With major league teams refusing to spend top dollar on this year’s crop of free agents, many players who bet on themselves by rejecting qualifying offers or extensions have cost themselves a lot of money.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan filled us in on the gamble Mike Moustakas took by turning down a $17.5 million qualifying offer from the Kansas City Royals. There are also conflicting reports that say Moustakas turned down a three-year, $45 million offer from the Los Angeles Angels, which is monstrous compared to the one-year, $5.5 million he got to re-sign with Kansas City. If true, that would mean Moustakas left nearly $40 million guaranteed on the table.
The next player expected to fall under that category is veteran outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. According to Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown, Gonzalez is nearing a one-year, $8 million agreement that will keep him in a Colorado Rockies uniform for a 10th season.
As MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand notes, that’s a much different looking deal than the one Gonzalez and the Rockies discussed last winter.
According to a source, the Rockies and Carlos Gonzalez discussed an extension last spring that could have been as much as three years/$45 million. He ended up playing out his deal, then signed a one-year deal to return to Rockies. @BNightengale reports it's an $8 million deal.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 9, 2018
We don’t know the specific details of the proposed three-year, $45 million extension Gonzalez turnd down, but it’s presumed those years would have been tacked on to his deal that expired this winter. That extension would have averaged out to $15 million per season, so it’s reasonable to say he left $7 million on the table in 2018.
If there’s a silver lining for Gonzalez, it’s that he could make up for the additional $30 million with a bounce back season. But he’ll need to have a much better contract year than last year was. His .262/.339/.423 slash line, 14 homers and 57 RBI in 534 plate appearances were all major disappointments compared to past seasons.
From the Rockies’ perspective, it was kind of surprising they clinched a postseason berth with Gonzalez struggling to get on track. They managed to surprise the league behind their pitching. Now the Rockies could be in a pretty good spot as it pertains to Gonzalez. Not only did they use the money he turned down to bolster the bullpen, but they also got him back at quite a discount.
Perhaps the return of Gonzalez will be enough to supplement what otherwise would have been a young and unproven outfield around All-Star Charlie Blackmon. If so, the Rockies will have fallen into one of the winter’s best bargains. If not, this deal will not impede them beyond 2018. His deal is almost a no-lose for them, though obviously they would prefer the productive Gonzalez of years gone by.
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