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Rockies strike minor league deal with Miguel Batista

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Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies are nearing agreement on a minor league contract with veteran right-hander Miguel Batista.

If the deal is finalized — and there’s no reason to think it won’t be — Batista will be given an invitation to major league spring training with a pretty favorable opportunity to claim a spot in mid-to-long relief.

Batista posted an ugly 4.61 ERA, 1.73 WHIP and 36/33 K/BB ratio across 52 2/3 innings last season between the Mets and Braves. But the Rockies have one of the worst pitching staffs in the major leagues.

Batista’s resume includes stops in Pittsburgh, Florida, Chicago, Montreal, Kansas City, Arizona, Toronto, Seattle, D.C., St. Louis, New York and Atlanta. His best year was probably 2003 with the Diamondbacks.

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UPDATE, 9:13 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the deal has been made official.

Report: Yankees sign Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million deal

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees have signed closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million contract. Mark Melancon recently set the record for a contract earned by a reliever at $62 million over four years. Chapman blew that out of the water and many are surprised he didn’t fetch more.

Chapman, 28, began the 2016 season with the Yankees but he was traded to the Cubs near the end of July in exchange for four prospects. The Cubs, of course, would go on to win the World Series in large part due to Chapman. The lefty finished the regular season with a 1.55 ERA, 36 saves, and a 90/18 K/BB ratio in 58 innings between the two teams.

Chapman was the best reliever on the free agent market and, because he was traded midseason, he didn’t have draft pick compensation attached to him.

The Yankees don’t seem to be deterred by Chapman’s domestic violence issue from last offseason, resulting in a 30-game suspension to begin the 2016 regular season.

Report: Rockies want a “front-of-rotation-type pitcher” through trade

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on September 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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The Rockies are looking for a “front-of-rotation-type pitcher,” per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. He notes that the club is also in on free agent slugger Mark Trumbo.

Starting pitching has not been the Rockies’ strong suit in recent years. The club had baseball’s fifth-worst rotation ERA in baseball this past season at 4.79. It’s tough to entice big-name free agent pitchers to pitch given how their stats are adversely affected by the hitter-friendly nature of Coors Field. Trading would be one way around that.

Though Chris Sale is off the board, the Rockies could still try to pry Chris Archer from the Rays or Jose Quintana from the White Sox.

As presently constructed, the Rockies’ rotation includes Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and German Marquez.