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Colorado Rockies: Revisiting the Chris Iannetta signing

Friday 13 July, 2018 | RSS Feed

Colorado Rockies: Revisiting the Chris Iannetta signing

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It’s still seems very odd for the front office to sign a guy like Chris Iannetta. Of course, he was an old friend that played with them for quite some time, but it those six seasons it wasn’t really anything outstanding.

Looking over his stats from 2006-11, there’s not really a season that sticks out to make him appear to be an All-Star caliber player, which makes me ponder as to why exactly they signed him in the first place over the other free agent catchers that were on the market. Also, why the Rockies didn’t have enough faith at the time in the two catchers they had on the bench?
On the subject of free agents, Jonathan Lucroy appeared to have been the best fit for the team. He did help out the Colorado Rockies as they moved for their postseason push and seemed to have good chemistry with the pitching staff. Yet, Lucroy wasn’t signed until March of this year by the Oakland A’s on a one-year deal. Iannetta’s contract is for two years with a team option in 2020. Chris Iannetta is set to make $8.5 million for both years and perhaps more if the team decides to use their option, but is a guy like Iannetta really worth the money? 

Short answer to the question from above, no. Here’s why: Chris Iannetta’s 2017 was…mediocre. Once again nothing really jumps out at you while going over them that should make teams say, ‘we’ve got to sign this guy’. His slash line was alright for a guy at 34, he had a .254/.354/.511 line with 17 home runs and 43 RBI.
On a sad note he did have 87 strikeouts, or a strikeout in 32 percent of his at-bats, which could be concerning. These really aren’t the numbers you want from a guy who’s going to be the everyday starter, but he probably got a pass because of his age. 

Now playing with the Colorado Rockies, Iannetta has a slash line of .235/.340/.402. This is, essentially, about the same as what he produced last year with the exception of less power. He also struck out 55 times this season, which makes him 6th on the team for the highest amount of strikeouts. However, his strikeout percentage rate is the highest of any Rockie with more than 100 ABs.

These stats are okay, but nothing to get super excited about. Chris Iannetta will most likely finish out the year as the Rockies starting catcher and probably have him through 2019 because he really can’t be used as a trading chip. As for the team option in 2020, I just don’t see them actually holding onto Iannetta. 
The real reason behind that would be the catchers they have on the bench. First off, the jury is still most definitely out on Tony Wolters, but there is one more catcher. Tom Murphy is really showing his worth and indeed has most definitely surpassed Wolters and maybe later into the season Chris Iannetta. The up and coming youngsters are really showing the front office and coaching staff that they deserve a spot on the team, especially when it comes to the catchers. 

I’m still not entirely sure as to why the Colorado Rockies signed Chris Iannetta. Perhaps because this was the 25th anniversary and he was a mainstay on the team for a while. Maybe it is to help develop guys like Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy, or maybe something entirely different.

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