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Colorado Rockies sign Franklin Morales to one-year deal, avoid arbitration


Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Say it with me, Rockies fans:

Franklin Morales is an intriguing piece of the puzzle for the Colorado Rockies in 2014.

Frightening though it is to speak those words aloud, it’s true. Morales will have a chance to land a spot in the back of the rotation in Spring Training. For all of the inconsistency that has haunted Franklin throughout his career, the quality of his stuff gives him a much higher ceiling than most 4th or 5th starters. He’s the kind of guy who, if he clicks, makes the Rockies really interesting.

Last night the Rockies avoided arbitration with Morales, signing him to a one-year, $1.8 million deal. Troy Renck reported the deal.

We would be remiss in our discussion of Morales if we did not also mention his “floor.” He might have a high ceiling, but his floor is down in the depths of the earth somewhere. When Franklin is bad, he’s really bad, spraying pitches around in a fashion that’s normally reserved for comedic baseball movies.

We all know the visual. Franklin pounds his left hand into his glove, removes his cap to wipe his brow, and then repeats the finicky routine 20 times in between pitches. You can see him frazzle right before your eyes.

Morales has shown enough promise to make his acquisition a worthwhile gamble. If Juan Nicasio or some other candidate out-performs him in the rotation battle, he can be useful out of the bullpen thanks to his ability to throw smoke.

The memories of Franklin Morales meltdowns are still fresh in our minds; they might even make us cringe when we think of relying on Morales. Nevertheless, Morales could be a key contributor for this club in 2014.