Rockies still appreciate catcher Iannetta

Now, here's a smart move by a club without a lot of money:

    The Rockies are close to signing catcher Chris Iannetta to a three-year deal, writes Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. The contract would buy out all three of Iannetta's arbitration years. Renck says the Rockies' initial offer was around $6.8MM. He also notes that the team's budget has room for both Iannetta and Yorvit Torrealba.

    Iannetta, 27 in April, slumped slightly to .228/.344/.460 in 350 plate appearances this year (still very good for a catcher). He logged 763.6 innings behind the dish, throwing out 26% of attempted thieves.

This is excellent news for Rockies fans. Not just because Iannetta's a pretty good player. There are lots of pretty good players out there, some of whom come even cheaper than $2.3 million per season. No, this is good news because it says something good and interesting about the Rockies' decision-makers.

With the Rockies fighting for a postseason berth last season, Iannetta slumped badly in July and August and essentially lost his job, starting only seven games in the last five weeks of the season. He didn't play a single inning in the Rockies' Division Series against Philadelphia; meanwhile, Torrealba enjoyed the best season of his career and batted .357 against the Phillies.

I worried -- I suspect that Iannetta himself might have worried -- that the Rockies had given up on their younger, more talented catcher. I worried that the Rockies had been fooled by two or three anomalous months, months that flew full-speed in the space of so many months and years that had come before.

We still have to see who gets most of the playing time behind the plate next spring. But it seems that the Rockies weren't fooled so much, after all.