Charlie Blackmon and the Colorado Rockies have reportedly agreed on a contract extension that would potentially keep him in Colorado through 2023. The center fielder gets a $2 million signing bonus and a $12 million salary for 2018, which replaces the $14 million salary he was slated to get in 2018, and then gets $21 million per year from 2019-21. Blackmon has a $21 million player option for 2022, and a $10 million player option for 2023 that could increase to $18 million based on escalators, per reports.
Blackmon, who turns 32 in July, was slated to hit free agency after this season. He’s had an interesting career arc, being a 2008 second round pick of the Rockies who didn’t make the majors full time until 2014, in his age 27 season, and didn’t really blossom until the 2016-17 seasons, when he put up 4.8 and 6.5 bWARs.
My initial inclination is that this is a pretty solid deal for Blackmon, in light of the uncertainty of the free agent market right now. The combination of being an older free agent, having skepticism about his numbers due to playing in Colorado, the likelihood of him moving to a corner outfield spot in the next few years and likely being tagged with a qualifying offer would potentially dampen his market. This deal guarantees him $94 million from 2019-23, but also gives him the ability to re-enter the free agent market after 2021 and 2022.