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Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Sources: Colorado Rockies pitcher Antonio Senzatela agrees to $50.5 million, five-year extension

Right-hander Antonio Senzatela and the Colorado Rockies are in agreement on a five-year, $50.5 million contract extension, sources told ESPN, tying the right-handed control artist to the organization through at least 2026.

The deal includes a $14 million club option for 2027 and gives the Rockies four potential free agent seasons. The cost is significant: $7.25 million for each of the next two seasons and $12 million each for the 2024-26 seasons.

Senzatela, 26, is a modern baseball anomaly: A pitcher who doesn’t strike out reams of hitters. His strikeout rate this season of 6.0 batters per nine innings ranks 117th of 120 pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings this season. Senzatela makes up for it with a walk rate of 1.73 per nine innings, which ranks fifth out of 120, and a groundball rate of 51.6%—a figure rare among pitchers with so few walks.

They have also signed first baseman C.J. Cron to a two-year extension.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2021 at 12:50 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: antonio senzatela, rockies

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 05, 2021 at 04:24 PM (#6043759)
Not sure this was necessary, a bit risky for the Rox, but will probably work out fine. It's two arb years, two FA years plus the option. The main question is whether committing early is worth it. When pitchers like this eventually fall apart, it usually happens quite quickly. Pitchers like this usually don't command much on the FA market either. So going year-to-year through arb then, if you still want him, 3/$40 might well win the day. He's also only made it to 150 innings for the first time, was terrible as recently as 2019. On the plus side, the performance has been fine, his ERA has been worse than his FIP so he probably projects better than his performance and this contract only takes him through 31 and he probably won't fall apart before then.

The only comp springing to mind is Hendricks, the current king of BIP pitchers. Hendricks has the better K-rate, much better ERA+ and the Cubs got his last arb year and 3 FA years for $55 and the gap between these two is more than $5 M (plus 2 years inflation).

Stathead turns up just 5 more SP with at least 350 IP 2019-21 and a K/9 < 7.5 and one of those is the near-retiring Lester.

Marco Gonzalez: 4/$30 covering 3 arb, 1 FA plus an option signed before this year.
Zach Davies: FA this year, $14 M his last two arb years
Ryan Yarbrough: was super-2 coming into this year, $2.3 M, had a bad year so probably $3.5-4 next year
Brad Keller: first (full) arb year was $3.4, bad year, probably about $5 next year

So looks like the Rox overpaid a bit as usual but the money is small enough it probably won't matter.

Cron got 2/$14.5. He's coming off his career-best season, turning 32. bWAR rates him a dead average 1B both offensively and defensively so hard to argue with this AAV ... not sure you need to guarantee the second year, but you might. Assuming he's not blocking anybody, I'll give this one a thumbs up.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 05, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6043776)
There was a time I had at least heard of guys signing $50M contracts. Or maybe it’s a memory issue?
   3. Walt Davis Posted: October 05, 2021 at 07:34 PM (#6043799)
Sorry, misread it ... he signed for 5/$50 plus option not 4/$50. That's more reasonable in AAV but sillier in length (even Hendricks only got 4 years). Analysis still comes out about the same.

#2: I dunno, do you pay attention to roughly average players playing for below-average teams? Senzatela is just a slightly above-average starting pitcher in modern baseball -- an ERA+ a bit over 100, 5.5 IP/start. A perfectly fine but perfectly blah pitcher. No particular reason you should have heard of him unless you were the fan of a NLW team.

But I suspect it's more that you think $50 M is still big money or that the "guys I've heard of who signed for $50 M" all did so a decade or more ago or are former stars signed in their 30s.

According to some list of contracts by AAV over time the first guy to make $10+ M per year was Albert Belle, back in 1997 (signed in 96). Since that was a 5-year contract, I'm gonna guess he might have been the first $50 M man. Before the 97 season was over, Maddux had passed him; and before the 98 season had begun, Pedro passed him (looks to be the first $75 M contract). It looked like ARod had really broken things open with 10/$250 but in fact it was so out there (and he was so obviously the best player) that nobody beat it until ARod got 10/$275 after his opt-out (which was not such a good idea). We are now at a point where the top players are deservedly getting $300-350 M and the top pitchers are getting $200-250 M (only because they rarely get more than 7 years).

MLB revenues have roughly tripled since ARod signed that 10/$250 M contract ... I haven't noticed any player coming remotely close to a $75 M AAV. Any statement along the lines of "I can't believe how much players make these days" is just silly and naive.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 05, 2021 at 07:43 PM (#6043803)
Michael Toglia, the Rockies first draft pick in 2019, is the first baseman in waiting. He also hit .228 spread across High A and AA this year. He's kind of the Rockies Andrew Vaughn.
   5. BDC Posted: October 05, 2021 at 09:33 PM (#6043843)
There was a time I had at least heard of guys signing $50M contracts. Or maybe it’s a memory issue?

Senzatela presents no canvas for your mind to draw an image on.
   6. Dr. Pooks Posted: October 06, 2021 at 01:10 AM (#6043918)
There was a time I had at least heard of guys signing $50M contracts. Or maybe it’s a memory issue?

I've never heard of this guy before as a Jays fan.

I guess it's been at least 2 years since Colorado played the AL East.
   7. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 06, 2021 at 06:57 AM (#6043922)
Re 2: I'm guessing a guy named the Yankee Clapper lives a long, long way from Denver.

EDIT: Actually, everywhere is a long way from Denver; the closest MLB city is Kansas City, ~560 miles away. Even the Rox' division opponents are (on average) ~800 miles away!
   8. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 06, 2021 at 02:36 PM (#6044022)
To give you an idea of how far that is: chop the KC-Denver distance in half, and you can neatly tuck in the ~270 mile Boston-to-Philadelphia corridor, which once housed nearly half of the teams (7 of 16) in all of MLB...

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