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Rockies acquire Guthrie from Orioles

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies acquired veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie from the Baltimore Orioles on Monday, a move that bolsters their young rotation.

In exchange, the Rockies send reliever Matt Lindstrom and right-hander Jason Hammel to the Orioles.

Guthrie, an Ashland High School graduate and the Orioles' opening day starter three of the last four seasons, lost 17 games last season, the most in the American League. He finished with a 4.33 ERA.

Guthrie, who turns 33 in April, agreed to a one-year, $8.2 million contract with the Rockies, avoiding an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla. He's eligible to become a free agent after the season.

"They got two great arms," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said. "But we got a guy we feel fits in with our younger pitchers very well."

The acquisition of Guthrie certainly gives the Rockies another experienced arm in their rotation, especially with lefty Jorge De La Rosa still mending after elbow surgery that sidelined him last season.

Guthrie will be in the mix to start on opening day along with hard-throwing righty Jhoulys Chacin, the ace of the staff last season. Chacin is part of the Rockies' young stable of arms, which also includes Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, who were acquired in the deal last summer that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians.

The presence of Guthrie may also save some wear and tear on the bullpen, given that he's logged at least 200 innings for the Orioles in each of the last three seasons.

"We've been trying to find an innings eater and somebody who's pitched at the top of a rotation," O'Dowd said. "Someone who understands how to handle that. Certainly, in Jeremy's case, he's been that type of player with the Orioles."

Given that Guthrie was free to bolt after this season, Orioles Executive Vice President Dan Duquette felt it was simply the right time to make a move.

"We explored the market for Jeremy," Duquette said in a teleconference. "We felt this would be the best deal to help our team. We are adding to the pitching staff pitchers who have good command and quality stuff."

— Associated Press