DENVER | The Colorado Rockies brought back Jhoulys Chacín, agreeing to a one-year deal with the right-hander on the eve of opening day.
He was added to the active roster before the opener Thursday against the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field.
Chacín spent the first six years of his major league career in Colorado (2009-14) after being signed by the Rockies on Sept. 27, 2004, as a nondrafted international free agent. He ranks ninth in franchise history in innings pitched (672.0), games started (109) and strikeouts (514). He’s also 10th with 38 wins.
“I’ve never been scared to pitch at Coors Field,” said Chacín, who has a career 4.22 ERA at the hitter friendly park. “That’s something I always want to show and prove.”
The 33-year-old bounced around after his tenure with the Rockies. He spent time with Arizona, Atlanta, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego, Milwaukee, Boston and had another brief stint with the Braves last season. Over 257 games, including 226 starts, he has a 78-87 record with a 4.04 ERA..
Chacín spent spring training with the New York Yankees before being released.
“One of the first teams to call was the Rockies and it was so great to come back here,” Chacín said. “This is home for me. This is where I grew up. I’m just happy to be back.”
For now, his role will be out of the bullpen. He could eventually be moved into the rotation with a fastball that’s in the low 90s, a breaking pitch with different spin rates and a changeup.
“He’s been around the block,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “His stuff is still playable in the big leagues for sure.
“He had some choices and he chose us. We’re happy about that.”
In other moves, the team designated right-handed reliever Jairo Díaz for assignment. He had a $1.1 million non-guaranteed salary. He could receive $266,129 in termination pay if he was notified by Tuesday — or the full amount if notified after that date.
“It was a hard decision. He didn’t have a great spring,” Black explained. “Somebody had to be the odd-man-out and it was Jairo.”
Colorado also placed left-hander Kyle Freeland (strained left shoulder) and infielder Brendan Rodgers (strained right hamstring) on the 10-day injured list.
The Rockies had four players on the opening day roster for the first time: lefty Ben Bowden, outfielder Yonathan Daza, catcher Dom Nuñez and righty Jordan Sheffield.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report