<
>

Chacon will be Rockies closer

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies on Monday agreed to terms with right-hander Shawn Chacon on a one-year contract worth $1.85 million.

Chacon, designated as the Rockies' closer for 2004, earned
$300,000 last season.

The Rockies offered Chacon, who became arbitration-eligible this offseason, a 2004 salary of $1.65 million. Chacon submitted a
figure of $2.1 million, leaving the midpoint at $1.875 million.

General manager Dan O'Dowd and Chacon's agent, Dan Horwits, reached agreement without an arbitration hearing. The Rockies have gone to a hearing only once in their history, with pitcher Dennys Reyes in 2002.

Chacon, 26, earned an All-Star berth in 2003 but was unable to
pitch in the game because of an elbow injury. Chacon, who began the
season with an 11-3 record, finished the year at 11-8 with a 4.60
ERA and was placed on the disabled list Aug. 16.

Predominantly a starter since being drafted by Colorado in the
third round of the June 1996 draft, Chacon was named the club's
closer after the winter meetings in New Orleans.