The Colorado Rockies avoided arbitration with outfielder Charlie Blackmon, agreeing on a one-year, $14 million deal.
The National League batting champion is staying in Colorado, for at least another season. ESPN reported that Blackmon and the Rockies avoided arbitration and came to terms on a one-year deal worth $14 million. This is a significant pay jump for Blackmon as he heads towards free agency at the end of next season.
As ESPN pointed out, Blackmon was enormous for the Rockies offense last season:
The 31-year-old slugger finished fifth in National League MVP voting after winning the NL batting title with a .331 average, and he led the majors in hits (213), runs scored (137), triples (14) and total bases (383). He also had 37 home runs and 104 RBIs for the Rockies last season while earning a Silver Slugger Award for the second consecutive season.
Blackmon’s offensive performance helped lead the Rockies to an 87-75 record and a Wild Card game loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. That was their best finish in nine seasons, which was also the last time the club made a postseason appearance. Blackmon also made some history for the Rockies this year (h/t ESPN).
Blackmon also set a major league record for most RBIs in a season by a leadoff man, driving in 103 runs from the top spot to best Darin Erstad’s mark of 100 RBIs set in 2000 with the Angels. His 37 home runs from the leadoff spot ranked third all-time behind Alfonso Soriano, who hit 38 with the Yankees in 2002 and 39 with the Nationals in 2006.
Blackmon has played seven seasons for the Rockies and is already sixth in franchise history in Offensive WAR, seventh in both hits and runs scored, and eighth in batting average. He’s now won two Silver Slugger Awards and made two All-Star appearances. Holding onto Blackmon and his bat will be key for the Rockies as they look to maintain this upward trajectory.