Monday Quarterbacking: Arbitration Eligibles

The Colorado Rockies love quarterbacks. It's no secret; the club has drafted four of them (Todd Helton, Seth Smith, Kyle Parker, and Russell Wilson). So, from now on the Monday column will be called Monday Quarterbacking. Get used to it. Oh, and congratulations to Russell Wilson for beating the New England Patriots on Sunday. I promise that's the last mention of football here. 

The topic today is the arbitration eligible players on the Rockies. There are five players that qualify, assuming Tyler Colvin makes the cutoff as a Super Two. Colvin has two years and 139 days of service time. He was great at Coors Field (.338/.380/.652) this season and was awful (.244/.272/.413) on the road. The Rockies value his versatility with Todd Helton's health up in the air. At MLB Trade Rumors, Matt Swartz projects a $1.9MM salary for Colvin in 2013 if he's considered a Super Two. 

The Rockies have three first time arbitration eligible players who don't qualify for Super Two status: Jhoulys Chacin, Jonathan Herrera, and Josh Outman. 

Outman had a terrible season in the Majors (8.19 ERA) and is a candidate to be non-tendered. Swartz projects a $600K salary should the Rockies choose to offer the unfortunately named Outman arbitration. 

Over the last three years, Jonathan Herrera has averaged 89 games per season and has hit .261/.326/.328. Swartz projects a $800K salary if he's arbitration, but that doesn't seem likely given the presence of D.J. LeMahieu and the absence of Jim Tracy, who had no problem playing Herrera entirely too often. 

Chacin is the lone first time arbitration eligible who truly deserves to be retained. The right-handed entered the season as the Rockies number two starter, but he was sent to Triple-A by May. His work ethic was questioned before the season by general manager Dan O'Dowd as Chacin showed up to spring training out of shape and clearly he just wasn't ready for the season. Upon returning to the Majors in August, he pitched to a 2.84 ERA in 44 and 1/3 innings, though he walked 17 and struck out just 23. There isn't much to be encouraged about with Chacin at the moment, but he's a lock to get offered arbitration. Swartz projects a $1.6MM salary in 2013.

Last but not least we have Dexter Fowler, who had the best season of anyone in a Rockies uniform this year. Fowler is a second time arbitration eligible and Swartz projects a $4MM salary for 2013. Still, there is the possibility that the Rockies and Fowler will agree on a contract extension this offseason. MLB Trade Rumors' Ben Nicholson-Smith wrote about the possibility of a Fowler extension in August and concluded that a 5-year, $42MM deal with a club option for a sixth year would be fair for both sides.

Unless the Rockies wildly unpredictable front office all of a sudden gets the urge to deal Fowler for pitching prospects, it looks like Fowler is going to be wearing a Rockies uniform for quite some time. Either way, he's going to be a very rich man very soon. 

Well, that about does it. Assuming Chacin, Colvin, and Fowler are all retained via the arbitration process then the Rockies will spend an estimated $7.5MM to keep them. 

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