Rockies Sign Alan Embree

The Colorado Rockies announced today that the club has agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Alan Embree on a one-year contract. The deal includes a mutual option for 2010. Financial terms were not disclosed, per club policy.

Embree, 38, went 2-5 with a 4.96 ERA (61.2 ip, 34 er) in 70 games for the Oakland Athletics in 2008. The lefty led the A’s in appearances and has pitched at least 60 games in 10 consecutive seasons. He limited left-handed hitters to a .232 (19-for-81) opponents batting average and owns a career mark of .236 (273-for-1157) in that situation. Embree induced eight double plays last season, a new career high. He also limited the opposition to 1-for-10 in bases loaded situations and allowed only nine of 45 inherited runners to score.

The Rockies will be Embree’s 10th Major League team. The 15-year veteran is returning to the National League in 2009, where he has posted a record of 20-19 with a 3.97 ERA (319.1 ip, 141 er) in 383 career games. He has spent the past two seasons with the Athletics, going 3-7 with a 4.44 ERA (129.2 ip, 64 er) and 17 saves. All 17 of his saves were recorded in 2007 when he took over the closer role while Huston Street was on the disabled list. He set the Oakland franchise record for saves by a left-hander that season.

In 846 career games with Cleveland (1992, 1995-96), Atlanta (1997-98), Arizona (1998), San Francisco (1999-2001), Chicago-AL (2001), San Diego (2002, 2006), Boston (2002-05), New York-AL (2005) and Oakland (2007-08), Embree is 37-43 with a 4.55 ERA (749.1 ip, 379 er). He currently ranks 8th among active pitchers in appearances and 2nd in that category among left-handers, trailing only Eddie Guardado (860 games). The veteran pitcher has reached postseason play in seven of his 15 seasons with five different teams. He recorded the final out during the Red Sox pennant clinching win in Game 7 of 2004 ALCS against New York. Additionally, Embree has pitched in two World Series with Cleveland (1995) and Boston (2004).

Herrera, 24, was not offered a major league contract Friday, but signed a Minor League contract with the Rockies with a non-roster invitation to Major League Spring Training.

The Rockies now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.