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While many Colorado Rockies players are likely thinking about what it will take to get over the hump in 2011, some are wondering whether they’ll be playing in Colorado next year at all. Two possible free agents are pitcher Jeff Francis and catcher Miguel Olivo, reports The Denver Post.
Francis, once the holder of the team’s single-season win record, has undergone a dramatic decline over the last few years, and the team doesn’t want to pay $7.5 million in 2011 to bring him back. There’s a chance he could return, but likely at a heavily reduced rate.
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Olivo, brought on before the 2010 season as a backup to Chris Iannetta, ended up playing well enough to take the starting job. He went through a slump in the second half of the year, but was nevertheless very good for the Rockies. Still, the Post writes, the team might be pursuing Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez instead.
There’s also discussion of what the Rockies will do in the outfield next year. Inside The Rockies examines the team’s options, noting that Colorado came into 2010 with too many outfielders. While they ended the season with a few good options, there weren’t enough. Clearly, Carlos Gonzalez will return after his explosive year, along with Dexter Fowler and fan-favorite Ryan Spilborghs. Questions linger over Seth Smith, a big hitter in 2009 who slumped after being given a shot at the starting job in the wake of veteran Brad Hawpe’s release in 2010. In the end, the Rockies might bring up a minor-leaguer to add more offense or look for a free-agent to fill the role.