On Friday morning, it was reported that Charlie Blackmon and the Colorado Rockies had avoided arbitration by reaching an agreement on a one-year, $14 million contract. Not long after that, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reached out to Blackmon and asked if he was interested in staying in Colorado for the long-term. Of course, Blackmon is.
But that will not come without a hefty price tag for the Rockies. With Blackmon secured for the 2018 campaign and his time as an unrestricted free agent coming up after the 2018 season concludes, it’s truly time to start thinking about if the Rockies want to lock him up on a long-term contract or let him test the waters of free agency.
How much might it take to keep Blackmon with the Rockies? Let’s take a look.
Now at a $14 million salary for next season, the 31-year-old two-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger is the sixth-highest-paid center fielder in Major League Baseball. For the 2018 season, here are the center fielders making more than Blackmon, according to Spotrac.com.
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Mike Trout — $34,083,333
Yoenis Cespedes – $29,000,000
Jacoby Ellsbury — $21,142,857
Adam Jones — $17,333,333
Dexter Fowler — $16,500,000
As a reference point, Denard Span is the seventh-highest-paid outfielder at $11 million this season.
As the defending National League batting champion and after a historic season from the leadoff spot, Blackmon’s value has likely never been higher than it is right now. It’s also likely no coincidence that, with a potential big payday coming, Blackmon changed agents in late November. The move may have already paid slight dividends as Chuck Nazty’s $14 million this season is actually a touch higher than projections ($13.4 million) expected.