According to published reports, the Colorado Rockies have signed Alexi Amarista to a one-year deal with a club option for the 2018 season. The Rockies have not officially confirmed this report yet but, if it’s true, let’s take a look at what this means for the team.
First, it means that the Rockies will now have their 40-man roster complete (barring any other trades or moves). The signing of Mike Dunn brought the 40-man roster to 39 players and Amarista will (perhaps) be the last piece of that puzzle.
Second, it means that the Rockies have signed a player who has hit .230 in his six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres. He was non-tendered by the Padres last season after hitting .257 in 150 plate appearances.
His time with the Padres could be key with Colorado’s acquisition of the 27-year-old utility player. He played for new Colorado manager Bud Black in San Diego so Black knows him and his capabilities very well. He also knows that Amarista’s best season as a pro came under his watch in 2014 when the 5-foot-6 native of Venezuela batted .239 and tied a career-high with five homers with driving in a career-high 40 RBI. That same season, he also posted a .286 on-base percentage, the second-highest mark of his career.
They are career-highs but those are hardly eye-popping numbers. Let’s also factor in that, in that 2014 season, he struck out 69 times while earning just 29 walks.
Yes, the move comes as a bit of a surprise. Maybe it shouldn’t after the Ian Desmond deal that no one saw coming, but Amarista’s name certainly hasn’t been bantered about by many national or local pundits. The Rockies appear to be adding Amarista for depth, yet have someone very similar to Amarista already sitting on the bench in Cristhian Adames.
By the way, Adames had his best season in 2015 by hitting .245.
Additionally, the Rockies have not re-signed free agent Daniel Descalso, who was a jack of all trades for Colorado last season, playing everywhere from first base to left field when needed.
So what does this move mean for the Rockies? It means they’ve signed another veteran utility player who will see most of his action off the bench. It means that, on the surface, they believe Amarista is an upgrade over Adames and Descalso. It also means that Colorado’s surprising moves in the offseason continues.