Rockies tender contracts to five players

Rockies tender contracts to five players

Rockies right-hander Josh Fogg appreciated a little sense of stability. A week ago, he and his wife, Jessica, welcomed a baby boy, Koy, and parents know what a crazy time that is.

But at least he doesn't have to worry about his work address. The Rockies tendered Fogg a contract Tuesday to return to the rotation. Fogg was second on the club in wins in 2006, as he went 11-9 with a 5.49 ERA in 31 starts.

Colorado also traded No. 1 starter Jason Jennings to the Astros on Tuesday, but the decision to keep Fogg out of the free-agent market means the Rockies will go into 2007 with last season's last four starters, which also include Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis and Byung-Hyun Kim.

"I couldn't worry about arbitration because it's out of my control -- besides, we just had our first baby a week ago and have been busy taking care of a lot of stuff around here, so I couldn't be that concerned," Fogg said by phone from his Riverview, Fla., home. "But this is good news going forward."

The Rockies also are close to re-signing catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who also was tendered an offer. Fogg and Torrealba were the big questions as Tuesday's deadline for offering contracts to arbitration-eligible players approached.

The only non-tendered player was right-hander Chin-hui Tsao, who was the team's closer early in 2005 but suffered a shoulder injury early that season and hasn't pitched since. Tsao is free to negotiate with any club, including the Rockies.

Fogg, who turns 30 on Wednesday, said he quickly became comfortable with the Rockies last season and realizes the departure of Jennings, the No. 1 starter for the club, means the returning pitchers will have a greater leadership role.

"I definitely think we can be a better ballclub," Fogg said. "Losing J.J. obviously hurts us, but I'm pretty impressed with the guys we got back, and our hitters like Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins are just getting better, and Todd Helton should be healthy.

"I think all of us on the staff are going to have to step up. J.J. was the face of the franchise the last six years, so it'll take a combination of the rest of us to make up for his leadership. Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis have been in Colorado for a while, and I feel I give us a chance every time out."

The Rockies also tendered offers to left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt, second baseman Jamey Carroll, left fielder Matt Holliday and center fielder Cory Sullivan on Tuesday.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.