Rockies looking at Brad Lidge after dealing Huston Street

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The Rockies freed up $7 million this morning by sending former closer Huston Street to the Padres. Now they may use a portion of those funds to ink another ex-closer, Colorado resident Brad Lidge.

After overcoming arm problems, Lidge posted a 1.40 ERA in 19 1/3 innings for the Phillies last season. He also pitched two scoreless innings against the Cardinals in the NLDS. His velocity is well down following shoulder surgery, but by throwing his slider the majority of the time, he’s still proven pretty tough to hit. The league has batted .194 and .225 against him the last two years.

If signed, Lidge would help set up for Rafael Betancourt in Colorado. He’s probably looking for a guarantee in the $4 million range, with incentives that could take him above that.

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.