In an effort to revamp a bullpen that was the worst in the National League in 2013, the Colorado Rockies are interested in signing free agent relievers Joe Smith and Jose Veras, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The team is expected to commit a significant financial amount to relief pitching this offseason, as evidenced by the exercising of Matt Belisle's mutual option last week.
Smith, who turns 30 in March, has been one of the most underrated relievers in baseball over the past three seasons with the Indians.
In 70 appearances in 2013, the right-hander posted a 2.29 ERA, 7.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 63 inning, bringing his career ERA to 2.97 over seven major league seaons.
Both Smith and the Indians indicated towards the end of the season that they are interested in a reunion, and many teams are expected to show interest in Smith on a one or two-year deal.
Veras, who was acquired from the Astros by at the trade deadline, had his $3.25 million team option declined by the Tigers last week after struggling with the team in the playoffs. He is not expected to return to Detroit, and could wind up in Colorado now that the Rockies are showing significant interest.
In addition to the relievers, the Rockies are very interested in signing catcher Carlos Ruiz, as reported earlier in the week. Renck writes that the team has continued to pursue the backstop, and that they are planning on offering him a multi-year deal sometime this week.