Rockies non-tender OF David Dahl, catcher Tony Wolters and RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez

If David Dahl ever stays healthy and fulfills his enormous potential, he could be a shining star. But he won’t shine if he’s wearing a Rockies uniform.

The Rockies’ apparent budget constraints put an end to Dahl’s time in Colorado.

The 26-year old outfielder, as well as starting catcher Tony Wolters and righthanded starter Chi Chi Gonzalez, did not receive a tender from the Rockies on Wednesday. All three players are now free agents.

General manager Jeff Bridich, making it clear that the Rockies are tightening their belts after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, played without fans in the stands, said the decision to cut ties with Dahl was based on finances, Dahl’s injury history and Colorado’s depth. in the outfield.

“There are some good outfielders we have in our roster right now, some of whom we obviously want to get a little more playing time,” said Bridich. There are financial decisions, and there is also a health aspect, that David struggled at times.

“So this could be another opportunity, or it will be an opportunity for him to hopefully discover a great opportunity elsewhere.”

Dahl, a first-ever all-star in 2019, is expected to make $ 2.6 million in his second year of arbitration.

As it stands now, the Rockies will enter the flesh of the off-season with Charlie Blackmon, Raimel Tapia, Sam Hilliard, Garrett Hampson, Jonathan Daza and Ian Desmond as their outfielders. Desmond, who has opted out of the 2020 season, is expected to make $ 8 million by 2021.

The Rockies might consider re-signing Kevin Pillar, who played well for Colorado for half a season after being traded from Boston.

“I am grateful that the Rockies have lined me up and given me the opportunity to fulfill a dream of playing in the big leagues,” Dahl said Wednesday evening. “I will miss my teammates and of course the fans. I’m sorry it didn’t work out here in Denver, but I’m really looking forward to another chance and a fresh start. “

Dahl’s 2020 season was marred by an oblique strain and a right shoulder injury that required surgery. He played in only 24 games with only 99 at bats, hitting .183 (17-for-93) with no home runs, two doubles and two triples.

Bridich spoke to Dahl on Wednesday evening and was told that Dahl’s shoulder felt strong and healthy.

The 2019 season showcased Dahl’s talents. He appeared in a career-high 100 games, hitting .302 with 16 home runs and 61 RBIs, and posted a .877 OPS and a 100 OPS +. A high ankle sprain while chasing a line drive into midfield ended his season on August 3.

While the club’s decision not to treat Dahl, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, came as a surprise, the decision not to treat Wolters and Gonzalez was not. Wolters’ 283 2/3 innings caught in 2020 was in ninth place in the National League, but he hit only .230 with a .550 OPS and only four extra-base hits (all doubles).

The Rockies have regularly praised Wolters for his defense and ability to work with pitchers, but the Rockies signed Elias Díaz on Tuesday for $ 1.2 million (with $ 300,000 in incentives). Wolters was expected to make $ 2 million as an eligible player for arbitration.

Bridich again pointed to the club’s finances as the basis for the decision.

“This falls under the ‘this is not as usual’ category. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions, ”he said. Are there financial decisions involved? Yes, that is part of it. And I think we also feel good having someone like Dom Nunez knocking on the door of the premier league to be part of a major rotation. And we also came to an agreement with Elias Diaz. “

Bridich said the team would explore “bringing other catchers into the fold”.

It had been speculated that starting pitcher Jon Gray – who came out of a poor 2020 season that ended prematurely due to a sore shoulder and was eligible to become a free agent after the 2021 season – might not have been tendered. However, Bridich called the idea of ​​Gray’s departure “all speculation.”

“I spoke to Jon tonight and assured him it was all rumors,” Bridich said. ‘I wanted to talk to him in person because his name was known so often. That did not come from us. It all came from outside the organization. “

On Tuesday, the Rockies announced they had agreed to terms for one-year contracts, right-hand man Jairo Díaz, who agreed to a one-year deal worth $ 1.1 million. Following is a list of the Rockies remaining arbitrage-eligible players who have not yet agreed on contracts, with expected salaries, according to MLB Trade Rumors:

* RHP Daniel Bard ($ 1.7 million)
* RHP Carlos Estevez ($ 1.5 million)
* LHP Kyle Freeland ($ 3.9 million)
* RHP Mychal Givens ($ 3.6 million)
* RHP Jon Gray ($ 5.9 million)
* INF Ryan McMahon ($ 1.7 million)
* RHP Antonio Senzatela ($ 2.2 million)
* OR Raimel Tapia ($ 1.5 million)

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