With two moves on Tuesday, the Colorado Rockies shored up a pair of positions for the near future that were already strengths for them in 2021.
On Tuesday, the Rockies unveiled they inked first baseman C.J. Cron on a two-year contract that extends through the 2023 season. Additionally, the team came to terms with right-handed starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela on a five-year contract that covers the 2022-26 seasons and has an option for the 2027 campaign as well.
Here is what the contract moves with C.J. Cron and Antonio Senzatela mean for the Colorado Rockies
There has been a great deal of talk leading up to the offseason about how the Rockies need to find more offense in 2022 to improve upon their 74-87 mark from this season. That includes in the power department, and keeping Cron and his 28 home runs on the team is an important step toward making sure the offense is more potent next season.
In his first season in Denver, however, the 31-year-old Cron had some home-road splits that will need to be addressed. At Coors Field, he slashed .326/.412/.661 with a 1.073 OPS. On the road, Cron’s slash numbers plummeted to .235/.337/.397 and an OPS of .734.
If the Rockies are to be better on the road in 2022 than they were in 2021 (26-54 away from Denver), Cron leveling his numbers will be a key toward that goal.
Cron will also solve Colorado’s needs at first base for the next two seasons, giving prospects such as sixth-ranked Michael Toglia time to grow and learn in the minor leagues.
Senzatela, meanwhile, will be a key part of Colorado’s rotation for some time to come. He has pieced together a 4.84 ERA over 124 career outings for the Rockies but, in 2021, statistically took a step back from the 2020 pandemic-shortened season when he posted a 3.44 ERA and 1.214 WHIP in 12 starts. However, there were some numbers that give hope for Senzatela’s improvement as his homers and walks per nine innings were down while his strikeouts per nine innings went up.
The 26-year-old right-hander will fall behind Germán Márquez and Kyle Freeland in the 2022 rotation and likely be in line with Austin Gomber for the third or fourth spot. This is dependent, of course, on whether the Rockies come to terms with Jon Gray after his contract expired at the end of this season.
So what does this all mean for the Rockies? Both moves are good building blocks for moving forward, but the team still needs to address plenty of issues, including Gray and Trevor Story’s future as well. However, the Rockies will still need to bring in additional power (likely in the outfield) and bolster their bullpen if they are to start making moves up the National League West standings.
Should Gray and Story move on from the Rockies, the franchise will need to fill those holes as well. Signing Cron and Senzatela was the start of what should be a very interesting and active offseason for Colorado.