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MLB free agency: Rockies sign reliever Bryan Shaw

The Rockies made their first offseason acquisition at the Winter Meetings

The Rockies have signed right-handed reliever Bryan Shaw, according to Jon Heyman. Buster Olney reports that the deal is for three years and about $9 million annually.

The 30-year-old Shaw will fill one of the holes left in the Rockies bullpen after free agent departures. Shaw started his career playing for Arizona, but he has really come into his own over the past five seasons with Cleveland. He seems like a great fit.

For good reason, relief pitchers get descriptions like “fungible” and “unpredictable.” But Shaw has been consistently good throughout his entire career. He’s never posted an ERA higher than 3.52, and he’s never had an ERA+ lower than 118. Shaw has also led the American League in appearances three times, including the last two seasons.

Shaw throws a cut fastball that he complements with a slider. One notable thing for the Rockies—and possibly one of the attractions—is that he’s upped his groundball game over the past two seasons without sacrificing strikeouts. In fact, over his 2016 and 2017 seasons, Shaw has posted both the highest strikeout rates in his career, as well as the highest groundball rates.

While Shaw has never been a regular closer in his career, he could very well fill that role for the Rockies. But there’s still a lot of offseason left, and the Rockies have been tied strongly to both Wade Davis and Greg Holland. Shaw could just be the first addition the Rockies make.