DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon views the one-year, $14 million contract he signed to avoid arbitration as a beginning.Beginning of what? Well, Blackmon believes all will be revealed in good time.Blackmon, who led the National League in batting (.331) for the first time, and topped multiple other categories,
DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon views the one-year, $14 million contract he signed to avoid arbitration as a beginning.
Beginning of what? Well, Blackmon believes all will be revealed in good time.
Blackmon, who led the National League in batting (.331) for the first time, and topped multiple other categories, is eligible for free agency after this season.
The idea of the Rockies signing him to a multiyear deal lingers. In a sense, much has changed -- Blackmon is an established star and the Rockies, after years of struggle, are coming off a postseason appearance. But at the same time, Blackmon can view it as nothing having changed.
Blackmon, speaking Saturday at Coors Field during the final day of the Rockies Winter Caravan, acknowledged that maybe an extension before the season is possible, but ultimately his energy must go into his play.
"It's a two-way street," Blackmon said. "I really like playing here. It's been a great place to be. I like the people. I like the teammates. And I've also been on a one-year situation for the past three to four years, so it doesn't really change anything for me. I'm used to that go-out-and-produce mindset. Hopefully, something happens. That would be great.
"But I don't plan to let that get in the way of me playing baseball. I don't plan to be thinking about that during the season. That's my time to work. I don't want to be distracted."
While money doesn't necessarily change things, it could force him to adjust one thing. He still drives the 2004 Jeep Laredo he has had since high school. Maybe something new is on the horizon.
But it's not out with the old.
"I might get something else, but I'm not going to get rid of [the Jeep]," Blackmon said.
• Manager Bud Black reviewed the various possibilities at first base. The Rockies could revisit Ian Desmond, whom they signed last year, but Desmond is a fit in the outfield. There's more in-house.
"Ian's there," Black said. "We've got Ryan McMahon. Don't be surprised to see Pat Valaika play some first base. We're going to move him around the diamond. Jordan Patterson was in camp last year on the 40-man roster, played some first base in Triple-A and at big league Spring Training last year.
But this is, Black added, pointedly, "As of Jan. 20."
Mark Reynolds took the position last season after Desmond sustained a broken hand in Spring Training, and he was a Final Vote candidate for the All-Star Game. The Rockies are talking about a reunion. If not Reynolds, the Rockies could seek a similar right-handed-hitting veteran to pair with the left-handed-hitting McMahon.
• Blackmon was not happy with his performance in last year's 11-8 loss to the D-backs in the NL Wild Card Game -- something he discussed in December. On Saturday, he said experiencing the playoff mentality was valuable.
"As soon as you start playing pro ball, they grind this mentality into your head that it's a long season: Don't get too up, don't get too down, don't let one at-bat ruin your mindset because there's always tomorrow," he said. "And then you go play a one-game playoff, and there's not a tomorrow. It changes your mentality a little bit.
"So as I've gone into my offseason, I had this mentality that, 'OK, I've got to play 162 games, plus playoffs.' And really, playoffs are the only thing that matters."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and** like his Facebook page**.