December 22 2009, 9:52 AM
The Colorado Rockies would be smart to re-sign outfielder Carlos Gonzales. The Denver Post's Patrick Saunders goes to bat for the burgeoning star, saying that come this time next year, the Rockies need to lock him into a long-term deal similar to Chris Ianetta's recently signed, three-year, $8.3 million contract. I suspect it will cost more to keep CarGo than a measly $8.3 million, but Saunders is definitely onto something. He calls keeping Gonzales a "no-brainer," and he's right: CarGo is 23 and turned into a bonafide clutch player before our eyes in the second half of last year and in the playoffs. He hit .320 with a .608 slugging percentage in the second half of the season and jacked 11 home runs in his final 44 games. Meanwhile, one guy who definitely won't be re-signing with the Rockies is pitcher Jason Marquis, who has signed a two-year, $15 million contract to play for the Washington Nationals (via Sports Illustrated). The 31-year-old pitcher had a great year with the Rockies, posting a 15-13 record with a 4.04 ERA and 115 strikeouts, but he faded in the second half of the 2009 season and was excluded from the playoff rotation. Nationals fans are pumped, with fan blog Federal Baseball praising Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo for pulling the trigger on the deal. The Colorado Springs Independent points out that the Rockies will now have to add at least one more starter for the pitching rotation, but in-house talent like Jhoulys Chacin and others could compete for the job. Left-hander Jeff Francis should be back from a bum shoulder that sabotaged his 2009 run, but there's no guarantee he'll return to the nearly-20-win pitcher we saw a couple years ago.