Blackmon’s deal includes $108 million in guaranteed money through 2023, as first reported by Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports. That includes $94 million in new money in addition to his $14 million salary for 2018, and a $75 million guarantee over the first four seasons before player options for $21 million (for 2022) and $10 million (for 2023) kick in. The deal also includes escalators and incentives, mostly toward the end of the contract.
Blackmon was playing this season under a one-year, $14 million deal that he struck with the Rockies in January to avoid arbitration following a career year in 2017. He was expected to be one of the top free agents in a loaded class that is also slated to include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Clayton Kershaw, but will instead be locked into the Rockies’ lineup for at least the next four seasons.
The 31-year-old center fielder captured the National League batting title after he hit .331 with 37 home runs and 104 RBI while also posting a 1.000 OPS in 159 games last season. Blackmon also led the majors in total bases (387), hits (213), runs (137), triples (14) and plate appearances (725), with his total bases being the most by a leadoff hitter in one season. For his efforts, he earned his second All-Star selection, won his second Silver Slugger award, finished fifth in the NL MVP race and led the Rockies to a postseason appearance for the first time since 2009.
So far this season, Blackmon is tied for the MLB lead in homers (four) and total bases (20) while slashing .316/.409/1.053 through five games. He’s one of a handful of Rockies under club control through at least 2021, joining Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee and Wade Davis (through 2021) and Ian Desmond (through 2022).
Colorado will now turn its focus toward a long-term extension for star third baseman Nolan Arenado, who is eligible for free agency after the 2019 campaign.