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Rockies Sign Roberto Kelly

January 12, 2001

DENVER (AP) _ The Colorado Rockies have signed Roberto Kelly to a minor league contract, hoping he can add right-handed-hitting bench strength to their outfield.

The Denver Rocky Mountain News reported Friday that the 36-year-old Kelly would receive a base salary of $725,000 if he makes the team. By signing him to a minor league deal, the Rockies protected themselves against paying a big salary if he hasn’t recovered from reconstructive elbow surgery.

Kelly joins Ron Gant, signed a month ago, as a right-handed-hitting outfielder. Projected starters Todd Hollandsworth, Juan Pierre and Larry Walker are left-handed hitters.

Kelly had only 25 at-bats last season with the New York Yankees before being sidelined with an injury to his right elbow. In four previous seasons, he batted .308, including .353 against left-handed pitchers. He had 20 home runs and 85 RBIs in 493 at-bats against left-handers from 1996 to 1999.

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