Results tagged ‘ Jorge Cantu ’
Ty Wigginton apparently will fill the Rockies’ right-handed utility role, which includes spelling veteran Todd Helton at first base.
FoxSports.com’s Tracy Ringolsby reported that he has agreed to a two-year deal guaranteeing $7.5 million, which includes a $500,000 buyout on an option for a third year.
Wigginton, 33, batted .248 with 22 home runs and 76 RBIs in a career-high 154 games for the Orioles last season while playing first base, second base, third base and designated hitter. Wigginton also has played 38 games in left field in his career. Wigginton is a .277 career hitter with 143 home runs and 501 RBIs in 1,060 career games
If the deal becomes official, the Rockies will have filled the holes that opened when the team didn’t re-sign Melvin Mora, who signed with the D-backs on Monday, and Jason Giambi, who backed Helton at first base last season but was a left-handed hitter and not an ideal choice when the Rockies faced a difficult left-handed hitter. The Rockies traded with the Mariners for right-handed hitting infielder Jose Lopez last week.
Wigginton has played for the Mets, Rays, Pirates, Astros and Orioles.
The Rockies list of utility possibilities also includes Jorge Cantu and Jeff Francoeur. The team lost out on catcher-first baseman Victor Martinez, who signed with the Tigers, and first baseman-outfielder Lance Berkman, who signed with the Cardinals.
Nice bit of news Monday at the Winter Meetings…Melvn Mora agreed to a one-year deal with the D-backs.
The Orioles didn’t bring him back after the 2009 season, after several years of distinction, mostly at third base. Mora felt he could extend his career by becoming a utility player, and he had a nice year for the Rockies doing it last year (.285, 7 HR, 45 RBIs in 354 plate appearances). Before leaving at the end of the season, he expressed appreciation to the Rockies for giving him a chance to revisit his versatility. Before establishing himself with the Orioles, he played multiple positions with the Mets.
“I enjoyed what I did here … it was an exciting year for me,” said Mora, who played first base, second base, third base and left field. “I thank [Rockies manager] Jim Tracy for teaching me to play first base.
“It was great for me to do my exactly what the manager wanted me to do, and do it right.”
Mora, who turns 39 on Feb. 2, has thoughts beyond 2011.
“I want to play through at least the next World Baseball Classic, 2012,” said Mora, who wants to represent Venezuela. “After that, we’ll talk about it.”
Free agent Jorge Cantu is a candidate to fill the role Mora filled with the Rockies. The Rockies also could trade to fill the spot, with Angels catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli and Nationals cornerman Josh Willingham among the reported possibilities.
Names are beginning to surface in the Rockies’ search for a complement to catcher Chris Iannetta. The least-name known might end up the best fit.
Former All-Star Russell Martin and Bengie Molina, a respected veteran, created buzz. However, Ronny Paulino is more of a true backup. The Rockies have had Yorvit Torrealba and Miguel Olivo push Iannetta out of playing time in recent years, and they vowed to give Iannetta a clean shot at the starting job without having to look over his shoulder.
Actually, the search for a relief pitcher might be more important to the Rockies’ quest to return to the playoffs. Righties Jesse Crain, Jon Rauch, Kevin Gregg and Matt Guerrier are at the top of the Rox’s shopping list.
Jorge Cantu is a utility possibility, and the club will do due diligence on Edwin Encarnacion. There are trade possibilities. Angels catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli and Nationals corner bat Josh Willingham would be high on such a list.
Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd has said it’s doubtful he can land a big bat, but he’s trying. According to The Denver Post, the Rockies have aggressively pursued switch-hitting Lance Berkman to play the outfield corners and occasionally spell Todd Helton at first base.
The key here would be Berkman’s desire to return to the National League. Berkman saw a dramatic drop in his power with the Astros and Yankees last season, although finished he year with the Yankees as a designated hitter on an upswing as far as average is concerned.
An important aspect of the pursuit of Berkman, according to the Post, is Helton would be on board with bringing in Berkman. The two have the same agent. Helton helped the Rockies recruit Jason Giambi as his backup last season, but by season’s end Helton admitted not playing nearly every game was difficult. Still, the Rockies need a solid alternative, given Helton’s history of back problems and his age.
The Rockies desire a right-handed corner bat, preferably one that can play some first base. Berkman has more power from the left than from the right, but he fits — if the price is right. The Cardinals, Blue Jays and Athletics also have pursued Berkman.
The Mariners’ Jose Lopez, if he’s non-tendered, Jorge Cantu, whom the Rockies considered trading for last season, and Troy Glaus are acknowledged targets. The Rockies also are looking at the Athletics, who appear to be deciding whether to non-tender Edwin Encarnacion or Colorado native Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Some current Rockies will no doubt be watching the situation closely. Third baseman Ian Stewart and outfielders Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs could potentially lose playing time, depending on who is signed. Interestingly, the Rockies hired Carney Lansford as hitting coach and charged him with the task of waking up the bats of all three. Stewart and Smith didn’t meet the club’s expectations for production last year. Spilborghs finished strong but struggled with strikeouts early.
— Thomas Harding
The Rockies’ lineup is much like the field in an automobile race. It seems one or two need to pull in for a pit stop to correct some problem with his offensive game. Friday night it’s center fielder Dexter Fowler. Also, the repairs for third baseman Garrett Atkins are going to take another day. He sat also on Thursday.
Fowler has not stolen a base since his modern rookie record five-steal game on April 27. He has scored just two runs and struck out 14 times in his last nine games.
Left fielder Seth Smith becomes the first player other than Fowler or Ryan Spilborghs to bat leadoff. Smith is second on the club with 13 walks. Smith and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will bat ahead of Todd Helton (17 RBIs), Ryan Spilboghs (14 RBIs) and Brad Hawpe (18 RBIs).
“You’ve got the run producers at 3, 4 and 5, so I’m looking at somebody else to lead off who can get on base,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “If you look at the on-base percentages (.426), his is as good as anybody we’ve got on the club.”
Here are the lineups:
Emilio Bonafacio 3B
Chris Coghlan 2B
Hanley Ramirez SS
Jorge Cantu 1B
John Baker C
Cody Ross RF
Jeremy Hermida LF
Alfredo Amezaga CF
Ricky Nolasco P
Seth Smith LF
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Todd Helton 1B
Ryan Spilborghs CF
Brad Hawpe RF
Chris Iannetta C
Ian Stewart 3B
Clint Barmes 2B
Jason Hammel P