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Rockies to sign Chris Flexen

Rockies add another veteran depth piece to bolster an already fragile starting rotation

The Colorado Rockies continue to pick up pitchers as’s Thomas Harding reports that the team has agreed to a deal with right-handed pitcher Chris Flexen.

Flexin, 29, will report to Triple-A Albuquerque to join the rotation and be a starting option for the Rockies.

This is technically Flexen’s third organization this season after starting the season with the Seattle Mariners. In 17 games, including four starts with the Mariners, Flexen struggled, coming primarily out of the bullpen to the tune of a 7.71 ERA (6.66 FIP) and a 1.857 WHIP in 42 innings of work. Despite a decent 41.9% ground ball rate, Flexen has been stung for a career-high 41.9% hard-hit rate while giving up 11 home runs. He’s also been haunted by a .350 average on balls in play, and his 21.6% homer-to-flyball rate may have a hard time regressing at Coors Field or Albuquerque.

These poor results led the Mariners to designate him for assignment and later trade him to the New York Mets along with Trevor Gott. However, he was only Met for a split second before they designated him for assignment and subsequently released him. However, the Mets will retain the remainder of his $8 million contract, meaning the Rockies would only have to pay him the league’s prorated minimum salary.

Originally drafted in 2012 in the 14th round by the New York Mets, Flexen made his big league debut in 2017 with the team. He struggled in his 27 games with a 51 ERA+ with the Mets from 2017-2019 before he re-emerged with the Mariners in 2021 after spending the 2020 season in Korea. As a full-time starter in 2021, Flexen made 31 starts and posted a 3.61 ERA in 179 23 innings with 125 strikeouts and 40 walks. Again he had similar success making 22 starts in 33 games in 2022 and posting a 3.73 ERA with 95 strikeouts and 50 walks.

Flexen features a primary pitch mix of a four-seam fastball (91.8 mph), cutter (88.2 mph), and changeup (80.8 mph) while also adding in variations of a slider and a sweeper.

Flexen now provides the Rockies with another big-league-ready depth piece that will likely get called upon sooner rather than later. In addition, he has the chance to get back on track or at the very least eat some innings for a desperate Rockies team that has been decimated by injuries to the rotation.