The Colorado Rockies and Carlos Gonzalez have yet to engage in serious contract negotiations. Are they even a good match?
Contract negotiations between the Colorado Rockies and Carlos Gonzalez seem to have come to a standstill. The three-time All-Star outfielder is in the last year of his deal with the Rockies. Sadly, it doesn’t seem as if they are too eager to invite him back for another season.
Gonzalez has already earned his share of MLB dollars. His salary for 2017 will pay him a total of $20 million. Certainly, now that he is coming off two productive and relatively healthy seasons, this is around the total he would want on his next deal. This might be too steep of a price for the Rockies and their generally low payroll.
It’s a reasonable assumption to believe the Rockies would have little interest in overpaying for Gonzalez’s services. They already have an over-stacked outfield. This does not even include first baseman Ian Desmond who might shift away from the infield dirt after 2017.
This year, Gonzalez should begin as the everyday right fielder with Charlie Blackmon in center field. Left field will belong to Gerardo Parra and David Dahl. While Blackmon is in a similar situation as Gonzalez, he does have one additional season left on his contract. His more varied skillset could even yield a different result as Blackmon brings a little bit of everything to the field. Lately, Gonzalez has primarily only provided power.
If the Rockies do decide to move on from Gonzalez, he does at least have the 2015 and 2016 seasons to showcase how much he has left in the tank to potential suitors. In 2015 Gonzalez smashed a career-high 40 home runs. Last year, the total dropped to 25. However, he did finish with 42 doubles and 100 RBI. In each year he fell just shy of 300 total bases as well.
Gonzalez has no reason to beg and plead with the Rockies to extend him even though his numbers at home suggest he needs them more than they need him.
It’s safe to assume Gonzalez’s tenure in Colorado will end with a trade this season. When the Rockies find themselves out of contention in July, Gonzalez would become a high-target rental player. The Rockies could get a decent return if he can continue to play at the high level he has of late.
A cautious approach with Gonzalez is the wisest one to take. His injury history coupled with a decline in stolen bases and defense could suggest that the last two productive years Gonzalez had might be the final pair he has. While this is certainly a pessimistic opinion, too many question marks do remain.