Charlie Blackmon: “Definitely possible I’ll play for Rockies next season

BALTIMORE — Charlie Blackmon played his 1,470th game for the Rockies Friday night. He’s hoping for a lot more.

Blackmon, 37, is in the final five weeks of the six-year, $108 million contract he signed in 2018. But he’s hoping to return to the Rockies on a new deal next season, which would be his 14th with the only major-league club he’s ever known.

“There is definitely a possibility I’ll come back,” Blackmon said before starting in right field against the Orioles. “I’m not saying officially, either way, but I still feel like I’m going to be an effective player.”

Asked if he would consider playing for another team, Blackmon said, “Yeah, but Colorado is certainly my first choice. But I don’t want to think that far ahead. Right now, I’m not thinking about any other options.”

General manager Bill Schmidt said the Rockies are “very interested” in bringing back the veteran outfielder and designated hitter.

“Yes, we are, if things work out,” Schmidt said. “Charlie would provide a good leadership structure for our young guys. And he can still play.”

Blackmon is making $15.3 million this season, tied for second-most on the club with injured right-hander German Marquez, behind only Kris Bryant’s $28 million.

Blackmon entered Friday’s game slashing .280/.367/.461 with seven home runs, four triples and 15 doubles over 65 games. He missed 53 games from June 10 through July 14 because of a fractured right hand. Since returning, he’s hit safely in eight of his nine games, going 12 for 32 (.375) with one double, two triples, two home runs and a 1.236 OPS.

“I think I’ve been able to bounce back well from the hand injury,” Blackmon said. “And I think we need a good mix of older players like myself to help the young players with adjustments and things like that.

“I think if you have just a team of young guys and they are all trying to go through it together at the same time, it can be tough. So I think veterans can help them make adjustments.”

Bryant at first. Bryant, who remains sidelined by a broken left index finger, said he’s completely on board if the Rockies want him to shift to first base next season. Manager Bud Black has said that having Bryant, 31, play first is a real possibility, especially with the blossoming young talent the Rockies have in the outfield.

“They have talked to me about it and I said it’s a great idea,” said Bryant, who’s started 23 games in his major-league career at first. “I’ve played first base a fair amount and I played some in college, too. So I told them, sure, I’d love to play first base. I have a first base glove already broken in.”

Bryan has missed 31 games because of his finger injury. He plans to get it reexamined when the Rockies return to Colorado on Monday.

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