We reported on the rumors of it before the New Year but it became official today. The Colorado Rockies have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent infielder-outfielder Alexi Amarista.
The 27-year-old Amarista played 65 games for San Diego in 2016 and batted .257 (36-for-140) with nine runs, two doubles, 11 RBI, eight walks and nine stolen bases. He began the season with Triple-A El Paso, and batted .333 (16-for-48) with nine runs, three doubles, one home run, four RBI, four walks and one stolen base across three stints with the Chihuahuas.
He made two stints on the 15-day disabled list in 2016, once with a strained left hamstring and once with a strained right hamstring.
In all, he played five seasons with the Padres, including spending time under the watchful eye of new Colorado manager Bud Black. It’s likely that Black’s familiarity with Amarista and his abilities are one of the biggest reasons that the utility man now finds himself in purple pinstripes.
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Flexibility could well be another reason why Amarista was attractive to Colorado. In his career, Amarista has played every position in the field except for first base and catcher, with the majority of his starts (173 of 398) coming at shortstop. In his career, he has a .979 fielding percentage.
Originally signed by the Los Angeles Angels as an amateur free agent in 2007, the Barcelona, Anzoategui, Venezuela native has batted .230 (364-for-1582) with 149 runs, 57 doubles, 16 triples, 18 home runs, 150 RBI, 102 walks and 38 stolen bases across parts of six seasons with the Angels (2011-12) and San Diego (2012-16).
With Amarista’s signing, the Rockies now have a full 40-man roster.