McGee signs $5.9M deal, avoids salary arbitration
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