Rockies have fun with arbitration, minor league contracts, and a trade

By Editorial Staff

Over the last week, the Rockies have completed several signings and made one trade. In an effort to be concise, I decided to summarize all of the past week’s activity in one post. Very efficient of me, right? None of the following is particularly earth shattering; nevertheless, it is all worth mentioning. Let’s start with the trade…

The Rockies sent minor league pitcher Ethan Hollingsworth to the A’s in exchange for Clayton Mortensen. Hollingsworth was drafted by the Rockies in the fourth round of the 2008 draft and is coming off his best season yet. Last year with Modesto, he made 25 starts, going 12-8 with a 3.31 ERA. He was promoted to Tulsa late in the season, but was shelled in two starts with the Drillers.

Mortensen was a first round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals. He was acquired by the A’s when they traded Matt Holliday to the Cards. He made 26 starts with AAA Sacramento last season and 6 starts with the A’s. Mortensen won’t compete for a spot in the Rockies’ rotation next year, but could see time in the bullpen.

In order to make room for Mortensen on the forty-man, the Rockies were forced to designate pitcher Samuel Deduno for assignment. Deduno was once considered a top Rockies’ prospect, but he never realized his potential. The Rockies must either trade or release Deduno within 10 days of his designation.

Rockies Sign Taveras and Crede to Minor League Contracts

Colorado took a flyer on a player with a very familiar name, Willy Taveras. Taveras, who only played 27 games last year with Washington, is a long shot to make the big club out of spring training. Since leaving Colorado after the 2008 season, Willy has battled injuries and a dip in production. His 68 steals in 2008 are a distant memory.

The Rockies also signed former White Sox third baseman Joe Crede to a minor league deal. Crede was once an elite third baseman, but recurring back problems have ruined his last four seasons. He didn’t even play in 2010. The Rockies and Crede are hoping that the year off will allow him to return to form. He has a great glove at third and won a Silver Slugger in 2006.

Rockies avoid arbitration with Paulino and Hammel

The Rockies make it a priority to avoid messy arbitration hearings with their players and this year is no exception. With the signings of Felipe Paulino and Jason Hammel last week, Ian Stewart is now the only arbitration eligible player that hasn’t agreed to new a contract.

Paulino was acquired in an offseason trade with the Houston Astros in return for Clint Barmes. Last week, he agreed to a one year, $790K deal. Paulino has an outside shot at making the Rockies’ rotation, but more likely will pitch in a long relief role.

Hammel, starting at least thirty games in each of the last two seasons, has been a steady hand for the Rockies. He agreed to a two-year, $7.75M deal. Hammel’s spot in the 2011 starting rotation is locked down.

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