On Friday, the Rockies and beginning pitcher Germán Márquez agreed on phrases to a two-year contract extension price a assured $20 million. This was a misplaced season for Márquez, as an elbow harm and eventual Tommy John surgical procedure resulted in him solely making 4 begins. Unsurprisingly for a pitcher struggling a significant harm, the second yr of his new deal is closely incentivized, with two roster bonuses and three inning bonuses. Márquez is anticipated to overlook the primary half of the 2024 season, but when he throws 160 innings in 2025, he’ll internet a cool $22 million for the season. The contract additionally features a $1 million task bonus, paid by his new staff if the Rockies ought to commerce him.
An elbow harm that requires a scalpel isn’t a welcome signal for anybody, however for Márquez, initially a free agent this fall, it was a very exhausting blow. The hope had been that he would bounce again from a pedestrian 2022 season that noticed his FIP balloon to just about 5 and his strikeout charge fall about 10% from 2021. Whereas my ideas on how the Rockies have been run since, nicely, 1993 are well-known, he was considered one of their greatest coups in franchise historical past. It’s exhausting to show the Rays unsuitable on a younger pitcher, however that the Rockies did, selecting up Márquez and Jake McGee from Tampa Bay for Corey Dickerson and Kevin Padlo in 2016. Regardless of being solely 28, he already looms massive in Rockies historical past.
Rockies Profession Pitching WAR Leaders
Jiménez’s three-year peak as an elite pitcher makes him the king of the mountain, however Márquez is barely a pair good months behind him. When you think about offense as nicely (Márquez was as soon as a Silver Slugger), the latter is already the chief. And whereas I can’t anticipate anybody in Denver to understand this, it definitely issues to me that my most up-to-date reminiscence of Márquez isn’t Buck Showalter throwing him right into a playoff sport for no specific motive.
Lest you assume Márquez’s lofty standing is me damning the Rockies with faint reward, he’s lengthy been one of many best-projected younger pitchers in ZiPS WAR:
ZiPS Remainder of Profession Pitching, WAR Germán Márquez
|12 months (Preseason)||Relaxation-of-Profession WAR||Rank|
Naturally, his place within the rankings dropped as he failed to take care of his 2018 strikeout charge, however a number of the decline is pure because of having fewer tomorrows remaining. With the form of bounceback that ZiPS anticipated, he would have been taking a look at a reasonably good payday in free company. Right here’s what his long-term projections for 2024 and past appeared like earlier than the beginning of 2023. I’m utilizing a impartial park for this one since Coors Discipline is… sophisticated.
ZiPS Projection – Germán Márquez (Preseason 2023)
Based mostly on that projection, ZiPS really useful a seven-year, $126 million extension or $116 million over six years. That’s not Gerrit Cole cash and displays the elevated danger stemming from his 2022, however 9 figures should buy a formidable haul of products and/or providers. It definitely would have been a greater use of cash than, say, signing an getting older third baseman from the Cubs to play left discipline for $182 million.
I went forward and advised ZiPS that Márquez has missed time because of Tommy John surgical procedure (I usually do that after the season) and re-ran the numbers.
ZiPS Projection – Germán Márquez
ZiPS would have urged two years at $18.2 million, however the distinction between that and $20 million, within the context of MLB, is mainly nothing. In any case, the truth that he’s a pitcher who has survived Coors Discipline is sort of definitely price a bit extra cash, even when ZiPS isn’t particularly valuing that right here. In different phrases, the Rockies made a transfer that I can not complain about.
The place does Márquez match into the way forward for the Rockies? That’s a a lot trickier query. Whereas the perfect consequence for him is that he makes a grand return subsequent July and returns to his 2017–21 peak type, leading to him getting that $100 million contract in a few years, I’m undecided the Rockies will take fullest benefit of this sunny state of affairs. If the group goes to change into aggressive once more, it has quite a lot of work to do, and Márquez rocking the NL inside out in 2025 probably makes him extra invaluable to the Rockies by way of who they will purchase for him relatively than his precise efficiency.
Buying and selling veterans, particularly veterans who had an vital previous within the story of the franchise, at all times seems to be psychologically tough for Colorado’s possession. However that’s an issue for the longer term Rockies. The staff made a great transfer in extending Márquez to a low-risk, high-upside contract, and that’s adequate for me to pause my grumbling.