Rockies sign Billy Buckner to a Minor League Contract

According to MLB.com's Thomas Harding, the Colorado Rockies have signed 27 year old right-hander Billy Buckner to a minor-league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Buckner, a former 2nd-round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals has bounced around the majors a bit via trade since his major-league debut in 2007.

After several promising starts in 2007, Buckner was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Alberto Callaspo. Buckner pitched parts of the next 3 seasons with Arizona, coming out of the bullpen in 2008 and pitching as a starter in 2009 and 2010. He was traded to Detroit for Dontrelle Willis, and was cut 2 months later.

Buckner's strength seems to be a decent strikeout rate (6.7 K/9, above 7 in 3 of 4 seasons) and his weakness seems to be the long ball (although who in Arizona hasn't suffered from that?), allowing a career 1.6 HR/9. Over 138 career MLB innings, Buckner has allowed a 6.25 ERA (5.20 FIP) and a 1.91 K/BB ratio.

Buckner will likely provide AAA depth for the Rockies, along with lefthander Eric Stults, C Matt Pagnozzi, and 1B. Mike Jacobs.

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