Rox reach one-year deal with SS Iglesias

March 16th, 2022

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies on Wednesday reached a one-year contract agreement with shortstop José Iglesias, who has spent 10 years in the Majors and finished last season with the Red Sox.

As first reported by Mike Rodriguez of Univision, Iglesias, 32, will receive a $5 million guarantee.

The signing signaled the end of the Rockies’ attempt to retain Trevor Story, one of several shortstops who have received or will receive a significant long-term contract going into the 2022 season.

While Story is a two-time All-Star with impact both offensively and defensively, the Rockies have the next-best thing in Iglesias: a respected defender whose career includes an All-Star appearance with the Tigers in 2015. He has played for the Red Sox (2011-13, 2021), Tigers (2013-18), Reds (2019), Orioles (2020) and Angels (2021).

The Rockies are pursuing an impact bat, with Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber at the top of the wish list. They would have been fine with retaining Story, but Story said his goodbyes to the Rockies at the end of last season, and club officials knew changing his mind was a longshot.

The club made some final overtures this week after the signing of the collective bargaining agreement meant clubs and players could negotiate, but they also tracked Iglesias all last season, when he played 114 games for the Angels and 23 for the Red Sox. Iglesias batted a combined .271 with nine home runs and 48 RBIs, and posted a .309 on-base percentage.

The other shortstop on the Rockies’ radar, Andrelton Simmons, reached a one-year agreement with the Cubs on Tuesday.

Whatever decision the Rockies made, they could not skimp on the defensive part of the equation. Coors Field favors hitters to the extreme, so turning ground balls into outs is of high importance -- and it plays into the hands of the pitching staff.

According to FanGraphs, the Rockies’ 44.8 percent ground-ball rate tied for third-highest in the Majors last season. Among National League starters with at least 120 innings pitched, Germán Márquez and Antonio Senzatela finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in ground-ball rate, and Kyle Freeland finished 21st after missing the beginning of the year with a left shoulder injury and struggling initially upon his return.

Rox also swing deal with Schebler
The Rockies also reached a Minor League agreement with an invitation to Major League Spring Training with left-handed-hitting outfielder Scott Schebler, 31, who hit .147 in 14 Major League games with the Angels last season. Schebler has also played for the Dodgers and Braves; however, his most productive years occurred with the Reds, when he combined for 47 homers and 116 RBIs in 2017-18.

The contract calls for Schebler’s Major League rate for the season to be $950,000.