Dec 10, 2009, 5:39 PM EDT
The Denver Post’s Troy Renck reports that the Rockies and Chris Iannetta have agreed to terms on a three-year, $8.3 million contract that will cover the catcher’s arbitration years.
The deal also includes a $5 million club option for 2013, Iannetta’s first season of free agency.
While indications were that this was coming, it’s still surprising to see the 26-year-old Iannetta sign after a season in which he lost his job down the stretch. He could have earned considerably more during his arbitration years.
Iannetta was regarded as one of the game’s top young catchers after hitting .264/.390/.504 in 333 at-bats during a breakthrough 2008. Jim Tracy, though, didn’t seem to think so much of him after replacing Clint Hurdle as Colorado’s manager. Yorvit Torrealba started over him in September, and Iannetta finished the year with a .228/.344/.460 line in 289 at-bats.
Of course, the 804 OPS is still very good for a catcher, as were the 16 homers and 52 RBI in such a modest number of at-bats. The Rockies were smart to lock him in at such a reasonable salary since he was willing. They very likely just saved themselves at least $4 million for the next three years, plus a few million more from what he would have received in his first year of free agency.
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