MLB Hot Stove: Rockies close to re-signing Carlos Gonzalez to one-year deal

With Opening Day three weeks away, the Colorado Rockies have turned to a familiar face for a lineup boost. The club is reportedly close to re-signing outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to a one-year contract.

Gonzalez, now 32, has been with the Rockies since 2009, going to three All-Star Games and winning a pair of Gold Gloves. Last season was his worst season since his rookie year, however. CarGo hit .262/.339/.423 (87 OPS+) with 14 home runs in 136 games in 2017.

It should be noted Gonzalez was demonstrably better in the second half last year than the first. Check out his splits:

PA

AVG/OBP/SLG

OPS+

2B

HR

RBI

First Half

298

.221/.299/.338

72

13

6

22

Second Half

236

.314/.390/.531

145

21

8

35

The overall down season combined with the fact CarGo has always been more productive at home than on the road -- he's a career .329/.391/.607 hitter at Coors Field and a .252/.305/.425 hitter everywhere else -- meant he wasn't exactly a hot commodity in free agency. Then again, free agency has been very slow overall this year. For every player, not just CarGo.

With Gonzalez back in the fold, the Rockies can now run out a starting lineup that looks something like this on Opening Day:

  1. CF Charlie Blackmon
  2. 2B DJ LeMahieu
  3. 3B Nolan Arenado
  4. RF Carlos Gonzalez
  5. SS Trevor Story
  6. LF Ian Desmond/Gerardo Parra
  7. 1B Ryan McMahon
  8. C Chris Iannetta
  9. Pitcher

More or less than same lineup as last season, with Iannetta replacing Jonathan Lucroy and various other stopgap catchers.

The Rockies will be most improved in the bullpen this season, of course. They re-signed Jake McGee over the winter and also added Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw. Those three, plus Adam Ottavino, form a real nice end-game bullpen. Clearly, the plan in Colorado this season is get just enough starting pitching, hand a lead over to the bullpen, and let them make it stand up.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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