DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Rockies and free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer have agreed to a three-year deal worth about $30 million.
CBS Sports and the Denver Post first reported the deal Friday morning.
The former Minnesota Twins star is the first big-time free agent the Rockies have signed since 2000, when they brought in pitchers Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle for a combined $172 million.
Cuddyer, who hit .284 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs last season, also was pursued by the Philadelphia Phillies and Seattle Mariners.
Cuddyer brings a big bat and a veteran presence to Colorado, where general manager Dan O’Dowd has talked about changing the clubhouse culture after a disappointing 2011 season.
With Cuddyer’s arrival, Seth Smith could return to a reserve role or serve as trade bait.