Blackmon’s season is over, but he has $18 million reasons to return in ’23
Sep 29, 2022, 10:48 AM
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
The Rockies made a roster move on Wednesday night that received little attention.
The team place outfielder Charlie Blackmon on the 10-day injured list with a torn meniscus in his left knee. In his place, shortstop José Iglesias was activated from the IL.
With the season ending on October 5 in Los Angeles, this means Blackmon is done for 2022. There simply aren’t enough games left for him to return. He finished the year with a .264 batting average, 16 home runs and 78 RBI. It’s a far cry in terms of production from when Blackmon made the All-Star Game three straight years in 2017, ’18 and ’19.
Blackmon hit a combined 98 home runs during that stretch and drove in 260 runs. His average was well over .300 and the Rockies made the playoffs in two of the three seasons. They’re about to miss the postseason for a fourth straight year.
Blackmon is the last remaining position player from a talented core that included Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and DJ LeMahieu. They’ve all moved on to greener pastures, while Blackmon has remained in Colorado.
Before the 2022 season he exercised a $21 million player option, and why not? That’s way more money than he would’ve gotten on the open market. And it appears we’re headed to a similar outcome this offseason.
According to Nick Groke of The Athletic, Blackmon met his player incentives to make the final season of a six-year, $108 million deal he signed back in 2018 worth a full $18 million in 2023. It’s also another player option.
BTW it appears Blackmon maxed out his contract incentives, so his $10 million player option in 2023 is now $18 million. He's already talked about returning for that final year of his deal.
He'll be 36. And tbh, I wouldn't discount the idea he plays another year after that… https://t.co/rkgcHk5WOB
— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) September 29, 2022
As Groke mentioned, Blackmon turned 36-years-old in July. He’ll be 37 for half of next year. While his baseball career might be winding down, he’ll still be paid handsomely to play another year for the Rockies.
If he’s stuck it out this long, it’s hard to see Blackmon opting out and testing the free agent market this offseason. Best case is the Rockies miraculously turn it around and he can make another postseason run with them. Another option is he becomes trade bait for a contender at the 2023 MLB trade deadline.
Regardless, Blackmon will continue to cash in. And good for him. The Rockies gave him the deal and he’ll get every last dollar out of owner Dick Monfort, even if his production continues to decline.