Rockies decline options on King, Mesa, DeJean

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies declined to exercise options
on relievers Ray King, Jose Mesa and Mike DeJean, saving more than
$6 million.

General manager Dan O'Dowd said Wednesday night, however, that
the club hopes to pursue new deals with Mesa, who was scheduled to
earn $3 million next year, and DeJean.

If Mesa returns, he'll serve as more of a middle reliever like
he did over the final two months of the season rather than as a
right-handed setup man in the eighth inning.

O'Dowd hopes DeJean rebounds from shoulder surgery.

"We're interested in bringing Mike back if he makes progress in
his rehab and it's going very well for him right now, he just
hasn't ramped it up yet," O'Dowd said.

DeJean, 36, appeared in just two games last season before being
sidelined by a right shoulder injury that required an operation to
repair a frayed labrum and rotator cuff in June. He went 1-0,
tossing 1 2-3 scoreless innings before getting hurt.

His absence both in the bullpen and the clubhouse contributed to
the club's fall from contention over the second half of the season,
O'Dowd suggested.

"Mike is an experienced reliever and as the season went on and
we began to struggle, he would have been a nice guy to go to,"
DeJean said.

Although right-handers Ramon Ramirez and Manuel Corpas filled in
nicely at times, having DeJean would have kept the Rockies from the
kind of six-week slide that turned them into also-rans, O'Dowd

With DeJean sidelined, Mesa made a career-high 79 appearances.

"Jose was everything we thought he'd be," O'Dowd said. "It's
just that with Mike's injury, we had to use him a lot and that
caught up with him in the second half."

Mesa, 40, went 1-5 with a 3.86 ERA. The 18-year major league
veteran led the club's relievers in games, losses, innings and
holds [19].

Mesa, who made $2.12 million this season, had a $3 million
option with a $515,000 buyout, of which $250,000 already had been
advanced to him.

DeJean, who made $1.15 million this season, had a $1.5 million
option with a $150,000 buyout, and King, 34, who made $2.5 million
this year, had a $2.85 million option with a $250,000 buyout.

The Rockies' left-handed setup man, King was 1-4 with a 4.43 ERA
in 67 relief appearances. His days in Denver are done.

"We just think Ray's better off moving on somewhere else and he
knows that," O'Dowd said.

The Rockies also must decide by Thursday whether to exercise the
$2.5 million option on right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim. O'Dowd declined
to comment on which way he was leaning in that matter.