DENVER -- The Rockies and veteran left-handed pitcher Jamie Moyer have agreed on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, the club announced on Wednesday evening. Moyer missed last season because of Tommy John surgery in his throwing elbow but vowed to attempt a comeback this season at age 49. Before the injury in 2011, Moyer went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA in 19 starts for the Phillies. Each season from '07-09, Moyer reached double figures in wins with the Phillies. If he makes the club, Moyer will return to his post as his league's oldest player, a distinction he has held in five of the last eight years.
The Rockies are hoping Moyer can be a veteran anchor for an extremely young staff. In addition to a 24-season career during which he has made 686 appearances (628 starts), Moyer has been considered one of baseball's most respected humanitarians. He won the Major League Baseball Hutch Award, the Roberto Clemente Award and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 2003, and the Branch Rickey Award -- as presented by the Rotary Club of Denver -- in 2004. Moyer joins a spirited competition for rotation spots for a club that has little experience and must cover for the early-season absence of left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, himself coming off Tommy John surgery. Jhoulys Chacin, coming off his first full Major League season, is expected to lead the staff. Competing for jobs will be right-handers Jason Hammel, Kevin Slowey, Tyler Chatwood, Alex White, Juan Nicasio, Guillermo Moscoso and Esmil Rogers, and left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Josh Outman. That's not counting lefty Christian Friedrich, who was the team's top Draft pick in 2008 and could be ready for Major League action at some point, if not at the start of the season.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.