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Saturday Rockpile: The stove is heating up as the Rockies begin to show interest in Free Agents

Rockies show interest in Hudson, hope Betancourt accepts arbitration - Fox Sports on MSN
Although the Rox would net two draft picks and avoid paying $6 million for one year of an aging reliever, they still hope that Rafael Betancourt accepts their arbitration offer. His situation on the market may force him to do just that.

Tracy Ringolsby also reports that the Rockies have began to show interest in free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson. I recall this being something that a lot of fans wished the Rockies paid attention to last offseason. However, to me it sounds like a good move this year as well, rather than it being a year too late. Hudson, 32, just finished a nice season for the Dodgers and could help the Rockies alleviate their need for a right-handed bench bat by simply inserting O-Dog into the starting lineup and using Clint Barmes in the bench/super-utility role. On top of all of that, Hudson wasn't offered arbitration by LA, so signing him will not require draft compensation. This all could be one big moot point, though, as Dan O'Dowd has denied seriously pursuing Hudson.

Rox could shift to Hawkins if Betancourt departs, while keeping an eye on Duchsherer and DeRosa - The Denver Post
In the event that Raffy B does not accept arbitration and decides to bolt for another club, Troy E. Renck says the Rockies have been open about the fact that they would love to bring back LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins has had a good past few years pitching out of the bullpen for the Astros and Rockies and still throws very hard and has good stuff (although his walk totals are still a bit high), especially for his age. It sounds like the Rockies will definitely be bringing one of these guys back, though, as it could be as late as the middle of 2010 when we'll see Taylor Buchholz return.

Meanwhile, Justin Duchscherer has become a top target for the Rox as well. If he can get past his physical and mental health issues, Duchscherer has proven to be a solid big league starter and would be a good fit to the back of anybody's rotation. Also, Renck mentions that the Rockies have expressed interest in Mark DeRosa, who hits lefties well and could be another option to fill the right-handed void that the Rockies have amongst position players.