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Rockies non-tender Kraig Sitton

Colorado will tender contracts to all eight arbitration-eligible players but made room on its 40-man roster by allowing a minor league reliever to become a free agent.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Colorado Rockies non-tendered minor league reliever Kraig Sitton, the team announced late Tuesday night. He is now a free agent.

Sitton, 26, was protected from the Rule 5 Draft by the Rockies last year and spent all of 2014 on the team's 40-man roster while pitching at Double-A Tulsa. There, the left-hander posted a 3.68 ERA with 43 strikeouts and 24 walks in 66 innings. In five minor league seasons, Sitton owns a 3.53 ERA with 6.9 SO/9 and 3.0 BB/9.

Colorado's decision to simply let Sitton walk rather than just outrighting him off the 40-man roster is strange, if not inconsequential. It's also interesting that Sitton was retained through the reserves deadline, at which point the Rockies declined to protect higher-upside players Ryan Casteel and Daniel Winkler in favor of the likes of Sitton, Yohan Flande, Chris Rusin, et al.

Regardless, the team now has a roster spot to play with, and that could signal an immediate addition to the roster or simply allow the club to participate in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. It also means that Jhoulys Chacin will likely be given a chance to prove he's healthy -- and do so at a relatively steep price tag of around $5 million.

Other non-tender candidates included Tyler Chatwood, who will be paid somewhere around $1 million to prepare for 2016, and Wilin Rosario, whom the Rockies are somewhat aggressively trying to shop on the trade market (more on that later).