Sunday Rockpile: Great Catcher War of 2009 makes the mainstream press; Rockies interested in Cuban first baseman

Troy Renck's been aware of Purple Row's Great Catcher War of 2009, and he alludes to it in a piece that fondly remembers the service Yorvit Torrealba provided to the Rockies over his four seasons here. By waiting out the market, the Padres were able to sign Torrealba for about half price on his WAR estimated value. People are making a big deal of the mistake Torrealba and his agent made in turning down the Rockies best offer, but I think a bigger one could be counting on the Mets to sign Bengie Molina or be interested in Torrealba if they did not. The market quickly turned in on itself once Molina went back to the Giants.

Also from Renck, there are some interesting notes following this article on Ian Stewart's ascension to the role of starting third baseman and what he and the team are looking for from him in 2010. One note that probably shouldn't be brushed aside is that Paul Lo Duca probably won't accept a AAA assignment if he doesn't beat out Miguel Olivo or Chris Iannetta for a major league job. That scenario for Lo Duca likely doesn't happen without a DL stint for one of the other two.

Due to the relative trickle of baseball players that make it out of Cuba, and the typically higher cost of signing those players, it's very rare that we read of the Rockies being interested in recently defected Cubans. Apparently Jose Julio Ruiz is an exception. ESPN's Jorge Aranguré blogged about Ruiz earlier this off season in a report for ESPN Insider subscribers. Ruiz is a 25 year old left handed hitting first baseman that would presumably head to the upper minors (I would guess Tulsa) as added Todd Helton insurance for the next couple of seasons. Some feel, I'm not sure if the Rockies are in this camp, that he could also play in the outfield, so he could also be in that picture should the team part with Brad Hawpe anytime soon. Ruiz is expected to make his decision within the next couple of days.

In case you've missed it elsewhere the last couple of days, the Rockies are also interested Todd Wellemeyer and Noah Lowry on minor league deals. It seems both are more likely to sign elsewhere.

So today I got this super new punch bowl, it's plastic and it holds punch, like I say, it's just super, so I'm having this super bowl party just to celebrate the fact I got a really awesome punch bowl. It should be fun.

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