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Starting tomorrow, baseball free agency kicks off, and teams will have to make important moves to position for next year. A key decision for the Colorado Rockies will be what to do about catcher Miguel Olivo, one of the team’s surprisingly solid free-agency pickups last winter. The Denver Post reports that there’s a good chance Olivo won’t be in a Rockies uniform in 2011 because he wants to play every day without splitting time with Chris Ianetta. Tomorrow also marks the start of free agency for several other 2010 Rockies teammates: Joe Beimel, Jorge De La Rosa, Octavio Dotel, Jason Giambi, Melvin Mora, and Jay Payton. The most important name on the list is De La Rosa, who will likely earn a four- or five-year deal worth close to $50 million, whether the Rockies give it to him or not.
Meanwhile, a second team has accused the Rockies of using Denver’s altitude to its advantage late in games. The Rox set up a humidor in 2002 to keep balls from drying out, which makes them easier to hit out of the park. But the World Series-winning San Francisco Giants and now a second, unnamed team are accusing the Rockies of using non-humidor balls when Colorado needs a rally, notes The Denver Post, in a separate article. The league will discuss the issue at length during the annual general managers’ meetings in a couple weeks.
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The Rockies are also being discussed in terms of the 2011 World Series, with 18/1 odds to win it all next season. Online betting site Bodog.com puts those odds on the Rockies, placing Colorado in the top 10 of all Major League Baseball teams.