Slugger Kris Bryant signs with the Colorado Rockies


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Veteran slugger Kris Bryant has agreed to a seven-year, $182 million contract to join the Colorado Rockies, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person confirmed the agreement to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Wednesday because its conclusion is pending a successful medical examination.

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Bryant is heading to his third team in eight months after spending his first six major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, who traded him to San Francisco last July.

The NL MVP and 2016 World Series champion hit .265 with 25 homers and 73 RBI last season, and he had eight hits in the Giants’ five-game playoff loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite a midseason slump that precipitated the trade, Bryant earned his fourth career All-Star selection on a solid rebound from a tough year at the plate in 2020.

The Rockies clearly liked what they saw: Bryant landed a huge free agent deal to move to Colorado as a midrange bat and a defenseman who can play third base, first base or in the outfield – his most likely position with the Rockies, who have Ryan McMahon at third and CJ Cron at first. Bryant is also an obvious candidate to join Charlie Blackmon among the Rockies’ designated hitters.

San Francisco Giants’ Kris Bryant is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros in the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Bryant is a career .278 hitter with 167 home runs, 487 RBI and an .880 OPS, but he’s set to reap the full benefits of playing at Coors Field, where he hit .263 (15 for 57) with two home runs. , nine RBIs and a .757 OPS in his career.

The 2015 NL Rookie of the Year’s right-handed swing will offset the left-handed tilt to the outfield formation for the Rockies, who haven’t won a playoff game since 2009.

The signing indicates Colorado still wants to be competitive in the NL West despite its roster upheaval over the past year and more, including the trade of Nolan Arenado last year and the likely impending departure of Trevor Story.

The Rockies signed free agent shortstop Jose Iglesias to a one-year deal on Wednesday, seemingly in recognition that Story’s productive tenure with the club is over. The two-time All-Star hit 158 ​​homers for Colorado.

Iglesias hit .271 with 27 doubles, nine home runs and 48 RBIs last season with the Los Angeles and Boston Angels. After several seasons as one of the majors’ best defensive players at shortstop, Iglesias oddly struggled on the field last year in Anaheim, committing a career-high 16 errors before the Halos knocked him out. release in September.

“In 2012, he was the flashiest, funniest guy to watch I’ve ever seen on the field,” said Rockies right-hander Daniel Bard, who played with Iglesias in Boston. “It was like, ‘Oh, my God, if he can just piece together, it’s Omar Vizquel.’ He’s like a magician with his hands. He brings an energy too. He’s built a really great career. I’ve been in awe of him since the day I met him.”

The Rockies also agreed to a one-year deal with longtime Pittsburgh right-hander Chad Kuhl, now one of the top candidates to fill the spot in the starting rotation vacated when Jon Gray signed a contract. $56 million free agent over four years with Texas.

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“I believe in myself,” Kuhl said. “I’m determined to be a starter, but I’ve always been a team guy. It’s always been in my nature to try to win, so anything I can do to help is what I’m going to do. But I think it’s going to be for starters. I think I add a lot of value as a starter.

Kuhl went 5-7 with a 4.82 ERA last season, making 14 starts and 14 relief appearances. He is 25-30 in five major league seasons with the Pirates, although he missed the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in late 2018.


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