Colorado Rockies, Charlie Blackmon avoid arbitration with one-year deal
By Kevin Henry
Colorado Rockies All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon has reportedly avoided arbitration talks and signed a one-year deal worth $14 million.
According to MLBTradeRumors.com, Blackmon’s deal is just higher than his projected arbitration salary of $13.4 million. However, it’s one more box the Rockies have checked as they prepare for another postseason run in 2018.
The 31-year-old Blackmon made $7.3 million last season and put together one of the finest campaigns that any Major League leadoff hitter has produced in the history of the game. “Chuck Nazty” bashed 37 homers and had 104 runs while hitting a league-leading .331 and logging an OPS of 1.000.
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Blackmon logged career-high numbers in homers, RBI, walks (65), doubles (tied his 2016 mark with 35), triples (14), runs scored (137), total hits (213) and total bases (387). His 86 combined extra-base hits set a new National League record for a leadoff hitter. His RBI from the leadoff position also established a new Major League record, topping Darin Erstad’s mark of 100 set in 2000.
The two-time Silver Slugger and two-time All-Star finished fifth in the National League MVP voting last season, partially because of having to split votes with teammate Nolan Arenado, who finished fourth in the voting.
While Blackmon has avoided arbitration this season, there is still a big decision looming for the Rockies when it comes to one of the offensive leaders of the team that earned its first postseason bid since 2009 last year. Will the Rockies sign Blackmon, an unrestricted free agent after this season, to an extended contract knowing that second baseman DJ LeMahieu will also be an unrestricted free agent after this season and Arenado is unrestricted after the 2019 campaign? It is one of the questions that is drawing the most interest from Rockies fans as spring training draws ever nearer.
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Blackmon had an incredible 2017 season, but recently told Thomas Harding of MLB.com that his 0-for-4 performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Wild Card loss is motivating him moving forward.