In two of those three seasons, Reyes never stepped foot into the Colorado clubhouse.

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