Yorvit Torrealba was definitely among the best performers during the Rockies' all-too-brief 2009 playoff run, hitting well (e.g., that home run in game two) and playing consistent defense. So, of course, the team is going to let him leave.
No, the Rockies haven't announced that Torrealba will only be invited back at a bargain rate -- but it didn't take a lot of between-the-line reading during general manager Dan O'Dowd's appearance on 104.3 FM/The Fan yesterday afternoon to realize the likely resolution to this story. When asked about Torrealba, O'Dowd first talked about how sold the Rockies are on Chris Ianetta -- the catcher who was reduced to spot duty and an off-the-bench role down the stretch after Torrealba got hot. Because Torrealba's a free agent, O'Dowd expects that he'll test the market, and if there's a way to keep him without violating "what we're doing" -- meaning the franchise's traditionally modest salary structure -- then the Rockies would love to have Yorvit back. And if not, well, did O'Dowd mention how much everyone likes Chris Ianetta? Why, yes, he did.
Ianetta's no scrub, and if need be, he should be able to fill the catcher's role pretty well. But Torrealba's getting better and better, and with a $4 million mutual option in place, he's hardly the most expensive piece of the puzzle. That's why I'd love for the Monfort brothers to unscrew their socks and keep Torrealba around -- but I'm not betting on that happening, despite his postseason heroics.
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