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Iguchi ponders signing with Rockies

Iguchi ponders signing with Rockies

DENVER -- Tadahito Iguchi, the Rockies' chief free-agent target at second base, will speak to his agent about offers late Friday and could come to a decision early next week.

Rocky Hall said Iguchi, who played for the White Sox and the Phillies last season, wants to take time to mull the possibilities now that the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., have been completed. Iguchi said he told Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd he could have an answer Monday or Tuesday.

The Rockies are looking at signing a second baseman for two years.

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Iguchi, 33, has fielded offers to play second and third but has played strictly second since leaving Japan to join the Majors and the White Sox in 2005, when the club won the World Series. The Padres and Orioles also are pursuing Iguchi at second.

Hall said Iguchi appreciates the club's interest and the opportunity to play second, and is considering such subjects as playing in Coors Field and living in Colorado as part of the process. Any reservation Iguchi had about playing a spot vacated by Kazuo Matsui, his countryman, Hall said Friday, "was preliminary, but I don't think that's an issue now."

The Rockies agreed Friday to send veteran Jamey Carroll to the Indians for a player to be named. That clears some payroll money. Carroll is guaranteed $2.3 million this season.

If the pursuit of Iguchi is unsuccessful, David Eckstein has emerged as a candidate. Mark Loretta, whose agent talked to the Rockies throughout the Winter Meetings, is expected to accept arbitration from the Astros.

The Rockies still have a large group of in-house candidates for either the starting job or playing time behind a free-agent signee -- Clint Barmes, Omar Quintanilla, Jayson Nix and two young power hitters looking at making the conversion from corner spots in Jeff Baker and Ian Stewart.

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

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