Rockies reach deal with OF Raburn

Rockies reach deal with OF Raburn

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies reached a Minor League contract agreement with right-handed-hitting corner outfielder Ryan Raburn on Friday. Raburn will be invited to Major League camp. 

MLB Network reported that the deal will pay Raburn a $1.5 million salary if he is in the Majors, and he can request his release if he hasn't secured a big league job by March 28.

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Last season with the Indians, Raburn hit .301 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs, with a .393 on-base percentage and .543 slugging percentage. Raburn also has experience at second base, third base and first base, but he hasn't had extended infield experience since playing 32 games at second for the Tigers in 2012.

Raburn, who turns 35 on April 17, became a free agent when the Indians declined a $3 million option in November. In 142 plate appearances against lefties last season, Raburn batted .325 with a 1.004 OPS.

"Raburn's got a great track record, especially against lefties. And in the outfield, we're relatively thin as far as our depth," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "I don't know a lot about him because he's an American League player, but I know he can hit. He's a tough out and can do some damage."

Competition for reserve jobs has become stiffer at Spring Training. The team currently has four outfielders -- left-handed hitting projected starters Gerardo Parra in left, Charlie Blackmon in center and Carlos Gonzalez in right, and right-handed hitting Brandon Barnes, who can play all three outfield spots. Then there are utility types in switch-hitting Rafael Ynoa, an infielder by trade who played some in left field last season, and lefty-hitting Daniel Descalso, who is almost exclusively an infielder.

Ynoa and Descalso are at least nominally in competition for the starting shortstop job with right-handed-hitting Trevor Story and switch-hitting Cristhian Adames, both of whom have histories playing second and third.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.