The Colorado Rockies announced today that they have come to terms with Todd Helton on a contract that will likely allow the slugger to retire with the Rockies.
The agreement, according to the Denver Post, is a two-year extension for $9.9 million, with the $13 million owed to Helton over the final season of his current contract, plus the buyout, deferred over a 10-year period. The two-year extension ensures that Helton will be a Rockie through 2014.
The signing is one that perfectly describes who Helton is. "This is where I want to be. I know from talking to a lot of other players, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I know what we have here, and I know that we are really good." The Denver Post quoted as Helton as saying.
In a world full of egotistical, selfish professional athletes who care about nothing but themselves, Helton is the antithesis. He sat by as the Rockies not only tore down a team, but changed philosophies. He endured the so-called "Todd and the Toddlers" era as the club marched rookie after rookie to the plate in 2005.
Most of all, Helton endured the media and fans complaining that he was the reason that the Rockies could not spend money and that he should be offloaded. It went as far as the Rockies being literally minutes away from shipping him off to the Red Sox before the magical 2007 season, where without Helton, the Rockies would never have come anywhere close to the World Series.
What should be noted is that the deal is hardly financially friendly to a player of Helton's caliber. Despite age and back issues, the four time gold glover would have commanded somewhere in the range of $7 million per year on the open market. The fact that Helton is also deferring money also shows his desire to win. He wants to be as little of a burden on the club as possible, which will allow the Rockies to spend on other players that they otherwise might not be able to afford.
The questions had begun to arise about whether or not Helton would be a Rockie after the 2011 season. The Rockies owned a $22 million option on the first baseman that almost no one believed the club would pick up. The signing allows the questions to disappear.
Helton is to the Rockies what Michael Jordan was to the Bulls. Seeing him in a different uniform would have been awkward. The move allows Helton, the best player in Rockies history, to be the first potential hall of famer to wear their uniform his entire career.
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