Rockies decline options on King, Mesa, DeJean

Updated: November 1, 2006, 9:12 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies declined to exercise options on relievers Ray King, Jose Mesa and Mike DeJean, saving more than $6 million.

Relief Pitcher
Colorado Rockies

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
67 1 4 20 23 4.43

General manager Dan O'Dowd said Wednesday night, however, that the club hopes to pursue new deals with Mesa, who was scheduled to earn $3 million next year, and DeJean.

If Mesa returns, he'll serve as more of a middle reliever like he did over the final two months of the season rather than as a right-handed setup man in the eighth inning.

Relief Pitcher
Colorado Rockies

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
2 1 0 2 0 0.00

O'Dowd hopes DeJean rebounds from shoulder surgery.

"We're interested in bringing Mike back if he makes progress in his rehab and it's going very well for him right now, he just hasn't ramped it up yet," O'Dowd said.

DeJean, 36, appeared in just two games last season before being sidelined by a right shoulder injury that required an operation to repair a frayed labrum and rotator cuff in June. He went 1-0, tossing 1 2-3 scoreless innings before getting hurt.

Relief Pitcher
Colorado Rockies

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
79 1 5 36 39 3.86

His absence both in the bullpen and the clubhouse contributed to the club's fall from contention over the second half of the season, O'Dowd suggested.

"Mike is an experienced reliever and as the season went on and we began to struggle, he would have been a nice guy to go to," DeJean said.

Although right-handers Ramon Ramirez and Manuel Corpas filled in nicely at times, having DeJean would have kept the Rockies from the kind of six-week slide that turned them into also-rans, O'Dowd said.

With DeJean sidelined, Mesa made a career-high 79 appearances.

"Jose was everything we thought he'd be," O'Dowd said. "It's just that with Mike's injury, we had to use him a lot and that caught up with him in the second half."

Mesa, 40, went 1-5 with a 3.86 ERA. The 18-year major league veteran led the club's relievers in games, losses, innings and holds [19].

Mesa, who made $2.12 million this season, had a $3 million option with a $515,000 buyout, of which $250,000 already had been advanced to him.

DeJean, who made $1.15 million this season, had a $1.5 million option with a $150,000 buyout, and King, 34, who made $2.5 million this year, had a $2.85 million option with a $250,000 buyout.

The Rockies' left-handed setup man, King was 1-4 with a 4.43 ERA in 67 relief appearances. His days in Denver are done.

"We just think Ray's better off moving on somewhere else and he knows that," O'Dowd said.

The Rockies also must decide by Thursday whether to exercise the $2.5 million option on right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim. O'Dowd declined to comment on which way he was leaning in that matter.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press