The Draft is never far from the Rockies’ minds

The Rockies’ decision to offer free-agent right-hander Rafael Betancourt came as no surprise. Offering right-handed starter Jason Marquis arbitration could be considered one. But, remember how the Rockies were built.

Certainly, the Rockies could end up paying Betancourt $5 million if he accepts, but the club understands that it might have to open the checkbook a little for a proven righty reliever. However, if he rejects, the Rockies will get a first- or second-round choice in 2010 from the club that signs him, and will receive a compensation choice, often called a “sandwich pick,” between the first and second rounds.

Marquis is seeking a big-dollar, multi-year contract, so rejecting arbitration is the likely route. If that deal isn’t out there, he can still negotiate with the Rockies.

Marquis is a Type B free agent, which means the Rockies will receive a sandwich pick. Considering that in many important games the last three years the entire starting team was either drafted or signed by the club, that’s no small issue. It’s how the Rockies can maintain a competitive club despite a tight payroll.

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