The club had been mulling over what to do with the catcher, who had a club option for $2.5 million with a $500,000 buyout.
What the move means for Rockies fans is one of a few things. Either the Rockies are serious about pursuing free agent catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez or are pursing Mike Napoli from the Los Angeles Angels via trade, or they have decided to once again trust the future to Chris Iannetta.
Trusting Iannetta would be a bad choice for the Rockies, who have fallen into the same trap in each of the last two seasons. Luckily for the Rockies, they had a backup plan with Yorvit Torrealba and Olivo respectively.
Iannetta signed a three year deal worth just over $8 million before the 2010 season, but found himself in Triple-A before the end of May. He finished his season with a Mendoza-like batting average of .197 with nine home runs and 27 RBIs. While the SABR crowd would argue that Iannetta has been better than his traditional numbers suggest, the fact is, he simply has not passed the eye-test.
Despite hitting two walk-off home runs in 2010, Iannetta all-too-frequently found himself striking out (48 in 188 at-bats) or popping out.
The Rockies may be hoping that working with new hitting coach Carney Lansford, who helped Iannetta figure out his swing in Colorado Springs late in the 2007 season, will help the catcher finally turn the corner.
The move begins what should be an interesting offseason for the Rockies, who are trying to find a way to re-sign lefty starter Jorge De La Rosa and also find a power hitting right handed bat that can play some first base.
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