Arbitration Filing Deadline Passed; But Rockies Can Still Sign Story, Wolters


When the dust had settled on the deadline for players to file for arbitration, the Rockies were left with two arbitration-eligible players -- shortstop Trevor Story and catcher Tony Wolters.

What does that mean? Time will tell, but it's no reason for alarm.

Yes. the Rockies came to an agreement with their four other arbitration-eligible players -- Jon Gray ($5.6 million), Kyle Freeland ($2.875 million), David Dahl ($2.475 million) and Carlos Estevez ($1.08 million).

No, they didn't get Story and Wolters in agreement, but the filing figures show the sides are not a shockingly huge gap -- Story filing at $11.5 million and the Rockies offering $10.75 million, and Wolters at $2.475 million and the Rockies offering $1.9 million.

There is no reason to overreact to the fact there was no agreement prior to the deadline on Friday. Arbitration hearings will be held between Feb. 3-21, leaving three weeks for the two sides to exchange ideas before the earliest possible hearing. And history has shown the Rockies will continue to negotiate, even after a filing for arbitration.

Frequently that leads to a multi-year deal, in fact, with a player like Story, who could be free-agent eligible after the 2021 season.

Never was that more evident than the last two off-seasons.

Nolan Arenado filed at $30 million, the Rockies countered at $24 million, and the two sides finally settled on $26 million, which not only was at the time a record for an arbitration player, but became the starting point for the eight-year, $260 million deal that set a record with and annual average value of $32.5 million.

And the year before, Charlie Blackmon went from being set for arbitration to signing a six-year, $108 million deal.

This year, they already agreed to a multi-year deal with reliever Scott Oberg, who passed on arbitration and signed a three-year, $13 million contract.

Are the Rockies arbitration enthusiasts? Well, they have faced 10 potential arbitration hearings in the past two off-seasons and all have been settled without a hearing.

In fact, in their previous 27 years of existence, the Rockies have had only four players actually go to arbitration -- left-handed pitcher Dennys Reyes in 2002, right-handed pitcher Sun-Woo Kim in 2006, left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes in 2008 and catcher Wilin Rosario in 2015.

The Rockies are coming off a 2019 when their season-opening, 25-man roster carried a salary that ranked 11th in Major League Baseball at $150,805,154, and figure to being even higher this year, possibly climbing into the top 10 among major-league teams.


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