According to a report from Bruce Levine, one of the outfielders the Cubs are looking at to complement Albert Almora Jr. in center field is Charlie Blackmon. This is the third straight off-season the Cubs have been connected to the Rockies’ outfielder.
The Cubs were interested in acquiring Blackmon from Colorado before the front office made the deal with the Astros for Dexter Fowler. And last winter while the Cubs were searching for a centerfielder as Fowler talked with other teams, the front office had discussions with the Rockies again about Blackmon.
The Cubs were also believed to have conversations with Colorado about Blackmon leading up to the deadline this past summer as the front office explored ways to add a left-handed hitting outfielder to the roster.
Charlie Blackmon turned 30 in July and has two years of team control before he hits free agency after the 2018 season. Blackmon made $3.5 million in 2016, his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Blackmon is coming off an excellent season that included very good home and away splits.
The lefty hitting outfielder batted .324/.381/.552 with 35 doubles, five triples and 29 home runs for a .933 OPS. Blackmon set career-high marks in hits (187), runs scored (111), doubles (35), home runs (29), RBI (82), batting average (.324), on-base percentage (.381), slugging percentage (.552) and OPS (.933).
In 68 games at Coors Field, Blackmon hit .335/.399/.540 with 15 doubles, three triples and 12 home runs for a .939 OPS. In 75 road games, Blackmon batted .313/.363/.563 with 20 doubles, two triples and 17 home runs for a .926 OPS.
Blackmon handled right- and left-handed pitching this past season.
Against southpaws, Blackmon had a .331/.392/.451 line in 92 games with nine doubles, four home runs and a .843 OPS. Versus right-handed pitchers, Blackmon slashed .320/.376/.596 with 26 doubles, five triples and 25 home runs for a .972 OPS.
Hitting leadoff for the recently replaced Walt Weiss, Blackmon hit .325/.380/.555 with a .935 OPS in 135 games.
Charlie Blackmon played center field for the Rockies this past season (138 games) and has primarily been used in center over the course of his career. Blackmon has played 131 career games in right field and 93 in left field.