Rockies sign Slowey, avoid arbitration

DENVER – The Colorado Rockies announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with right-handed pitcher Kevin Slowey, avoiding arbitration. In addition, the club has non-tendered outfielders Cole Garner and Ryan Spilborghs, making both players free agents.

Slowey, 27, has a career record of 39-29 with a 4.66 ERA (532.2 IP, 276 ER) in 90 career starts and 10 relief outings over five seasons, all coming with Minnesota. Slowey has 395 career strikeouts and 84 walks in his 532 2/3 innings. His 1.42 walks-per-nine-innings-pitched mark is the second-lowest among all Major League pitchers since 2007, behind only Roy Halladay’s 1.41. Additionally, his 4.70 walks-to-strikeouts ratio over that same period ranks third in the Majors. In his career, Slowey has three 10-win seasons and has recorded three complete games, two of which were shutouts. Slowey has tossed quality starts in 37 of his 90 career starts and has held hitters to a .285 average. Slowey was originally selected by the Twins in the second round, 73rd overall, in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of Winthrop University.

Spilborghs, 32, hit .210 (42-for-200) with eight doubles, a triple, three home runs and 22 RBIs in 98 games for the Rockies in 2011. The right-handed hitter saw playing time at all three outfield positions for the sixth-consecutive season (since 2006). He played 29 games in left field, 13 games in center and 29 games in right. For his career, Spilborghs has now played 187 games in left field, 122 in center field and 186 games in right and has a .272 (424-for-1561) batting average with 86 doubles, 12 triples, 42 home runs and 218 RBIs over seven seasons. Spilborghs was originally selected by Colorado in the seventh round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft out of UC Santa Barbara.

Garner, 26, saw his first Major League action in 2011, as he hit .222 (2-for-9) with three RBIs in four games for the Rockies. Garner has a .286 (639-for-2236) career Minor League batting average with 157 doubles, 28 triples and 76 home runs in 601 games over seven seasons. Garner was originally selected by Colorado in the 26th round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of La Quinta (CA) High School.

The Rockies now have 37 active players on their 40-man roster.