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01/27/10 3:45 PM ET

Redding agrees to contract with Rox

Right-hander likely to be fill-in starter or long reliever

DENVER -- Right-hander Tim Redding has agreed to a Minor League contract with the Rockies and will have the chance to make the team as a starter or long reliever, Major League sources told MLB.com on Wednesday.

Redding, who turns 32 on Feb. 12, nearly signed with the Rockies last winter but joined the Mets instead. He was slowed early while recovering from a foot injury, and finished the year 3-6 with a 5.10 ERA in 30 games, including 17 starts. Redding was at his best in August and September, going 2-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 16 games, half of them starts.

The club is expecting left-hander Jeff Francis to make a full recovery from the shoulder injury that cost him the 2009 season. But manager Jim Tracy acknowledged recently that sometimes a pitcher coming back from such an injury needs extra rest time. That's one of the situations in which Redding could help. Also, he could be an option if there is an injury or one of the younger starters falters.

Redding could also fill a veteran void that occurred when the Rockies saw Jose Contreras, an erstwhile starter who gave the bullpen a lift in September, sign with the Phillies.

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