It’s nearly Turkey Day, but it’s always a good time to talk baseball. Unless you’re talking about your favorite team losing one of its clutch players. The Denver Post’s Troy Renck reports that catcher Yorvit Torrealba turned down a two-year, $4.5 million deal from the Rockies recently and is expected to jump ship. Not only is Torrealba likely headed out the door, but he may land with the San Francisco Giants, one of the Rockies’ major rivals over the past couple of years, and the team with which the Rockies were in a death match during the last few weeks of the 2009 season.
Renck writes that the Rockies are looking at free-agent Mets catcher Brian Schneider as a contingency plan, hoping he might complement Rockies catcher Chris Ianetta off the bench. Ianetta has shown flashes of power and is pretty good behind the plate, but he fell into a months-long slump last year, giving rise to Torrealba’s recurring heroics down the stretch.
The Post pointed out last week that the Rockies signed minor league catcher Paul Phillips to a $13,000-per-month contract as insurance against Torrealba leaving. Phillips is better than decent, hitting .311, with one home run and nine runs batted in over 45 plate appearances, impressing the Rockies with the way he prepares pitchers.
Meanwhile, the Rockies have released their spring training schedule, giving us baseball fanatics something to look forward to this offseason. The team begins spring ball March 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Tuscon (via Boulder’s Daily Camera). The Rockies will play 15 games at Hi Corbett Field, their springtime home for just one more season after they recently announced a new facility to be built for the 2011 season.