Tracy Ringolsby of FoxSports.com is reporting that the Rockies are "attempting to work out final details on a contract with catcher Miguel Olivo." Olivo became the Rockies top target as a second catcher after talks with Yorvit Torrealba broke down.
Alright, here are some things we know about Olivo:
- He swings at an inordinate amount of pitches. 40% of first pitches, half of all pitches that are outside the strike zone. 10% of pitches that are occurring halfway around the globe in Indian cricket matches.
- He's a terrible defender, at least when it comes to stuff we can actually measure.
- He hits dingerz.
Wow! Dingerz! I like this signing!
Actually, we also know a couple of other things that do make it better:
- He's not likely being signed for anything close to the $5.6 million the Rockies offered Torrealba even though he projects to be about as valuable in 2010.
- We still have Chris Iannetta.
After prorating their seasons to a split time scenario, Olivo plus Iannetta last season would have given the Rockies top 5 in the MLB in the value of offensive catcher production. How much of that is sustainable can be rightfully called into question, but as it stands this does give the Rockies a solid shot at being the best in the NL West (Arizona's Montero/Snyder pairing seems the strongest challenger) at catcher for 2010.
A deal would likely mean the Rockies have turned the page on Torrealba, the primary catcher for the 2007 pennant winning team and who led the Rockies down the stretch to a wild card in 2009 with an absolutely sensational second half following the trauma of his son's kidnapping. Unless Iannetta goes on to other big things for the Rockies, I'd have to put Torrealba as the starting catcher for my All-Time Rockies team. He will be missed.
UPDATE - Troy Renck at the Denver Post reports that according to a major league source, the Rockies indeed are closing in on a deal with Olivo, and while they haven't completely closed the door on Torrealba, it appears very unlikely that the club would sign him at this point. Renck also provides the news that the Rockies actually did offer Torrealba the 2 year, $6 million offer he was seeking, but problems arose with the structure of that offer to keep a deal from getting done.