Rockies sign Payton, Lo Duca
Veterans to seek returns to Majors at Spring Training
DENVER -- Outfielder Jay Payton posted a career-high batting average during his 1 1/2-year stint with the Rockies. He'll try to revisit those days in 2010.
The Rockies signed Payton, who didn't play in the Majors in 2009, to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, Rockies player development director Marc Gustafson announced Wednesday.Gustafson also said the Rockies completed work on a Minor League deal with catcher Paul Lo Duca, a former All-Star who also didn't play in 2009. Payton, 37, hit .309 with 33 home runs for the Rockies 2002-03 before signing with the Padres as a free agent. He last played for the Orioles in 2008, when he hit .243 with seven homers and 41 RBIs. Lo Duca, who turns 38 on April 12, played for manager Jim Tracy with the Dodgers. A .286 hitter in 11 seasons, Lo Duca hit .243 for the Nationals and Marlins in 2008. Both are right-handed hitters who will be competing for reserve duty.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.