DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon firmly established himself as a superstar last season.
Now he will be paid like one. In his final season of arbitration before he hits free agency, Blackmon will make $14 million, according to MLB sources, nearly doubling his salary.
No one will argue it is not deserved. Blackmon, 31, made $7.3 million a year ago, and fashioned one of the greatest seasons in team history. He won a batting title, hitting .331, and paced the league in hits (213), triples (14) and runs (137). He also set a major league record with 103 RBIs as a leadoff hitter.
Blackmon, a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger award winner, has transformed himself into a headliner after his career nearly derailed early on because of a foot injury. Since taking over as a starter in 2014, Blackmon has blasted 102 home runs with 261 extra-base hits. Blackmon has become a fan favorite with his relentless style and caveman chic beard. He is known for his work ethic and ability to translate hours of film study and cage work into a game.
The last time I texted Blackmon a few weeks ago, I told him the Rockies had signed closer Wade Davis. He was surprised. He hadn't heard because he was too busy working out. That, in a nut shell, is Blackmon. Driven. Authentic. And wildly productive.