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Old 13 Jan 2004, 01:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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credit ESPN

In his long, varied pitching career, Jeff Fassero has never gone to spring training on a minor league contract. That experience awaits him next month with the Colorado Rockies. "It's the nature of the beast right now, the way the market's gone," he said. "I was expecting I'd be going into camp on a minor league invite."

The Rockies and Fassero, a 41-year-old left-hander, agreed Monday on a minor league deal that will pay him $500,000 if he makes the team. The Rockies want to add a veteran to their rotation, and the chance to start, something Texas, Tampa Bay and Arizona weren't offering, appealed to Fassero. He lives in the Phoenix area, and with three children in school, the proximity to Denver also was an attraction.

Fassero's contract also includes $25,000 each for 18, 21, 24 and 27 games started. Asked whether Fassero might be tried in the bullpen if a starting role doesn't materialize, manager Clint Hurdle said, "That's something we'll talk about when and if that situation should arise."


If it does, Fassero's contract has applicable bonuses of $25,000 each for 50, 55, 60 and 65 games.


In 61 games last season with St. Louis, his sixth major league team, Fassero went 1-7 with a 6.34 earned-run average.


Fassero threw six innings once and at least five innings four times. That's a similar workload to left-hander Darren Oliver, who averaged 5.56 innings a start for Colorado last season, and was a nice surprise as a fifth starter last season.




Nothing special but with the n.l. west up for grabs this isn't a bad move for the rockies.
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