We’ve already heard it plenty of times that next winter we will see one of the most star studded Free Agent classes of all-time, and among that class will be two prominent Colorado Rockies stars in Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu. While we still have this offseason and the 2018 MLB season ahead, it’s no doubt that next offseason will be on the minds of many, including Rockies fans who may end up losing these two franchise stars. That’s why we are going to take a look at what the Rockies may do with these two players.
Since his debut with the Rockies in 2011, Charlie Blackmon has gradually become a star in the Colorado lineup. He’s had a steady rise in just about every offensive category, and 2017 he put up the best numbers of his career. Despite nearly eclipsing the 30 homer mark in 2016, Blackmon had never had more than 19 homers in a season prior to 2016. This past year however, he crushed 37 long balls, easily a career high. 2016 saw him earn MVP votes for the first time in his career, but 2017 saw him finish 5th in the MVP voting overall. His total WAR output to this point in his career is valued at 15.2(6.0 in 2017). He’s a 2-time all-star, a winner of the batting title in 2017, and is a 2-time silver slugger winner. Another year like this in 2018 and he could be in for a massive payday next winter.
Meanwhile, DJ LeMahieu is no slouch himself. While he’s not nearly the type of star Blackmon is, he’s still been a big part of the Colorado Rockies for the better part of 6 seasons. A 2-time gold glove winner, LeMahieu won the batting title in 2016 with a whopping .348 BA in 635 plate appearances. That season saw him garner a few MVP votes, however not enough for him to finish in the top 10. He’s valued at 14.4 WAR in his career(2.9 in 2017), and he’s sure to aim high next winter in his age 29 season on a multi-year deal.
With this being said about the two Rockies stars, the team is currently slated to have just $23.5MM in guaranteed salary on the books for the 2019 season, which certainly has plenty of room for Colorado to add plenty of salary.
Extensions for Blackmon and LeMahieu are definitely a possibility, but aren’t a certainty due to the fact that the team will need to use a significant amount of money if they want to extend franchise star 3rd baseman Nolan Arenado, who will surely command a monster contract. That, on top of the fact that the Rockies have top prospects waiting in the wings in Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rodgers, could impact the future’s of both Blackmon and LeMahieu.
These next couple of winters will see the Rockies work with some payroll flexibility on top of the fact that they contain a few trade chips that they can use to fill some areas of need, if necessary. As for Blackmon and LeMahieu, their futures will depend upon how the Rockies view them going forward and the progress of some of their younger players who can fill those positions.