Rockies sign Amezaga, Moeller to Minors deals

Rockies sign Amezaga, Moeller to Minors deals

DENVER -- Utility man Alfredo Amezaga, who was briefly with Colorado before making a Major League impact elsewhere, has re-joined the Rockies on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, the club announced Wednesday.

The Rockies also signed veteran catcher Chad Moeller to a Minor League deal as a non-roster player.

In an attempt to build pitching depth, the Rockies are negotiating with right-handed pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, who was with the team in 2007 before suffering an elbow injury and worked his way back to throw 200 innings for the D-backs last season.

Amezaga, 33, played in two games for the Rockies in 2005 before the Pirates claimed him off waivers. Amezaga, however, became a solid big leaguer with the Marlins from 2006-2009, hitting .320 in 417 games. Amezaga has played every position but pitcher and catcher, but he hasn't appeared in a Major League game since undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee in 2009.

The signing of Amezaga is part of the club's search for infield depth before Spring Training begins. According to Fox Sports and the Denver Post, the team looked at Aaron Miles, its former starting second baseman who has played for the Cardinals and Cubs in recent years, and Cristian Guzman, who played for the Nationals and Rangers last season.

Moeller, who turns 36 on Feb. 18, appeared in nine games and hit .214 for the Yankees last season. Moeller is a .226 hitter in 501 Major League games over 11 seasons.

Lopez, 35, was 5-4 with a 4.42 ERA with the Rockies in 2007 before suffering a season-ending elbow injury and having to watch the team advance to the World Series. Lopez was considered a veteran influence over a mostly young staff. Since then, he has pitched for the Phillies in 2009 and the D-backs. Last season, he went 7-16 with a 5.00 ERA for the D-backs. Although he led the National League in losses, his 33 starts were just two below league leader Chris Carpenter's 35.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.