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The business of baseball is rocky for the Rockies.
Owner Dick Monfort wrote in a recent letter to season-ticket holders that “there will be nothing normal about this offseason as the industry faces a new economic reality,” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. General manager Jeff Bridich echoed that thought Wednesday after the Rockies non-tendered outfielder David Dahl, catcher Tony Wolters and right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez.
“It’s fluid right now, but we know that it’s not the same,” Bridich said when asked if the club’s 2021 payroll would shrink. “We are not going to be having the same sort of growth-minded outlook that we’ve had with the payroll over the last number of years. We have some business decisions to make and we will have to continue to make those, most likely.”
The Rockies’ had a projected $150.5 million payroll for 2020, the 12th-highest in the majors, and that would have set a franchise record, had it not been for the pandemic. It also would have marked the seventh consecutive season in which the club’s payroll increased, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
Wolter’s farewell. During his five seasons with the Rockies, Wolters was well-liked by his teammates and become a fan favorite, who’ll remember him for his hustle and for one of the biggest hits in franchise history. Wolters hit a game-winning, RBI single in the 13th inning of Colorado’s 2-1 over the Cubs in the 2018 wild-card playoff game.
“I will always look back on my time with the Colorado Rockies with fond memories,” Wolters said. “This is the team where I made my major league debut and have experienced many of the firsts of my career. The fans have been incredible to both me and my family. For that, among other things, I am incredibly grateful.
“However, I am excited for this next chapter and what it will bring. This is just another opportunity for me to learn from, work hard at, and make a difference in a new city.”
No comment. During Wednesday’s conference call with the media, Bridich was asked about the status of third baseman Nolan Arenado’s injured left shoulder, and also about any communication he might have had with Arenado since the end of the season.
“My understanding is that his shoulder (rehab) is going well,” Bridich said. “But otherwise, there’s really nothing to discuss in terms of the second part of your question.”