By Will Lingo
December 8, 2005
The Rockies continued to try to patch holes in their big league team on a budget, adding a catcher from the Mariners in exchange for an intriguing bullpen arm.
Colorado brought in catcher Yorvit Torrealba from the Mariners for righthanded reliever Marcos Carvajal.
For the Rockies, Torrealba will be expected to win the starting catching job over Danny Ardoin, a defensive specialist who displaced J.D. Closser at the position in Colorado in 2005. Ardoin batted .229/.320/.362 in 210 at-bats, while Closser hit .219/.314/.376.
Torrealba, acquired from the Giants in the deal for Randy Winn at midseason, became expendable in Seattle after the Mariners signed Japanese catcher Kenji Johjima and asked to be traded. He batted .241/.293/.333 for the Mariners in 108 at-bats but is much more familiar with the National League, after spending the previous three and a half seasons in San Francisco. Torrealba, 27, is a career .250/.315/.384 hitter, and has thrown out 36 percent of basestealers.
In Carvajal, the Mariners get a hard-throwing righthander for their bullpen. Carvajal, 21, spent the year in Colorado after getting picked in the major league Rule 5 draft last December out of the Dodgers system and posted a 5.09 ERA in 39 appearances covering 53 innings. He struck out 47 and walked 21.
While he wasn’t ready for the big leagues last year, Carvajal does have big-time stuff, with a fastball that can reach the upper 90s and a good slider. Scouts have questioned his intensity, and he needs to refine his command and could go back to the minors for more seasoning.