Charlie Blackmon’s extension unveils where Colorado Rockies are going

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PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 31: Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies reacts in the dugout prior to the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on March 31, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 31: Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies reacts in the dugout prior to the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on March 31, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Charlie Blackmon is the absolute perfect fit for the Colorado Rockies: Rugged, high-character, weird.

Blackmon’s situation was somehow even more perfect for working out a six-year, $108 million extension with the Rockies.

A crashing free agent market that raised questions about his numbers in regards to Coors Field, age (32) and a few more factors just allowed Colorado to lock up an MVP-caliber player while still having the finances to lock up another. Meanwhile, this comes just months after the Rockies committed $106 million to their bullpen.

But just because Blackmon’s situation was pristine for the club to capitalize on does not mean the Rockies had to do it.

There’s long been a narrative in Denver that Rockies owners Charlie and Dick Monfort are not committed to winning, unlike the Denver Broncos. On niche baseball sites, they point out that, even though the Rockies are a mid-market team that has spent on players like Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and more, the club penny pinches in comparison to other similar teams.

You can now smash that narrative with Rocky’s golden pickaxe.

This winter, the Rockies proved that they will spend money to capitalize on their draft and development strategy, bolstering a slick farm system into a legitimate contender.

On Wednesday, the Rockies took care of the other half: Making sure the talent that they develop will stay home and be happy.

This is how pennant-contending teams are born.

Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies /

Colorado Rockies

General Manager Jeff Bridich has made it clear. He does not want to be competitive, something that has eluded Colorado for many of the franchise’s 25 seasons and something Nolan Arenado probably could’ve achieved without Blackmon. Bridich wants a championship.

Bridich has been a forward-thinker since joining the Rockies organization, always looking to the future and taking new strategies his predecessors didn’t. Attacking pitching at altitude the way he has will tell you that alone. How about this though? The Rockies opening day payroll was $143.3 million this year. Including dead money, they now have $225.9 million in future commitments.

That’s putting your money where your plan is.

In no time over the Rockies’ 25 years would the last three paragraphs been applicable to the general manager residing at 20th and Blake. It does now.

At no time over the Rockies’ 25 years could someone state that Colorado wants to bring the commissioner’s trophy to LoDo. You can now.

From Blackmon’s side, he gets to stay with an organization that has shown him a tremendous amount of loyalty since he was drafted in 2008, allowing the Georgian to peach blossom into one of the game’s best hitters from a failed college pitcher.

It’s that mutual trust that allows Blackmon to want to say in Denver. He now knows Bridich will do what it takes to build a team around him.

This all has hinted at something bigger.

Part of signing Arenado to an extension is having the roughly $200 million it’s going to cost. The other part, and perhaps the more difficult part, is having the team that Arenado believes he can lead to the World Series.

Arenado has long stated he respects guys like Derek Jeter and Todd Helton. He adds it would cause him great deal of pain to only reach the playoffs twice like Helton did.

Arenado, Blackmon and Rockies fans don’t have to worry about that bigger part any longer. Bridich built the team. Blackmon stamped his approval on it. The window is open. It’s age-proof at the moment and it’s no longer bound by contract. The only thing that could close the window is if Arenado exited to the outdoors.

Next: Our exclusive chat with a Rockies prospect nearing his return to the mound after Tommy John surgery

Wednesday was enlightening because it proves Blackmon and other home-grown talent believe in Bridich’s mission. Yet the extension to Blackmon does not change the fact that this may be the most important season in franchise history. The team is built. Blackmon put his word to it. Now they have to prove it’s sustainable and quality. The Rockies have the money to do it. They are committed to the idea but it’s time to prove it works. Then and only then will the Rockies be able to lock up Arenado.

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