The dedication of Colorado Rockies’ owners Dick and Charlie Monfort to build a consistent winner has been called into question throughout a majority of the franchise’s history. But, after multiple seasons in which the clubs’ payroll has grown significantly, the stigma behind the Monfort’s not wanting to spend to win deserves to be axed.
The Rockies payroll entering the 2019 season sits at $140,305,833 million, according to Sportrac, which is a substantial increase from their 2016 payroll of $107,902,208. Over the past few seasons the Rockies have “grown responsibly,” a term that General Manager Jeff Bridich coined when discussing the team’s payroll with the media.
The Rockies’ payroll sits within the top half among teams entering the season and is above the league average, ranking 12th out of 30 MLB clubs.
The club has made headlines in back-to-back offseasons by re-signing marquee players Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. Additionally, the Rockies have poured substantial money into their bullpen and other positions around the diamond to fortify the club for the foreseeable future.
There was a ton of speculation surrounding the club in regards to how much they were willing to spend to retain Arenado. In lieu of skepticism, ownership ended up making him the highest paid position player per season when they inked the 27-year-old to an eight-year, $260 million contract. That deal alone is a representation of the club’s dedication to winning moving forward.
“I think it’s reflective of a number of different things,” Bridich said. “One of them is that our owners are dedicated to winning. I think it reflects the organizational health right now in a lot of ways, financial and otherwise… certainly a credit to Dick Montfort to greenlight this and want to do this and make this happen.”
Additionally, the Monfort’s have a history of paying their franchise players dating back to the 1990s when the Rockies signed Larry Walker to a six-year, $75 million deal. The trend continued with Todd Helton, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki all receiving substantial contracts.
The bottom line is when the time comes, ownership is willing to break open the bank for their homegrown players and recently have been willing to dive deep into the free agent market.
The past few offseason’s alone the Rockies have shelled out money to Ian Desmond (five-year, $70 million), Wade Davis (three-year, $52 million), Jake McGee (three-year, $27 million), Bryan Shaw (three-year, $27 million) and Daniel Murphy (two-year, $24 million).
“It shows Dick and Charlie’s commitment to what we are trying to do here,” Manager Bud Black said of the team’s recent acquisitions.
Black has also been a beneficiary of ownership’s dedication to being competitive as he received a three-year extension from the Monfort’s after leading the club to the postseason in back-to-back years.
With the Monfort’s willing to spend to keep the team prevalent in the postseason hunt moving forward, the future is a bright one for the organization and its fanbase. Gone are the days of the Rockies consistently losing 80+ games a year and Coors Field becoming a ghost town in the late summer.
It’s a new day for the organization, and with seemingly rejuvenated and engaged ownership, the sky is the limit for the Rockies moving forward.