1:05 pm: It will guarantee him a cold contract “about $19 million”, Feinsand Tweets.
12:52 PM: The Rocky Mountains and closer Daniel Bard In the process of finalizing a contract extension, MLB.com’s Mark Finsand reports (Twitter link). Meanwhile, New York Post’s John Heyman reports that the Rockies have already reached an agreement on a two-year extension for Bard, an ISE Baseball client (Twitter links).
All indications throughout the summer have been that Rocky is not interested in trading with the 37-year-old and are instead hoping to keep him beyond the current season. It now appears that they have succeeded in achieving this goal.
On paper, Bard looked like the perfect trade candidate: a 37-year-old with an expiring contract and in the midst of a dominant season for a last-place team. However, the Rockies march to the beat of their own drum perhaps more than any team in the sport and have been accustomed to holding on to the traditional trade candidates, even if it means losing key players for nothing, as they did last summer when retracting to trade John Gray and the sudden choice not to release Qualified offer.
The Rockies’ owner, Dick Monfort, has ostensibly spoken of his belief that the team has the makings of a winning club, even if results on the field have suggested dramatically otherwise in recent seasons. General Manager Bill Schmidt, who was promoted from scout director to the GM chair last year after GM Jeff Breidich was fired, is clearly She told Danielle Alintoke of the Denver Gazette Earlier this month he was unimaginable to be a top seller on this year’s deadline because the organization believes in the talent on the roster. Bud Black’s manager has echoed similar sentiments in recent days, rhetorical interrogation Why would the team replace a Range Rover (cool) with a Honda Accord (a bundle of minor league prospects, likely).
While it’s certainly fair to question the inherently risky decision to extend the home of the 37-year-old, it’s at the same time easy to see how the Rockies became smitten with a Bard character in the ninth inning. Just returning to the Majors after a seven-year absence would have been a good story on its own, but Bard not only engineered one of the most unlikely comebacks in recent memory – he quickly rose to the top of the elite ranks in MLB.
A late-season faint brought the 2021 Bard ERA to 5.21 after the trading deadline, but he’s been an absolute force in the Black’s Bullpen this year, reaching a 1.91 ERA with a 27.6% strike rate and 53.8% ballpark rate. Bard’s 12.2% walk rate is notably higher than the league’s 9.1% rate among loyalists, but his fondness for ground players and generally poor contact (average exit speed 87.2 mph) helped him mitigate any damage that might arise from his – control times intermittent; The Bard also averages 98.1 mph on a sinker that can hit triple figures and make hitters You honestly look like an idiot Sometimes.
Thinners are volatile, as Bard showed himself in his 2021 and 2022 results, so there’s plenty of risk that this deal will turn bad for the Rockies. Despite this, the current version of Bard is as good a relief as you’ll find anywhere in the league – and the Rockies are clearly confident they can maintain that production even as they approach their 40th birthday.
From a payroll standpoint, Bard will add another notable salary to the 2023 list that could mark a new franchise record on payroll before the front office moves one list. Rox had $110 million on the next year’s books already, and that was before Bard’s new extension and an $18 million player option that Charlie Blackmon seemed likely to play. Colorado will owe an arbitration award to Robert Stephenson, Garrett Hampson, Tyler Kinley, Peter Lambert, Austin Jumper and Brendan Rodgers. All of this should propel the team forward or somewhere beyond the current franchise record mark of $145 million. More additions this winter could send the Rockies into an all-new payroll region.
The Rockies will take – and judging by the social media reaction – much criticism for their commitment to retaining a core of players with a win percentage of just 0.445 going back to the 2019 season. What, however, is somewhat refreshing to see the club continue to try to create a winning club rather than rely on the kind, multi-year rebuildings that have proliferated the sport in recent years. Even if this group never explodes and emerges as a true post-season contender in future seasons, the Rockies are at least trying — and that’s more than several teams can say per season.
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