CarGo and Tulo: The Rockies' Big Risks

January 12 2011, 9:30 AM

When news broke just after the New Year that the Colorado Rockies and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez had agreed to a seven-year, $80 million extension, fans were excited but cautious. After all, could the once-frugal Rockies really be committing that much money to another player in the same off-season that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was given a seven-year, $135 million extension? Also, would Gonzalez's agent, Scott Boras, break habit and let a young superstar give up potentially lucrative free-agent years?

All the worries have been put to rest, as CarGo passed his physical and signed the contract yesterday. He says the decision was an easy one for him: "Family.... This was a great opportunity for us. I could have waited, but you never know what's going to happen in the future, or if you will feel uncomfortable somewhere else. I love it here. This is where I wanted to be" (via The Denver Post).

After landing on his third team in three years, still trying to find his way as a pro, the Rockies stuck with Gonzales, and he reciprocated by becoming one of the best young players in the game. And after one good year, the Rockies have given him financial security for life, something the Wall Street Journal calls a "historic gamble." The paper notes that CarGo is the least experienced player (319 games played) in baseball history to receive such a lengthy and lucrative deal, but other young players in similar positions have paid off for their teams.

MLB.com agrees that the deal is risky, pointing out that the Rockies have now committed $214 million to just two players over the next seven years. But the team is spending the money wisely, and the owners are demonstrating "their own ability to build a winning organization....This is not only good news for Tulowitzki and Gonzalez, but good news for the entire Colorado franchise and all of its fans."