Colorado Rockies: Who are the five highest-paid players in 2021?

With the arbitration deadline in the rearview mirror, there is now a clearer sense of the kind of overall payroll and individual salaries the Colorado Rockies will be carrying into the 2021 season.

Certainly there are still possibilities that the Rockies will make one or more personnel moves before the start of the season. As it currently stands, there is one spot on Colorado’s 40-man roster and we know that manager Bud Black has stated that the Rockies “are looking around to maybe find one bat, potentially, that fits in amongst our group.” Could that bat be Kevin Pillar, who joined the Rockies last season just before the trade deadline and is currently a free agent? The Rockies had indicated discussions had taken place with him earlier in the offseason, but things seem to have gone quiet since then.

So, as the roster stands right now, who are the five highest-paid Rockies for the 2021 season? We took a look at Cot’s Contracts to see.

Nolan Arenado — $35 million (part of a eight-year, $260 million deal that expires after the 2026 campaign, but does include an opt-out after this upcoming season)

Charlie Blackmon — $21 million (part of a six-year, $108 million deal that expires after the 2023 campaign)

Trevor Story — $18.5 million (part of a two-year, $27.5 million deal that expires after the 2021 campaign)

Ian Desmond — $8 million (part of a five-year, $70 million deal that expires after the 2021 campaign)

German Marquez — $7.8 million (part of a five-year, $43 million deal that expires after the 2023 campaign)

As of right now, Cot’s is predicting Colorado’s Opening Day payroll to come in right around $130,480,000. That’s roughly $15 million less than the last time the Rockies had a full 162-game season (2019), a year that saw the Rockies have the 12th-highest payroll in Major League Baseball.

Last season’s payroll of $53,590,185 (which again ranked 12th in MLB) was, of course, prorated because of the COVID-19 pandemic and there is still the possibility that a proration could occur in 2021 as well. However, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has told teams to prepare for spring training to open on time and to be ready for a full 162-game season.

Could the Rockies surprise us all and make a splash for a player that could enter into the top five salaries for 2021? It’s possible. However, knowing owner Dick Monfort’s offseason proclamation that “there will be nothing normal about this offseason as the industry faces a new economic reality, and each club will have to adjust,” it seems unlikely.