What Hammel’s ’11 deal means in ’12
The Colorado Rockies agreed to a two-year contract with starting pitcher that will cover his final two years of arbitration eligibility. That means four of the team’s five projected 2011 starters — , , and Hammel — are under team control in 2012 as well. Only remains uncertain. He is in the final year of a three-year extension that began in 2009, but the Rockies and Cook have a mutual option for 2012 at $11 million.
A lot depends on 2011 performance, but assuming the four guys under team control all do well enough to be part of the rotation in 2012, who’s the best bet for the fifth spot?
- Cook: Either with his option picked up or a new contract. Without a great season in 2011, the Rockies probably won’t pick up his expensive option but a solid year — say, 15 wins, an ERA in the 4s and 190+ innings — could lead to a contract extension.
- : The former first-round pick will likely return to Double-A start the season. He projects as a middle-of-the-rotation starter and hopes to avoid the injuries that kept him from making progress in 2011.
- : Another former first-round pick who has been slowed by numerous injuries. After missing the start of the 2010 season with a freak injury in spring training, he closed the 2010 season with a solid run in Double-A and later pitched in the Arizona Fall League. He was one option left this season. He will be given a shot to win a job in spring training but is more likely to start the season at Triple-A.
- : The right-hander made eight starts for the Rockies in 2010 and will be in the mix for a spot in spring training. He could end up in the bullpen with the Rockies or starting at Triple-A.
- : The Rockies acquired the big right-hander this offseason to compete for a spot in the starting rotation or the Rockies bullpen. He was once considered one of the top prospects in the Houston Astros organization.
- : The ace of the Rockies’ 2007 World Series team signed a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals this offseason. If he proves he’s healthy, he could land another big deal and the Rockies might have a spot to bring him back.