2-year deal finalized, Story committed to Rockies

February 1st, 2020

DENVER -- Shortstop ’s new contract gives the Rockies’ payroll some relief in 2020, but gets him a high salary in 2021 and protects his free agency prospects.

Story’s two-year, $27.5 million contract -- which breaks down to an $8 million salary this year (plus a $2 million salary bonus) and a $17.5 million salary next -- went official on Friday. The deal covers the final two years of arbitration.

Before the deal was negotiated, Story, 27, sought $11.5 million while the team offered $10.75 million during the arbitration process. The total $10 million payout in 2020 saved the club a possible $1.5 million before next year’s bigger investment. But Story also remains in line to join a strong class of shortstops that could hit the free-agent market after 2021 -- one that includes Francisco Lindor, Javier Báez, Carlos Correa, and Corey Seager.

“It’s great having a little security, and it’s nice knowing we won’t have to go through arbitration again next offseason,” Story told MLB.com. “The feeling was mutual, and I’m happy with the way it turned out.”

Story earned the new deal with some unprecedented numbers. After last season -- when he hit .294 with 35 home runs, 85 RBIs, 78 extra-base hits and 23 steals, and was a first-time Gold Glove finalist -- Story stands as the only shortstop in MLB history to begin his career with four consecutive seasons of 20 or more home runs.

Does Story’s contract structure allow the Rockies to possibly add a Major League free agent? The Rockies are the only club in the Majors not to have signed a free agent with Major League experience, or made a trade for a Major Leaguer, this offseason. For now, the Rockies’ only new addition who had ever appeared in the Majors is left-handed reliever Tyler Kinley, a waiver claim from the Marlins.

The Rockies have taken much criticism locally for not adding talent, although the roster that fueled the postseason trips in 2017-18 is still largely intact, featuring mostly players in their 20s. Last year’s payroll, according to Spotrac, was a club-record $157.1 million -- steep for a team in the Majors’ 17th-largest television market. A new contract with AT&T Sports Networks begins in 2021.