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Carlos Gonzalez close to $80 million extension with Rockies

Jan 3, 2011, 3:13 PM EDT

Carlos Gonzalez rockies

Over the weekend Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional reported that Carlos Gonzalez was close to signing a long-term contract extension with the Rockies worth as much as $80 million.

Initially the Colorado-based media was pretty quiet about the possibility, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post just tweeted that he “would be surprised if deal doesn’t get done” and pegged the details as $80 million for seven years.

Gonzalez won’t be eligible for arbitration until 2012, so a seven-year contract would cover his final season of pre-arbitration, all three seasons of arbitration, and his first three seasons of free agency. By comparison the six-year, $119 million extension teammate Troy Tulowitzki signed recently covers only free agent seasons, which is why Gonzalez’s deal is so much cheaper.

Acquired from the A’s in 2008 as part of the Matt Holliday package, Gonzalez won the batting title as a 24-year-old last season, hitting .336 with 34 homers, 117 RBIs, 26 steals, and a .974 OPS. Coors Field inflated his raw numbers significantly, as Gonzalez hit .289 with a .775 OPS on the road compared to .380 with a 1.161 OPS at home, but he’s an elite all-around outfielder and one of baseball’s premier young players.

Colorado now has two young superstars locked up through at least 2017, but their previous long-term commitments to Todd Helton and Mike Hampton turned sour well before the end of those massive contracts and there’s plenty of risked involved in committing $200 million to Gonzalez and Tulowitzki when they were both already under team control through 2014 anyway.

  1. Travis Reitsma - Jan 3, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    The Rockies make no sense. They could have the same team with half the payroll. Apparently Mike Hampton and Todd Helton weren’t abberations, that’s how they do it down there.

  2. Ari Collins - Jan 3, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    When you sign someone before they reach FA, you should be getting a discount based on taking that risk. This isn’t as bad as the Tulo signing, but it’s pretty bad.

  3. paulie102704 - Jan 3, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    I am not sure I agree that Car Go is worth this extension at this point, 2010 notwithstanding. He was so mediocre on road and VERY lucky at home, a regression overall is a foregone conclusion. I think Car Go is due for a massive correction in 2011. Unlike Tulo, who has proven to be an elite player at a premium position, Car Go has warts that were masked by a very lucky year.

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