Colorado Rockies extend catcher Elias Díaz to a three-year deal

The Colorado Rockies announced that they have extended their primary catcher Elias Díaz with a three-year deal.

The deal will be for a guaranteed $14.5 million and it will buy out Díaz’s final arbitration-eligible year and the first two years of free agency.

The Colorado Rockies extended catcher Elias Díaz after he finally started hitting in June 2021.

If you would have said that the Colorado Rockies would be extending Elias Díaz to a three-year deal after the first two months of 2021, fans would have been outraged, and for good reason.

Through June 1, Díaz was just hitting .123/.191/.185.

Rockies manager Bud Black repeatedly said in April and, in particular, May that he thought that Díaz would turn things around and Díaz did exactly that.

From June 2 on, Díaz hit .284/.348/.553 with 17 home runs and 40 RBI. That would be a 162-game average of 35 homers and 83 RBI. As a result, the Rockies used him more as their primary catcher over rookie Dom Nuñez, who struggled at the plate for most of the season.

Overall on the 2021 season, Díaz hit .246/.310/.464 with 18 homers, 44 RBI, and an OPS+ of 96. That OPS+ was fifth-best among qualifiers for the Rockies after C.J. Cron, Trevor Story, Brendan Rodgers, and Ryan McMahon.

The extension of Díaz comes just one day after his birthday as he celebrated his birthday on Wednesday. The extension also continues an offseason where the Rockies have been bringing back or extending their players from 2021 as the Rockies have already extended starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela to a five-year deal, given the aforementioned first baseman C.J. Cron a two-year extension, re-signed veteran pitcher Jhoulys Chacín and now, extended Díaz.

It is also the first time that the Rockies have had a catcher that has been at or close to league average on offense since Nick Hundley posted a 104 OPS+ for the 2015 Rockies and their first longer-term catcher since Chris Iannetta’s first stint with the Rockies when he played with the Rockies from 2006 through 2011.

We’ll have more analysis on our site of the transaction in the coming days.