Print and Go Back Baseball [Print without images]

Friday, December 21, 2007
Ex-Yankees RHP Vizcaino gives Rockies some help in middle innings

Associated Press

DENVER -- The NL champion Colorado Rockies filled a vacancy in their bullpen Friday by agreeing to a $7.5 million, two-year contract with right-hander Luis Vizcaino.

Vizcaino, 33, could fill the middle-inning void left by the departure of reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who reached a preliminary agreement with the New York Yankees in early December.

Vizcaino was 8-2 with a 4.30 ERA with the Yankees last season, making a career-high 77 relief appearances and struggling for much of the first half. His eight wins tied him for the major-league lead among relief pitchers.

"Luis provides valuable experience and durability to the back end of our bullpen," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said in a statement.

Vizcaino has a 33-25 record and 4.25 ERA in 485 relief appearances. He's also pitched for Oakland, Milwaukee, the Chicago White Sox and Arizona.

Vizcaino receives $3.5 million in each of the next two seasons, and the Rockies have a $4 million option for 2010 with a $500,000 buyout. The option would become guaranteed if Vizcaino appears in 135 games combined in 2008 and 2009, or 68 games in 2009.

Colorado agreed to one-year deals Wednesday with pitchers Mark Redman and Kip Wells, and the Rockies also gave starter Aaron Cook a $30 million, three-year contract extension. In addition, they re-signed reliever Matt Herges.

Colorado also brought back catcher Yorvit Torrealba, a stabilizing influence behind the plate for the pitching staff last season.