The Colorado Rockies have one of the best young cores in baseball. With players like Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Stewart, Carlos Gonzalez, and Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies should be in contention in the National League West for years to come.
So when a team has their core group set, they look to strengthen their bench and other areas during the offseason. And that is what the Rockies have done this winter.
Colorado has added a left-handed power hitter off the bench by re-signing Jason Giambi, they added a backup catcher in Miguel Olivo, and re-signed their eighth inning set-up man, Rafael Betancourt.
The only thing left for the Rockies to do was to find a utility infielder. On Sunday, they found their guy.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Rockies have agreed to terms with infielder Melvin Mora on a one-year deal. The deal is worth $1.3 million.
After having a solid 2008 season where he hit .285 with 23 home runs and 104 RBI in 135 games, Mora took a dip in 2009. In 125 games, Mora’s average dropped to .260 and his OPS dropped 147 points (.826 to .679).
The Rockies are hoping Mora can become a solid utility infielder and right-handed hitter off the bench for them. If he is going to do that, Mora is going to have to relearn how to play a couple of positions.
Mora has been mainly a third baseman for the past six years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles. Mora played one inning at shortstop in 2008 and just three innings at second back in 2006. You will have to go back to 2003 to find a year where Mora played multiple positions throughout the year.
That year Mora played 56 games in left, 13 in right, 12 in center, 11 at shortstop, six at second, and one at first. Ironically, he didn’t play any games at third that year.
With their starting rotation, bullpen, starting lineup, and now bench all set, the Rockies are poised yet again to make a run at not only the NL West, but the pennant as well.
Mora has played 12 years in the major leagues and has a career .278 average with 164 home runs, and a .788 OPS with the New York Mets and Orioles.
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