The Colorado Rockies and free-agent outfielder Chris Denorfia have agreed to a minor league deal, a source confirmed to Purple Row. FanRag’s Jon Heyman first reported late on Thursday. The deal, while not yet announced by the club, will likely include an invitation to spring training.
Denorfia, 36, last appeared in the majors with the Chicago Cubs in 2015 and owns a career .272/.330/.392 line (103 OPS+) in 10 big league seasons. He spent five of those years with the San Diego Padres, then managed by new Rockies skipper Bud Black. During his time there, Denorfia posted a 108 OPS+ while playing all three outfield positions.
At worst, Denorfia brings to the Rockies a versatile right-handed bat who may compete for a job in spring training and, if he sticks with the organization beyond that, presents a capable depth option as the season wears on.
Denorfia is the second former Padres utility type the Rockies have signed this offseason, joining Alexi Amarista. We’ll see if the Bud Black connection results in anymore low-key free-agent signings—particularly, a guy like ex-Padres starter Tyson Ross, who will miss the start of the season while recovering from an injury but has solid upside.
The ongoing dance between free-agent slugger Mark Trumbo and his 2016 club, the Baltimore Orioles, is chronicled by Ken Rosenthal, who reports that Trumbo’s asking price has fallen below three years and $50 million as a result. That still might be a little heavy considering Trumbo’s skill set (read: one tool), but among the many general managers keeping a close eye on the situation is the Rockies’ Jeff Bridich. Just because they’ve said Ian Desmond will be the first baseman in 2017 doesn’t mean it has to be true...
Thomas Harding has notes on the new Yard Goats manager, who has forgotten more about baseball than I’ll ever know. Weinstein is also a great, insightful follow on Twitter.
Old friend Drew Creasman begins his list of sorta top Rockies prospects, though it will obviously include established major leaguers who meet the criteria. As an aside, remember: we’re currently unveiling our top 30 prospects, with No. 22 set to go up today.