Colorado Rockies non-tender candidate: Chi Chi Gonzalez

The Colorado Rockies have a few candidates to be non-tendered this offseason and one of them is Chi Chi Gonzalez.

After their 26-34 season in 2020, the Colorado Rockies have 11 players that are eligible for arbitration this offseason, which is tied for sixth-most in baseball, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Among those 11 arbitration-eligible players, the Rockies have a few of those that they may decide to not tender a contract to at all. If a player is non-tendered, then the player becomes a free agent and the club doesn’t have to pay the player at all for the future season.

Chi Chi Gonzalez is one of the Rockies players that fit in both categories.

Gonzalez, 29 in January, has been the Rockies 5th starter, long reliever, or spot starter in each of the past two seasons and he hasn’t pitched well. He has a record of 2-8 with an ERA in 5.66 in 20 games (16 starts) as a Rockie. His FIP has been 5.62 with a WHIP of 1.500, a 1.5 HR/9 rate, and he has averaged nearly five walks per nine innings.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the first-time arb-eligible Gonzalez is projected to make $1.2 million. With the performance that he has had in the last two seasons, is he really worth that?

The Rockies obviously need better pitching and more pitching depth heading into 2021 if they plan on making the playoffs. Gonzalez obviously would help with the depth but on a playoff-caliber (or, more importantly, a World Series caliber) team, Gonzalez is not on that 26- or even 28-man roster.

So, in other words, would you pay $1.2 million for a pitcher that should be a middle- to back-end starter in Triple-A Albuquerque? That answer is likely a no.

If the Rockies do non-tender Gonzalez, don’t be surprised if they do resign him on a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. For most teams, that’s what Gonzalez should get contractually. In the event of an injury or a doubleheader where you get an extra roster spot, he could be called up but otherwise, the Rockies should not have Gonzalez in their 2021 plans if they plan on returning to the postseason.