As Ken Rosenthal tweets, the Rockies have agreed to a one year deal worth $1.3 million with 38 year old utility player Melvin Mora, formerly of the Baltimore Orioles. Mora, who has spent most of his time at third base, gives the Rockies a bunch of flexibility off the bench, as he also has experience playing shortstop, second base, and all three outfield positions.Mora, as recently as 2008, has been a league average performer (in the tougher AL to boot) and really gives the Rockies some great late game options as a right-handed hitter off the bench with the threat of power. For those who are interested, UZR rates Mora's defense as slightly above average for his career.
|2009 - Melvin Mora||125||450||44||117||20||0||8||48||34||60||3||3||.260||.321||.358|
Last year Mora showed perhaps some decline with a 0.9 WAR season (.260/.321/.358) marked by a severe decrease in his power numbers (23 HRs to 8 and 104 RBIs to 48 in a similar number of PAs), his wOBA (down from .350 to .302), and wRC+ (114 to 82).
Luckily, the Rockies don't need Mora to be a starter--rather, he profiles as the 25th man on the roster along with fellow graybeard Jason Giambi. And that is not a bad thing at all--when Mora, a starter in the AL East last year, is your super utility infielder, that is an indicator of a strong, deep roster.
This move likely means that Eric Young Jr. is headed down to AAA to begin the season, as I've outlined in my State of the Rockies article. This move makes sense because in my opinion Mora fits the Rockies' current roster needs better than EY2 does now. The move has the added benefit of delaying EY2's salary arbitration clock, giving the Rockies more payroll flexibility down the road.
UPDATE: Thomas Harding reports that the deal is worth $1.275 million.