Colorado was seeking a defensive-minded, veteran catcher this offseason, and added one by signing Nick Hundley to a two-year, $6 million deal on Wednesday afternoon. Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun was among the first to report the deal, which is pending a physical.
Hundley, 31, batted .243/.273/.358 to complment six home runs and 22 RBIs in 83 games with both the Padres and Orioles last season. Baltimore reportedly wanted to keep him, but declined his $5 million club option in November. Although his offensive numbers last season were around his career mark (.238), the Rockies were not seeking a power bat. Instead, the club was after an experienced backstop that can manage a young pitching staff in 2015.
The Rockies utilized several young arms last season, and are looking for consistency moving forward. Wilin Rosario, 25, batted .267/.305/.435 to complement 13 home runs last season and is known as a power hitter. He is still developing defensively, and battled several injuries a season ago. Rosario's name has been mentioned in several trade rumors this offseason, and some scouts believe he may be better suited for the American League, where he can serve as a designated hitter. Michael McKenry could receive playing time behind the plate in 2015 as well. Colorado has had a somewhat quiet offseason, with Daniel Descalso being the only other player the team signed to a Major League contract.
Connolly noted that the Orioles offered Hundley a two-year deal, but the proposed contract did not match the approximately $3 million yearly salary the Rockies offered, and Baltimore could not assure him he would get consistent playing time. A year after playing in the postseason, the Orioles have been forced to reassemble their roster, notably losing Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis, Andrew Miller, and now Hundley to free agency this offseason.