Payton hopes return to Rox pays off

Jay Payton’s first go-round with the Rockies wound up lucrative for him.


After hitting .309 with 36 home runs and 117 RBIs for the club in 2002 and 2003, Payton signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Padres. After that, he signed for two years and $9.5 million with the Orioles.


Now the Payton has a chance to be a bargain for the Rockies.


Before last season, Payton was unsigned and suffered a torn right labrum while lifting weights. It cost him all of last season. Now he is with the Rockies under a Minor League contract. There is no “out” in the deal, meaning if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster he is obligated to play at Triple-A Colorado Springs.


“This was one of the few teams that were going to give me an opportunity,” Payton said. “Why not? They’ve been playing great ball. I had a great time when I was here last time. I just want to come in and play after sitting out for a year.


“You miss it and want to come back and have fun. They have a great squad. From the outside looking in I’m more of an insurance policy than anything right now. But I want to show that I’m healthy and can still play the game.”


Payton said he has been throwing for four months, and he’s able to throw 180 feet on a line.

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