CHICAGO — The Colorado Rockies added a significant piece to what’s becoming a formidable and high-priced bullpen by agreeing to a three-year, $52 million contract with All-Star reliever Wade Davis.
His deal includes a fourth-year player option that vests should Davis reach 30 games in 2020, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms of the deal have not been released. The team officially announced the deal Friday afternoon.
A 32-year-old right-hander, Davis will be in line to close out games for a Colorado team that returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2009. The Rockies’ relievers played a big role by going 24-19 with a 4.40 ERA. Their 549 strikeouts over 550 2/3 relief innings were the second-most in franchise history.
General manager Jeff Bridich is sticking to his blueprint of fortifying the bullpen in the offseason. A few weeks ago, the Rockies finalized $27 million, three-year contracts with right-hander Bryan Shaw and lefty Jake McGee, who’s been with Colorado the past two seasons. The team also returns righty Adam Ottavino and lefty Mike Dunn.
Previously a starter, Davis has flourished since stepping into a full-time reliever’s role in 2014. He leads all qualified major league relievers with a 1.45 ERA and allowed a .169 opponent batting average. In 2015, Davis was a pivotal part of a bullpen that helped guide the Kansas City Royals to a World Series title.
Last season, Davis had a 2.30 ERA and 32 saves for the Chicago Cubs after being acquired in a trade from Kansas City.
The move reunites Davis with pitching coach Steve Foster, who came to Colorado from Kansas City. What’s more, this is the second straight season that Foster’s played a hand in bringing back a closer he’s had ties with in Kansas City. Last season, the Rockies relied on Greg Holland as he finished with 41 saves after missing 2016 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Holland declined to exercise his $15 million player option to stay in the Mile High City.
The deal with Davis was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.
In other moves, Colorado announced that right-hander Shane Carle has been designated for assignment. He made his major League debut on April 14 at San Francisco. Carle had a 6.75 ERA in three appearances with the Rockies.