In the Rockpile: The third baseman cometh — Casey Blake signs


Goodbye, L.A. Casey Blake has his bags packed for Colorado. (Christopher Hanewinckel/US Presswire)

The answer at third base? Former Dodger infielder Casey Blake, who inked a one-year, $2 million deal with the Colorado Rockies.

The Dodgers declined Blake’s 2012 team option and he now has himself a new home (for at least next season) in Denver — not Cleveland, where there was interest in bringing him back for a seventh season with the Tribe.

Blake had a shortened 2011 season due to a pinched nerve in his neck that limited him to 63 games, where he batted .252 with a .342 OBP. Blake, who will be 39 before the end of the 2012 season, is obviously an improvement over Ian Stewart, and hopefully Ty Wigginton.

The acquisition of Blake now pushes the Nolan Arenado experiment to the back burner. Arenado will still get a spring-training invite, but will not be starting ahead of the veteran Blake. Arenado will be seeing time in the minors at the single-A and double-A levels.

Blake should be able to bring some run support to the Rockies, as well as veteran leadership in the clubhouse, joining Todd Helton and Jason Giambi in the long in the tooth department.

In other Rockies news … Michael Cuddyer was introduced in Denver as the starting right fielder on Tuesday. This moves Carlos Gonzalez back to left field. … Ryan Spilborghs has been made a free agent. There is still a possibility he will be brought back on a reduced salary from what he was making. I would like to see Spilly return, but it would make more sense for him to catch on somewhere else and get a fresh start.

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