McGee signs $5.9M deal, avoids salary ar­bi­tra­tion

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pa­trick Saun­ders

The Rock­ies made three ros­ter moves at Fri­day’s non-ten­der dead­line, in­clud­ing giv­ing left-han­der re­liever Jake McGee a one-year con­tract for $5.9 mil­lion.

The Rock­ies did not ten­der con­tracts to right-handed re­liever Matt Car­a­siti and first base­man/out­fielder Stephen Car­dullo, leaving the club with 37 play­ers on its 40-man ros­ter.

By com­ing to terms with McGee, the club and the pitcher avoided salary ar­bi­tra­tion.

McGee was ac­quired last win­ter from Tampa Bay, along with right-han­der Ger­man Mar­quez, as part of a deal for out­fielder Corey Dick­er­son. McGee be­gan the sea­son as the Rock­ies’ closer and notched 15 saves. How­ever, a knee in­jury landed him on the dis­abled list from June 1 to July 1, and he was done as a closer. He fin­ished the sea­son 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA.

His raw num­bers, how­ever, were ac­tu­ally bet­ter in the sec­ond half of the sea­son when he posted a 3.05 ERA and 8.3 strike­outs per nine in­nings. Be­fore the all-star break, McGee had a 6.12 ERA in 29 ap­pear­ances and a strike­out rate of just 6.8 per nine in­nings.

Car­a­siti, 25, made his ma­jor-league de­but with the Rock­ies late last sum­mer. He was 1-0 with a 9.19 ERA, 11 walks and 17 strike­outs over 19 re­lief ap­pear­ances.

Car­dullo, 29, also made his de­but in 2016, bat­ting .214 with three dou­bles, one triple, two homers and six RBIs in 27 games.

Rock­ies gen­eral man­ager Jeff Bridich said this week that he ex­pects a re­bound per­for­mance from McGee, as well as right-handed re­liev­ers Ja­son Motte and Chad Qualls. All three failed to meet the club’s ex­pec­ta­tions.

“Jake showed flashes of it for a few months, ba­si­cally half of the year,” Bridich said. “Chad and Ja­son Motte, it was much more kind of up and down, and then in­juries and missed time.

“They were brought in to sta­bi­lize and pro­vide some vet­eran ex­pe­ri­ence. I be­lieve they can do that. It did not work out, ob­vi­ously, the way any­body in­volved wanted it to.”

Re­liever Jake McGee, who be­gan the 2016 sea­son as the Rock­ies’ closer, fin­ished the year with 15 saves, a 2-3 record and a 4.73 ERA. Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

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