Javy Lopez, Rockies agree to 1-year deal
By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
January 9, 2007
DENVER (AP) -- Former All-Star catcher Javy Lopez and the Colorado Rockies reached a preliminary agreement on a $750,000, one-year contract Tuesday.
The deal is pending a physical, which is scheduled for later this week. Lopez's salary, which is not guaranteed, would increase to $1 million if he is on the active 25-man roster, and he could earn $600,000 in performance bonuses.
"Colorado is a place and a team and a ballpark that he's always liked," said Chuck Berry, Lopez's agent. "We looked at a half-dozen places that would be good for him to go. Colorado was one of them."
Lopez had a rocky 2006 season. He began the year in Baltimore behind the plate, was moved to designated hitter and then went through an experiment at first base. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 4 and released a month later.
"Everything that could go wrong for him did go wrong last year," Berry said. "He feels like he has something to prove."
The 36-year-old Lopez just finished a $22.5 million, three-year contract that he signed with the Orioles in December 2003. He hit .265 for Baltimore last season and .190 with the Red Sox before his release on Sept. 8.
Lopez broke into the majors with the Atlanta Braves in September 1992 and is a three-time All-Star. He shared catching duties before becoming Atlanta's regular catcher in 1996. He hit .328 with 43 home runs and 109 RBIs in his final season with the Braves in 2003.
The Rockies also have catchers Alvin Colina, Yorvit Torrealba and Chris Iannetta on their roster.
Lopez has a .287 career average with 260 home runs in 1,503 games. He is a career .356 hitter at Coors Field. His 243 home runs as a catcher rank eighth on the career list at that position.