Rockies sign LHP Boone Logan to 3-year, $16.5 million deal

Rich Schultz

The lefty specialist surprisingly gets the third-largest reliever contract of the winter.

The Colorado Rockies have signed free-agent reliever Boone Logan to a three-year, $16.5 million contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The two sides were first reported to be close to a deal Thursday night by Troy Renck of the Denver Post.

The 29-year-old Logan spent the last four seasons as a steady member of the Yankees' bullpen, posting a 3.38 ERA and better than 10 strikeouts per nine in 176 innings during his time in the Bronx. The lefty specialist led the American League in appearances (80) in 2012 and his strikeout the last two years (11.3 K/9) is among the top five for southpaw relievers, but his hefty eight-figure contract still comes as a bit of a surprise.

Of the 18 free-agent relievers to sign big-league contracts so far this winter, only Joe Nathan and Brian Wilson have pulled in more money than Logan; the closest comp to his deal is the three-year, $15.75 million pact that the Angels gave Joe Smith in November.

But while Smith and Logan's results the last few years are somewhat comparable, their playing time is not. Smith has thrown more innings (197) in the last three years than Logan has thrown in the last five (193⅓), and Smith has eclipsed the 60-inning mark in three straight years, while Logan has never gone over 55 in a season.

It's possible that the Rockies plan to give Logan an expanded role in their bullpen beyond lefty specialist to help make the contract look more palatable, but history suggests that they probably shouldn't. Right-handed batters have hit .297/.379/.475 against Logan in his career, which are unlikely to improve in the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field.

With the additions of Logan and veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, Colorado now has a fairly deep bullpen consisting of those two, Rex Brothers, Adam Ottavino, and Matt Belisle. Josh Outman served as the club's go-to LOOGY in 2013, but he may now be out of a job with Logan on board for the next few years.

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