Colorado Rockies: The case for resigning Carlos Gonzalez

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 12: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies warms up on deck during the first inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 12, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 12: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies warms up on deck during the first inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 12, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Today, the pitchers and catchers for the Colorado Rockies, and most of the teams in baseball, have reported to spring training and there are still a lot of players still left on the free agent market. One of those players is former Rockie Carlos Gonzalez.

Mercifully, pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training today. Even though Spring Training is upon us, there are still a lot of free agents on the market and a few of them played with the Rockies last season.

One of those is Carlos Gonzalez and of the former Rockies that are still on the market, he makes the most sense for the team for a few reasons.

They still need somebody in the outfield

One of the holes that the Rockies have in the lineup is that they need a corner outfielder (or a first baseman, if they don’t think prospect Ryan McMahon is quite ready). One of the corner outfield spots will be filled by Gerardo Parra and Ian Desmond will play either first base or left field (even though some fans may not like it).

With resigning Gonzalez, he could play left or right field (with Parra playing the other) and Desmond could play first base.

They need help offensively

I know, what you’re going to say. He was terrible in 2017. However, if you look at his post-All Star Game numbers, they show a different story.

In fact, if you look at his numbers from the second series after the All-Star Break through the rest of the season, he played in 59 games with 199 at bats and he had 35 runs, 65 hits, 21 doubles, 8 home runs, 35 RBI, and a .327/.401/.553 slash line.

For a full season average, that would be 97 runs, 179 hits, 58 doubles, 22 home runs and 97 RBI.

That’s pretty comparable to his 2016 season in which he had 87 runs, 174 hits, 42 doubles, 25 HRs, and 100 RBI.

In 2017, he played particularly well in September in which he had 29 hits, 22 runs, 6 home runs, 16 RBI, and a .377/.484/.766 slash line.

In other words, he had a rough first half to 2017. It doesn’t mean that he will struggle again in 2018.

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He will probably only get a one year deal

You want to see Ryan McMahon play first base soon? You want to see the outfield prospects play the outfield in the majors in the near future? That can still be done by resigning CarGo. At this point in the offseason and many people just looking at his overall numbers from 2017, CarGo will almost certainly not get more than a one year deal.

With that one year deal, if the Rockies could get him to sign a deal for a smaller base salary, let’s say $8-10 million (he made $20 million in 2017) and give him a lot of incentives in the contract (e.g. another $2 million for hitting 25 home runs and another $500,000 for every five home runs after, $3 million for having 100 RBI, another $5 million for being in the top ten in NL MVP voting, and $10 million if he wins the NL MVP award, etc.).

In other words, if he’s terrible, the Rockies aren’t out a lot of money and they aren’t giving him tons of years because it would be a one year contract. He’s back on the open market again after the season and if he has a good season, he will get a much better contract next offseason and for this year, he will make more if he has very good season.

Final Thoughts

Looking at Gonzalez objectively, you have to at least consider him to be a Rockie in 2018. He could help the team out in more ways than you think and he will probably do it for a good size pay cut.

Next: The other side of the CarGo story

Signing him for an incentive-laden, one-year contract would be a low-risk, high-reward situation for the Rockies. So, what’s to lose?

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