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Non-tender deadline day bolsters strength of Rockies’ bullpen; Hampson enters free agency

Patrick Lyons Avatar
November 19, 2022

The Colorado Rockies were busy acquiring, extending and non-tendering players just 48 hours after making their second trade of their offseason on a busy Friday afternoon.

Colorado claimed LHP Brent Suter off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers to improve an inexperienced bullpen.

Originally drafted out of Harvard in the 31st round of the 2012 MLB Draft, Suter had spent his entire career with the Brewers, including parts of the two seasons in 2015-16 with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

His career earned run average of 3.51 over seven seasons translates to an above average 120 ERA+. 

Sep 6, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brent Suter (35) reacts after inducing a double play with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The 33-year-old was an effective starting pitcher, but his transition to the bullpen has made him an even more effective pitcher. In 157 games as a reliever, Suter has a 2.90 ERA. 

The two parties avoided arbitration and agreed to a $3 million salary for 2023. 

With the health of Lucas Gilbreath still a question mark after having his season ended with a left flexor strain coupled with Austin Gomber’s potential to join the rotation, Suter immediately becomes the Rockies most reliable left-handed option out of the bullpen. 

Tyler Kinley, one of Colorado’s best relievers over the past two season, agreed to a three-year extension with the club for $6.25 million, according to Ari Alexander of KPRC in Houston. A fourth-year option for 2026 at $5 million comes with a $750K buyout with incentives and escalators for the 2025 and 2026 seasons based on games finished.

Following Tommy John surgery in late June, Kinley’s 2022 was limited to 24.0 innings. He was outstanding, posting a 0.75 ERA in 25 games, striking out 27 and walking six. He’s expected to return at some point midseason, more than likely after the All-Star break.

Garrett Hampson was non-tendered a contract following seven years with the organization.

Selected in the 3rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Hampson was promoted to the big leagues just over two years later, even earning a spot on the 2018 National League Division Series roster.

He recorded 15 stolen bases his rookie season in 2019, becoming the sixth Rockies rookie to record at least 10 stolen bases in a season and the first since  2010 (Eric Young Jr.).

Hampson used his speed to put together a productive 2021, stealing a career-high 17 bags, hitting six triples (fifth in the NL) and setting a franchise record with 21 infield hits. 

May 30, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Garrett Hampson (1) singles on a bunt in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 started with a hand contusion on April 17 that sidelined him for 14 games. He homered in his second game back from the injured list, but managed only one more long ball the remainder of the year, finishing with 15 RBI in 226 plate appearances.

The 28-year-old utility player had been projected to earn a $2.1MM salary in his second year of arbitration by MLB Trade Rumors. 

More Non-Tenders

Around MLB, a lot of players were placed on waivers ahead of the 5pm MDT non-tender deadline yesterday. 

The biggest name to be pushed into free agency: 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger.

After batting .305 with 47 home runs and 115 RBI for the 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers that season, the 27-year-old has hit just 41 homers over the last three seasons.

He was slated to make somewhere near $18 million his final year of arbitration before being non-tendered by the Dodgers.

Apr 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger (35) watches Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia (not pictured) drop the ball over the fence on what would have been a home run but he was called out and credited with an RBI single after overtaking third baseman Justin Turner (not pictured) while rounding the bases in the third inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The left-handed hitting centerfielder and first baseman would provide significant power for the Rockies, who were tied for the eighth-fewest home runs (149) in the Majors and hit the second-fewest in any full season in franchise history (fewest: 142 in 1993).

Alex Reyes, an All-Star in 2021 with the St. Louis Cardinals, was also non-tendered. The 28-year-old missed all of 2022 with a right shoulder injury after saving 29 games the previous year.

Other players who were non-tendered and are now free agents include 1B/LF Dominic Smith (NYM), 1B Luke Voit (WAS), C Jorge Alfaro (SD), 3B Brian Anderson (MIA) and 3B Jeimer Candelario (DET).

Diamond Details

  • Dinelson Lamet and Colorado agreed on the terms of his final year of club control on Wednesday. The two sides settled on $5 million for 2023. Lamet has no options remaining and will be a free agent following the season.
  • Tyler Matzek, former Rockie and Atlanta’s lockdown reliever during their 2021 World Series Championship, received a two-year guaranteed deal worth $3.1 million that includes a $5.5 million club option for 2025. Matzek had Tommy John surgery in October and is set to miss the entire 2023 season.
  • Taylor Motter, member of the 2021 Rockies, signed a minor league deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. 
  • Former Colorado Mesa University OF/1B Bligh Madris was selected off waivers by the Detroit Tigers. 

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