As perhaps the most prized free agent relief pitcher on the market in major league baseball, closer Wade Davis had options this offseason. He chose the Colorado Rockies.
Less than a week after signing a lucrative 3 year, $52 million deal with Colorado that makes him the richest closer per year in league history, Davis spoke to the media for the first time Tuesday in a conference call.
"With the Rockies, having a young talented core was one of the things that I was really excited about," Davis said.
The big contract probably made things easier too, right?
"It's always great to feel wanted and needed," Davis said. "They (the front office) never wavered or second-guessed anything. It's flattering."
There's a reason Davis earned the big payday. The 32-year-old right hander is both a 3-time MLB All-Star and a World Series champion, something the Rockies are looking to accomplish for the first time in team history.
The club made its first postseason appearance last year since 2009, just the fourth trip ever for the franchise. General Manager Jeff Bridich thinks acquiring Davis is another step in the right direction in reaching that goal, and the new Rockie agrees.
"This is a bullpen group that fits together really well," Davis said. "I don't think we'll have any problem taking care of business and helping the team win some ball games. This will be probably the seventh or eighth year in a row that I've been in a clubhouse where I can look around and see a lot of extremely talented players."
That puts the Rockies into some pretty good company. Aside from just the 2015 Kansas City Royals club that won a World Series crown, Davis filled the closer role for the defending champion Chicago Cubs that made it to the National League Championship Series last season.
In his 9-year career, he has made the playoffs five times, the World Series twice and has never been on a team with a losing season. He hopes that success will continue with the Rockies in 2018.
"I think any time a team goes to the playoffs the year before, it gives them a little stronger taste to keep pushing and go back," Davis said. "This offense, I remember having to prepare for them last year, and they're not an easy offense to prepare for."
"It's an offense that's probably in the top handful in baseball. They've got some MVP-type players and some gold glovers. The pitching staff is young, but they've got some good arms. It's all definitely going to be a recipe for success."