Is Yorvit Torrealba's Free Agent Stock Rising?

Josh LevittSenior Analyst IOctober 12, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 07:  Yorvit Torrealba #8 of the Colorado Rockies hits a double in the bottom of the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game One of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 5-1. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Will the real Yorvit Torrealba please stand up?

"With a strong finish to the regular season and a surprise home run in Game Two of the National League Division Series, Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba found himself with a more prominent role for Sunday night's Game Three.

"Manager Jim Tracy moved Torrealba to the No. 5 spot in the order, after batting him sixth in the first two games of the series with the Phillies, which is tied at a game apiece. Torrealba entered Sunday hitting .500 (3-for-6) in the series, with a two-run homer in Thursday's 5-4 victory. It was Torrealba's first homer since early May.

"Torrealba hit .313 during the Rockies' strong September push to the playoffs. Torrealba, who supplanted Chris Iannetta as Colorado's No. 1 catcher in August, finished the season with a career-best .291 average, two home runs, and 31 RBI."

It's hard not to be thrilled for Torrealba considering all that he's been through this season with his son. His performance in the second half of the season was nothing short of inspiring, and in a season where Torrealba had every excuse to put up crappy numbers, he's put up the best offensive numbers of his career. How 'bout that.

So what does the future hold for Torrealba? After this season, Torrealba, 31, has a mutual option with the Rockies for $4 million. Considering how Torrealba has performed this season, it would not surprise me to see the Rockies pick up their end of the option.

Then again, can the Rockies afford to pay $4 million to a guy who before this season was nothing more than a solid defensive catcher with limited ability at the plate?

As for Torrealba...can he get more on the open market if he turns down the option (assuming that the Rockies pick it up)? I doubt it.

Even though the free agent market is painfully weak for catchers and Torrealba is coming off the best offensive season of his career, his 2009 sample size at the plate is simply too small to warrant a much bigger contract. In all likelihood, Torrealba's 2009 season is simply a fluke.

Then again, never doubt the impact of a big postseason on the open market. Keep it up, Yorvit.


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