The Colorado Rockies and All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon agreed to a new contract Wednesday to keep the 31-year-old dynamic leadoff in the Mile High City for the foreseeable future. A free agent-to-be entering the 2018 season, Blackmon signed a contract that could total $116 million with options and incentives and keep him in a Rockies uniform through the 2023 season.

Blackmon has been a staple for the Rockies since 2013, serving as their leadoff hitter and developing himself into one of the most versatile all-around hitters in the sport. Blackmon is also a key part of the Rockies’ core of position players, including fellow All-Stars DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado, who helped push Colorado back to the postseason last year.

Given his production over the last few seasons, locking up Blackmon long-term was a no-brainer from the Rockies’ perspective. However, signing a 31-year-old who is coming off a career year has been risky business in baseball. Teams have shifted away from signing All-Star players over the age of 30 to long-term contracts, which has affected the way the free agent market has played out in recent time. So, instead of testing the waters as a free agent, Blackmon opted to re-up with the only professional team he has ever known.

The Rockies will pay Blackmon an average of $18-million per season, which is a sizeable chunk of their payroll moving forward. With the new deal, the Rockies financial outlook for the future gets a little hazy, especially with LeMahieu set to hit the free agent market following this season and Arenado after 2019. Re-signing Blackmon at 31 was a smart move considering what he’s done for the franchise over the past few seasons, but there was some risk involved in signing a player approaching his mid-30s and with the future finances of the team still in limbo.

Still, the Rockies are confident Blackmon will remain productive despite receiving a big payday while at the tail end of his “prime” years.

“From my view, Charlie will be productive,” Manager Bud Black said ahead of the team’s home opener Friday. “I think Charlie has a ton of pride in his play and I think that’s going to hold up over the length of his contract.”

One reason there is a lot of optimism surrounding Blackmon and his ability to live up to the longevity of the contract is due to how he has taken care of himself over the course of his career. Battered by injuries in the early part of his career, Blackmon did not become a staple for the Rockies until the 2013 season when he was 26. Coming up in the Rockies’ farm system, Blackmon tinkered with and adjusted his approach to the game both on and off the field throughout his journey to “the show.” He became creature of habit, a workout machine in top physical form, which in turn has helped make him one of the most consistent players in the sport.

“I think with Charlie, the guys who have been around the club a lot realize the work ethic Charlie has,” Black said. “How he takes care of himself, mentally and physically.”

The inconsistency he experienced throughout the early stages of his career caused Blackmon to make continuous adjustments to his game, which are still ongoing today. He is constantly learning about the game and himself, which has helped him become a player that still has room to blossom even with all he as accomplished already.

In his eight seasons with the Rockies, Blackmon has a batting average of .305 with 490 runs and 361 RBIs. Last season he won the National League batting title with a season batting average of .331. In addition, Blackmon looks to be in midseason form already for the Rockies in 2018 as he has a .345 batting average to pair with four home runs and six RBI.

“I think by the time he reaches his mid 30s, he’s still going to be a productive player,” Black said. “He has gotten better as a major-league player, and you don’t see that a lot. Guys get to the big leagues are good players and sort of stay at a certain level, but Charlie has incrementally grown in performance, which is great to see.”