At one point, Kris Bryant was projected to be a no-doubt Hall of Famer. After beginning his career with a Rookie of the Year award followed by an MVP, Bryant was destined for the history books. Also, adding to Bryant’s ledger was being a part of the squad that ended the 108 years World Series winless drought for the Chicago Cubs. But fast-forward to Bryant’s free agency, and he produces a much different-looking player. While still an above-average player, Bryant’s decision to be “the man” in Colorado is puzzling. So we examine a couple of reasons reasons why this seven-year $182 million deal makes no sense for Kris Bryant or the Colorado Rockies. And check out the accompanying video on Baseball Banter Broadcast on YouTube.
Rockies are Rebuilding
Let’s begin with the most obvious reason this deal makes no sense. Depending on your preference, the Colorado Rockies are in the midst of a teardown, a retooling, or a rebuild. No matter the title of the action, the Rockies will finish no better than fourth in the National League West in 2022. So the idea that the Rockies signed Kris Bryant to a seven-year deal with a full no-trade clause.
The contract was signed to the tune of $182 million, averaging about $26 million a season. Or, more importantly, Bryant’s deal is worth a little more than 11% of the Rockies 2022 payroll under the luxury tax threshold. Spending this much on one player without a ton of support behind him only furthers to question the sanity of this signing. Colorado is on the downswing portion of the win curve, and Kris Bryant isn’t going to change that.
The contract for Kris Bryant stands at $182 for seven years. Bryant receives a full no-trade clause with a $7 million signing bonus. For the 2022 season, Bryant is set to make $17 million, and then his salary jumps up to $27 million. The curious nature of this deal ties into the fact that the Rox aren’t competing. Colorado would trade away franchise star Nolan Arenado a couple of seasons ago. The Rox would follow that by letting Trevor Story, the next homegrown star walk in free agency. And if we step back down memory lane a bit further, Troy Tulowitzki was traded much in the same faction as Arenado.
Colorado is bringing in Kris Bryant to a non-competitive ballclub in 2022. The NL West standings will likely find the Rockies finishing no better than third in the division. The Rockies will probably finish fourth behind the Dodgers, Giants, and Padres. The funds in the game are increasing. And the Rockies’ financials should be able to handle the terms of this deal. But for a club that made a massive commitment to Arenado only to trade him away. This type of financial commitment seems like it will follow the same pattern we’ve seen from the Rockies.