1:05pm: Bard’s contract will assure him “about $19MM,” Feinsand tweets.
12:52pm: The Rockies and nearer Daniel Bard are finalizing a contract extension, studies Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (Twitter hyperlink). Jon Heyman of the New York Post, in the meantime, studies that the Rockies have already reached an settlement on a two-year extension for Bard, a consumer of ISE Baseball (Twitter hyperlinks).
All indications all through the summer season have been that the Rockies aren’t occupied with buying and selling the 37-year-old Bard and relatively hoped to maintain him past the present season. It now seems they’ve succeeded in that aim.
On paper, Bard appeared just like the optimum commerce candidate: a 37-year-old reliever on an expiring contract and within the midst of a dominant season for a last-place crew. The Rockies, nevertheless, march to the beat of their very own drum maybe greater than any crew within the sport and have made a behavior of hanging onto standard commerce candidates, even when it means dropping key gamers for nothing, as they did final summer season when declining to commerce Jon Gray and surprisingly selecting to not concern him a qualifying supply.
Rockies proprietor Dick Monfort has outwardly spoken about his perception that the crew has the makings of a successful membership, even when the on-field outcomes have overwhelmingly recommended in any other case in latest seasons. General supervisor Bill Schmidt, who was elevated from scouting director to the GM’s chair final 12 months after GM Jeff Bridich’s dismissal, plainly informed Danielle Allentuck of the Denver Gazette earlier this month that he didn’t envision being a significant vendor at this 12 months’s deadline as a result of the group believes within the expertise on the roster. Manager Bud Black has echoed related sentiments in latest days, rhetorically questioning why the crew would commerce a “Range Rover” (Bard) for a “Honda Accord” (a package deal of minor league prospects, presumably).
While it is actually truthful to query the inherently dangerous determination to increase a 37-year-old reliever, it is concurrently simple to see how the Rockies have turn into enamored of Bard within the ninth inning. Merely making it again to the Majors after a seven-year absence would’ve been a feel-good story by itself, however Bard not solely engineered one of the vital unbelievable comebacks in latest reminiscence — he is rapidly ascended to the ranks of the elite in MLB.
A late-season swoon despatched Bard’s 2021 ERA hovering to five.21 following the commerce deadline, however he is been an absolute powerhouse in Black’s bullpen this 12 months, pitching to a 1.91 ERA with a 27.6% strikeout fee and a 53.8% ground-ball fee. Bard’s 12.2% stroll fee is noticeably increased than the league-average mark of 9.1% amongst relievers, however his penchant for grounders and inducing usually weak contact (87.2 mph common exit velocity) has helped him to mitigate any injury that may come up from at- instances spotty management. Bard can be averaging a blistering 98.1 mph on a sinker that may attain triple-digits and make hitters look downright silly at instances.
Relievers are risky, as Bard himself has proven along with his 2021 and 2022 outcomes, so there’s loads of threat that this deal seems poorly for the Rockies. The present model of Bard, although, is about nearly as good a reliever as you may discover wherever within the league — and the Rockies are clearly assured in his potential to maintain this output at the same time as he approaches his fortieth birthday.
From a payroll vantage level, Bard will add one other notable wage to a 2023 roster that would properly set a brand new franchise-record in payroll earlier than the entrance workplace makes a single roster transfer. The Rox had $110MM on subsequent 12 months’s books already, and that was earlier than factoring in Bard’s new extension and an $18MM participant possibility that Charlie Blackmon appears prone to train. Colorado may also owe arbitration raises to every of Robert Stephenson, Garrett Hampson, Tyler Kinley, Peter Lambert, Austin Gomber and Brendan Rodgers. All of that ought to push the crew proper up towards or someplace past the present franchise-record mark of $145MM. Further additions this winter may ship the Rockies into solely new payroll territory.
The Rockies will take – and, primarily based on social media response, have already taken — loads of flak for his or her dedication to retaining a core of gamers that has generated solely a .445 successful share courting again to the 2019 season. And whereas the crew’s resistance to rebuilding and staunch perception that the makings of a contender are current can each pretty be questioned, it is also considerably refreshing to see a membership proceed to attempt to put collectively a successful membership relatively than lean into the kind of arduous, multi-year rebuilds which have proliferated the game lately. Even if this group by no means breaks by way of and emerges as a real postseason contender in future seasons, the Rockies are at the very least attempting — and that is greater than a number of groups can say every season.