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.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.