Things are still Rockies for Antonio Senzatela.
The 26-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher has agreed to a multiyear contract with the Colorado Rockies.
Senzatela, who joined the Rockies organization in 2012 as a pitcher for DSL Rockies, agreed to a five-year contract that ties the right-handed control artist to the organization through at least 2026.
Financial terms were not disclosed but, sources tell ESPN that Senzatela’s deal is worth $50.5 million. The deal includes a $14 million club option for 2027 and gives the Rockies four potential free-agent seasons, the sources said. The cost is significant: $7.25 million for each of the next two seasons and $12 million each for the 2024-26 seasons.
Senzatela is a modern baseball anomaly: a pitcher who doesn’t strike out reams of hitters. His strikeout rate this season of 6.0 batters per nine innings ranks 117th of 120 pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings this season. Senzatela makes up for it with a walk rate of 1.73 per nine innings, which ranks fifth out of 120, and a ground ball rate of 51.6% — a figure rare among pitchers with so few walks.
Traditional numbers don’t present Senzatela in quite a positive light. He was 4-10 this season with a 4.42 ERA over 156⅔ innings in 28 starts. Senzatela, whom the Rockies signed out of Venezuela for $250,000 in 2011, has thrown 579⅔ major league innings with a 4.84 ERA. His career ERA is actually nearly a quarter-run better at home — in the high altitude of Coors Field — than on the road, a trend that continued this season.
Senzatela is a sinker-slider pitcher who throws the two pitches a combined 87% of the time. The fastball, heavy and averaging 95 mph, is the sort of pitch Colorado, long wary of the thin air in its ballpark, has tried to develop among its pitchers. Teams have gravitated away from pitchers who don’t log gawdy strikeout numbers — and even rarer are the ones that reward such a player with a big-dollar extension.
Rockies officials have publicly praised Senzatela for embracing technology and trying to improve his stuff using it, and it was enough for them to seek the extension with Senzatela’s agent, Rafa Nieves of Republik Sports.