Thursday, February 28, 2008

Corpas Collects

The Rockies locked up Manny Corpas long-term. Despite my usual aversion to long-term commitments to relievers, I actually like the deal. Essentially, the deal is for 4 years averaging a little more than $2 million a year, with club options for 2 more years including his last year of arbitration and first year of free agency. Those options, if exercised, could raise the overall value of the deal to over $22 million.

Corpas had a great year last year; while his K/9 wasn't great (6.69), he has a nasty sinker that generates lots of ground balls which is crucial in Colorado. That is supported by his sparkling HR/9 rate of 0.69. He's also young (25 years old) and does get lefties out as well. He held opponents to a .595 OPS last year. All of these numbers are the good side.

However, his K/9 rate may become problematic. I would wait and see if he might start striking out more guys once his secondary pitches develop. But the K/BB rate is fine (2.9 last year) so it's not a cause for too much concern. It really comes down to whether or not he can continue to close effectively. If so, the deal is great for both sides. The Rockies get cost certainty and Corpas gets financial security. Furthermore, the Rockies only really have to start shelling out money in the options years. By that point, they should know if he can handle the role. It's a smart gamble for them in the short and long-term.

Also, even if Corpas busts out and becomes a middle reliever, the contract is affordable enough for him to remain trade bait. There are always big-market teams looking for effective relievers. Just look at the money that the Yankees threw at Kyle Farnsworth. So the Rockies should be able to unload Corpas if they feel that they're not getting a good return. All in all, a good signing that might become great if Corpas can increase his strikeout rate and stay healthy.

Oh, and in Pirates news, Moskos was perfect in his spring debut. Silver linings, I guess.....but I'd still rather have Wieters.

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