At least his percieved value. ...
Rockies displaying interest in Beck
By Troy E. Renck, Denver Post Sports Writer
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle has identified finding a closer as a top priority in the offseason. Rod Beck has surfaced as a strong candidate, as the club already has spoken to his agent on multiple occasions.
"We would like to have an established one," Hurdle said. "I don't know if we will get one, but there will be a lot of options."
The Rockies don't have much money to spend but there are several second-tier closers available, such as Roberto Hernandez, Jose Mesa and Armando Benitez. Beck might be affordable and he knows the National League West. After sitting out the 2002 season because of elbow ligament replacement surgery, Beck staged one of baseball's most inspiring comebacks with the San Diego Padres.
After signing June 2, the right-hander went 20-for-20 in save opportunities, producing a 1.78 ERA. With Trevor Hoffman a virtual lock to return to San Diego and reclaim his closer's role, Beck is searching for a team. He has 286 career saves.
"The Rockies have talked to us about Rod," agent Danny Horwits said. "He would definitely go to (Coors Field) if they afford him a chance to close."
The overall market will likely determine if the Rockies can sign Beck. He is seeking guaranteed money, but is attractive because of how much less he figures to command compared with premier free agents Keith Foulke, Ugueth Urbina, Eddie Guardado and Tom Gordon.
Former Rockies closer Jose Jimenez, who has drawn interest from the Toronto Blue Jays, slumped badly last season before losing his job to Justin Speier and Brian Fuentes.
Hurdle said he's prepared to use a committee again, if necessary. But Speier's future is unclear because of his salary boost in arbitration.
The Rockies already have committed $53.1 million to six players for next season, a figure that makes filling out the roster a challenge. The top-heavy payroll has left them open to trades and bargain free-agent signings. They have expressed interest in second baseman Eric Young, and have inquired about minor-league free agents Adam Hyzdu and pitcher Jose Santiago.
"We need to be patient," Hurdle said, and once the big names sign it will give us a chance to see what is available."