Colorado Rockies: Bad deals hurting Nolan Arenado’s long-term hopes

DENVER, CO - JUNE 18: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates hitting a 3 RBI walk off home run in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field on June 18, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 18: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates hitting a 3 RBI walk off home run in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field on June 18, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

As the wait continues for the Colorado Rockies and Nolan Arenado to reach a record arbitration agreement, it is time to focus on the remaining top priorities for this winter: signing Arenado to a long-term deal and adding a couple more pieces (i.e. a catcher, right-handed bat, bullpen help) to put them in position for a 2019 playoff run.

If Nolan Arenado signs a deal presumably near $27 million, the opening day payroll will be at an estimated $142 million range. Some outlets have projected that the Colorado Rockies are eyeing a payroll around the $145 million range. If this is the case, it leaves the Rockies with little wiggle room to fill out the roster and negotiate with Nolan.

Recently, our Kevin Henry asked the question but it still remains: Have past contract missteps by Jeff Bridich cost the Rockies the chance to re-sign Nolan Arenado and add valuable free agents in 2019?

There are currently six questionable contracts that are currently chewing up $78.3 million of this season’s payroll and $71.8 million of next that could hinder the chances of re-signing Arenado and/or adding the final pieces to the ’19 puzzle.

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Here’s the rundown:

Charlie Blackmon: 6 yrs/$108 million  2019: $21.3 million

He is a crowd favorite, but Bridich likely overpaid to keep Chuck Nazty in Colorado as he enters the back end of his career. Coming off a record setting year in ’17, the 32-year-old Blackmon wasn’t as productive last season and was a defensive liability in center field, which could lead to a move to a corner outfield position this season.


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Wade Davis: 3 yrs/$52 million  2019: $18 million

Depending how you view it, Davis has or hasn’t lived up to his record-breaking contract for a reliever that he signed before last season. In 2018, he did set a franchise season record with 43 saves. On the other hand, he went 3-6 with a 4.13 ERA, blowing six saves.


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Ian Desmond: 5 yrs/$70 million  2019: $15 million

The versitile Desmond has been the most criticized player on the roster as he has failed to live up to his monster contract that he signed before the 2017 season. No need to pile on him. Let’s just let his stats from his two seasons in a Rockies’ uniform speak for themselves.


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Jake McGee: 3 yrs/$27 million  2019: $8.5 million

Part of the $106 million the Rockies spent on the bullpen in 2018, he was downright awful last season after a successful ’17 in Colorado. Don’t be surprised if he lives up to his contract and has a comeback season in ’19 as his career numbers seem to yo-yo yearly between good and bad.


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Bryan Shaw: 3 yrs/$27 million  2019: $8.5 million

The third piece of the Rockies’ attempt to build a “Super Bullpen” fell flat with the signing of Shaw. After putting up solid numbers with Cleveland in five seasons, his 5.93 ERA in 2018 was a complete disappointment and he was left off the playoff roster. The Rockies are going to need a much better year from Shaw in 2019 to justify his contract.


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Mike Dunn: 3 yrs/$19 million  2019: $7 million (Final year of contract)

Dunn has been a major disappointment since signing with the Rockies in 2017. He has been plagued by injuries and, in his two seasons in Colorado, has gone 5-1 with a 5.61 ERA over 93 appearances and 67.1 innings pitched.


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The most worrisome thing about these players is that, minus Arenado and the newly acquired Daniel Murphy, they represent the six highest-paid players on this season’s club and all could be considered bad contracts.

Next. Are Rockies fans potentially already getting a glimpse of next offseason's drama?. dark

The wasteful spending by Jeff Bridich on players who haven’t lived up to expectations could comeback to haunt them as go for their first-ever division title and attempt to lock down one of the best players in franchise history. Only time will tell.