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Rockies Trade Olivo to Jays, Decline Jeff Francis’ Option

Posted By Brett Pietrzak On Nov 9 2010 @ 8:38 pm In Colorado Rockies | 1 Comment

The Rockies traded catcher Miguel Olivo to the Blue Jays on Thursday night for a player to be named or cash considerations.

The deal occurred just before Thursday night’s deadline for picking up Olivo’s 2011 option for $2.5 million. Olivo, 32, hit  a career.269 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs as the Rockies’ No. 1 catcher for much of last season. The Jays then declined the option, allowing Olivo to become a free agent, and will receive a pick between the first and second rounds of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

The trade leaves Chris Iannetta, 27, as the lone catcher on the Rockies’ roster with significant Major League experience. Iannetta played in only 61 games last year batting a career-low .197 with 9 home runs and 20 RBI’s.

Also, there is an outside chance that Olivo could be back on the Rockies by opening day. Think about it, the Blue Jays turned down Olivo’s option for 2011 which makes him a free agent. On the open market, there is a chance Olivo might end up the best fit for the Rockies. There’s nothing to stop the team and player from reaching that conclusion.

The Rockies, like Olivo, will be looking at various options through trades and free agency. But if there’s a match, there’s no reason the Rockies can’t head into 2011 with Olivo as part of the catching plan.

Of course, the scenario of Olivo being available to the Rockies might not play out. If the Jays offer Olivo arbitration, he has the right to accept it and officially become a member of the Jays with his salary being set through the arbitration process. But that’s not expected. The Jays don’t have a role for Olivo, plus they paid his $500,000 buyout for the contract he signed with the Rockies.

The Colorado Rockies have declined their $7 million option on left-hander Jeff Francis, one of the top pitchers in franchise history.Francis led the Rockies to their only World Series appearance in 2007 when he won a then franchise record-tying 17 games.He missed 2009 after shoulder surgery and didn’t make his debut last season until May. The 29-year-old was 4-6 in 20 games.Francis was the ninth overall pick by Colorado in the 2002 amateur draft. He was 55-50 with a 4.77 ERA in his career with the Rockies.

Sources say that Francis may end up back on the Rockies if they find a more reasonable salary for the 2011 season.

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