NO AR­BI­TRA­TION

Black­mon re­ceives $ 3.5M deal

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Nick Groke Nick Groke: ngroke@ den­ver­post. com or @ nick­groke

Char­lie Black­mon ac­cepted a one- year con­tract from the Rock­ies onMon­day, so­lid­i­fy­ing his slot in an al­ready- crowded out­field.

Black­mon avoided an ar­bi­tra­tion ar­gu­ment with the Rock­ies by ac­cept­ing a $ 3.5 mil­lion deal, ac­cord­ing to Jeff Pas­san of Ya­hoo Sports, cit­ing a source. This is the first year Black­mon, 29, was el­i­gi­ble for ar­bi­tra­tion.

The cen­ter fielder, who has played all or parts of five sea­sons with the Rock­ies, had asked for $ 3.9 mil­lion against their of­fer of $ 2.7 mil­lion. His deal net­ted him slightly more than the mid­point.

Black­mon proved to be a con­sis­tent as­set for theRock­ies last year, im­prov­ing on his 2014 all- star sea­son by fol­low­ing it with a .287/ .347/. 450 slash line ( bat­ting av­er­age, on- base per­cent­age, slug­ging per­cent­age). He also stole a ca­reer­high 43 bases and hit 17 home runs, mostly fromthe lead­off slot.

But the Rock­ies added a fourth left- handed- hit­ting out­fielder this month by sign­ing free agent Ger­ardo Parra to a three- year con­tract worth $ 27.5 mil­lion.

“I was lit­tle per­plexed at first,” Black­mon said Satur­day, re­fer­ring to the ac­qui­si­tion of Parra, “be­cause I didn’t re­ally see it com­ing. Go­ing into the off­sea­son, I didn’t know that was in play, re­ally.

“But af­ter look­ing at it, he’s a great player. I’ve played against him, seen him play. He’s got one of the best arms in the league. He can only make our team bet­ter.”

The Rock­ies have flirted with trad­ing an out­fielder, in­clud­ing Black­mon, as a way to boost their start­ing pitch­ing. But as it stands, Black­mon, Parra, Corey Dick­er­son and Car­los Gon­za­lez will com­pete for play­ing time in the Coors Field out­field.

Rock­ies man­ager Walt Weiss, asked if he has fig­ured out how to set a lineup with four left- hand­ed­hit­ting outfielders, said: “Not yet. Th­ese things tend to work them­selves out some­how, some­way.”

Black­mon and Dick­er­son, seem­ingly more than Gon­za­lez and Parra, re­main in trade talks.

“It’s good to be rel­e­vant. It’s nice that some­body is tak­ing enough time to write some­thing about you,” Black­mon said. “I try not to read into it too much. I know it’s out of my con­trol, so I don’t let it get to me. But it’s al­ways good to be some­thing that other teams rec­og­nize as, maybe this player could help my club.”

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