The Colorado Rockies are trying to give themselves some added flexibility with their latest move. They have agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract extension with starting pitcher German Marquez, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
The 2021 All-Star has missed almost the entire year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in early May. His 4.41 career ERA (4.95 in last 35 starts) makes such a commitment somewhat puzzling, especially considering he will be sidelined for a big chunk of next season, too. The deal will be evenly dispersed across the two years.
Right-hander Germán Márquez and the Colorado Rockies are in agreement on a two-year, $20 million contract extension, sources tell ESPN. He'll make $10M both years with $10M in potential performance bonuses for 2025. Marquez, 28, had Tommy John surgery and will miss most of 2024.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 8, 2023
Passan noted that Colorado originally had a $16.5 million option and 2.5 million buyout for Marquez slated for 2024. This essentially affords the front office some more time, while also giving the right-hander some decent short-term compensation. The Rockies can either hope Marquez returns to being a reliable presence in their starting rotation or trade him to another club.
It is difficult to pinpoint the direction of this franchise. A fifth consecutive losing season means that Colorado should be deep into a rebuild, but its farm system is still considered to be among the lower half in baseball. A fruitful 2017-18 stretch followed a long run of futility, so a sudden turnaround is possible. But there is just so much currently working against the Rockies.
As usual, the biggest issue is pitching. They rank last in the MLB with a 5.63 team ERA (second year in a row). It is well known that Coors Field is a hitter's dream, but this staff should not be worse than the Oakland Athletics'.
There are many things that must be done to remedy this bleak situation, beyond just extending German Marquez. But if the 28-year-old can regain his past form, he could join rookies Ezequiel Tovar and Nolan Jones as being part of the solution in Denver.