Redding interested in signing with Rox

Redding interested in signing with Rox

DENVER -- The Rockies have their shot at right-handed pitcher Tim Redding.

The Nationals on Friday announced that they will non-tender Redding, who went 10-11 with a 4.95 ERA last season as the top pitcher in the Nationals' rotation. Redding stood to make $3 million to $3.5 million through arbitration.

Negotiations during this week's Winter Meetings came close but fell short to produce a trade that would have sent Rockies outfielder Willy Taveras and pitcher Juan Morillo to the Nationals. But now the Rockies can sign Redding -- who has long been liked by the Rockies' organization -- as a free agent.

"We have significant interest in Colorado," Redding's agent, Tom O'Connell, said after the Nationals made their announcement in a press release. "Tim loves the city. It's going to be one of the many teams we're going to take him to in the next few days. There's definite interest in Colorado."

The Rockies have not made their announcements -- 10 p.m. MT is the deadline for offering contracts to arbitration-eligible players -- but they are expected to non-tender Taveras, who could draw interest from the Nationals and several other clubs.

Redding is 34-51 with a 4.92 ERA in 149 games, 127 starts, with the Astros, Yankees, Padres and Nationals. Last season, he was 7-3 with a 3.85 ERA in 20 starts before the All-Star break, but 3-8, 6.82 in 13 starts after the break. Redding underwent left foot surgery in November, but is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Redding is aware of the Rockies' interest, but he is keeping all options open.

"I'm a free agent and I'll be checking the whole market," Redding said. "[Nationals general manager] Jim [Bowden] made it clear to me that there is still interest back in D.C., but not for the price arbitration would allow me to get. I'm going through the process."

Hot Stove

The Rockies are looking for a pitcher to join Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis and Ubaldo Jimenez in the pitching rotation. As things stand, they have left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, who had a strong final 6 1/2 weeks of 2008, left-hander Greg Smith, acquired last month from the Athletics, lefty Franklin Morales and right-handers Jason Hirsh and Greg Reynolds competing for spots.

The Rockies considered acquiring Redding at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last season.

"They obviously non-tendered him because they couldn't afford him," O'Connell said. "They knew he would make $3 million to $3.5 million in the salary arbitration process. They weren't willing to pay that, which is fine.

"Basically, now we're going to see what the open market will bear for a guy who won 10 games and pitched 180 innings in what we consider a very good season for a team that finished way below .500."

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