Charlie Blackmon plans to exercise player options 2022-23
rocky mountain outfielder Charlie blackmon does not plan to leave Denver, as Blackmon told reporters (including Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post) that he will exercise player options on his contract for 2022 and 2023. An official decision regarding Blackmon’s plans for 2022 will come soon after the World Series, and Blackmon does not have to make a decision on his 2023 option until next season, if he changes his mind in the next 12 months.
By exercising his 2022 option, Blackmon will earn $ 21 million next season, and there was no doubt that he would choose to prefer that big guaranteed paycheck to a visit to the free agent market. Blackmon entered Game 162 with .269 / .349 / .409 with 13 homers in 581 home plate appearances, his least productive full season by OPS (.759), OPS + (95) and wRC + (94) since he became a Colorado regular in 2013.
At 35 and coming out of this lackluster platforming season, there wasn’t much of a chance that Blackmon could find anything on the open market that would exceed the $ 31million minimum of guaranteed money he received in 2022-2023. Blackmon’s original expansion with the Rockies has already grossed him $ 63 million, and after the salary of $ 21 million for 2022, he is expected to earn at least $ 10 million through player option 2023. That figure of 2023 could end up being worth as much as $ 18 million if Blackmon hit various escalators based on plate appearances and MVP votes.
The Rockies signed Blackmon for that extension in April 2018, keeping Blackmon in the fold ahead of his planned free agency trip during the 2018-19 offseason. In the guaranteed three years of the extension, Blackmon contributed a 0.295 / 0.357 / 0.489 slash line and 51 home runs over 1,462 PA, but most of that damage occurred in 2019.
Its decline over the past two seasons does not bode well for Colorado’s chances of getting an acceptable return on that $ 21 million investment for next year. Blackmon’s tough contact count has plummeted, and opposing teams have rolled out many changes to neutralize left-handed hitter Blackmon over the past two seasons.