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Rockies avoid arbitration with Franklin Morales, Wilton Lopez

Colorado inked both struggling relievers to a one-year deal.


The Rockies avoided arbitration with relievers Franklin Morales and Wilton Lopez, the team announced in separate press releases.

Morales will earn $1.725 million in 2014, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. He was re-acquired by Colorado on Dec. 18 in a trade that also netted minor-league reliever Chris Martin in exchange for infielder Jonathan Herrera. Morales, a former top-10 prospect for the Rockies in the latter part of the last decade, posted a 4.62 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 for the Red Sox in 2013. The Rockies have discussed converting Morales back to a starter, a role in which he showed promise during his previous stint in Denver, particularly down the stretch in 2007.

Lopez will get $2.2 million a year after finishing 15th among MLB relievers in innings pitched with 75⅓. His 4.06 ERA was a bit unlucky considering his xFIP ended up at 3.69, though he finished with the lowest strikeout rate of any full season in his career. A spike in that area could go a long way toward helping Lopez re-establish himself as a quality reliever.

The club has still not come to an agreement with arbitration-eligibles Drew Stubbs and Juan Nicasio.