The Colorado Rockies acquired another candidate for the backup catching position when they traded Single-A RHP Paul Bargas to the Minnesota Twins for catcher Jose Morales.
Morales has some major league experience the past two years in Minnesota backing up Joe Mauer. In 2009, Morales played in 54 games for the Twins, batting .311, though with little power potential. He has bounced between the major leagues and AAA the past four seasons while suffering through some injuries, but gives the Rockies another contact bat. Morales will be competing for the backup spot in spring training against free agent signing Matt Pagnozzi and rookie Michael McKenry.
The Rockies front office has declared Chris Iannetta the starting catcher for 2011, and this move helps cement that assertion as fact. Instead of paying money for a proven catcher, such as Bengie Molina or John Buck, they instead made a minor trade to create competition behind Iannetta, and simultaneously asserting his claim to the position.