Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Did the Rockies Overpay Huston Street?

3 years/$22.5 million:

The Rockies agreed to multiyear contracts with relief pitchers Huston Street and Rafael Betancourt, FOXsports.com has learned, giving the Rockies 11 players signed to contracts that tie them to the Rockies through at least 2011.

And that doesn’t include manager Jim Tracy, who earlier in the offseason signed a three-year deal that FOXsports.com has learned has a $4.4 million guarantee.

Street, who is arbitration eligible and would have been able to become a free agent after the season, has agreed to a three-year deal with an option on a fourth year that guarantees him $22.5 million. The finalizing of the deal is pending Street undergoing a physical when he is in Denver this weekend for the Rockies fanfest. As a result of the delay both the Rockies and the Hendricks brothers, who represent Street, will file arbitration figures.

To me, this deal is a double edge sword for the Rockies.

On one hand, Street was likely to earn around $7 million this season through arbitration, so it's not like the Rockies are giving Street a massive raise this season. And $22.5 million over three years for a young, quality closer like Street does not seem outlandish when compared to what other closers make.

But once again, it comes back to this: should a small market team like the Rockies invest so heavily in a closer? If the Rockies 2010 payroll is somewhere in the $75 million dollar range, then does it make sense for them to commit almost 10% of their payroll to a pitcher, who likely will throw no more than 70 innings this season. In addition, given the unpredictability of relief pitchers, does it make sense for the Rockies to throw so much money at a closer when they have a limited budget to work with?

What do you think?

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