Rockies, Angels swap catchers

The Colorado Rockies completed two moves involving catchers Wednesday night, reaching an agreement with free-agent Ramon Hernandez while dealing Chris Iannetta to the Los Angeles Angels for right-hander Tyler Chatwood.

Hernandez will replace Iannetta as the Rockies’ starting catcher, while Chatwood addresses Colorado’s need for starting rotation depth.

Hernandez’s contract with the Rockies will be worth $6.5 million over two years, according to a major-league source. He batted .282/.341/.446 with 12 home runs in 91 games for the Cincinnati Reds while earning $3 million this season.

Hernandez began the offseason as a Type A free agent but was re-classified as a Type B as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. So, the Reds will gain a supplementary draft choice between the first and second rounds.

Iannetta is under contract for $3.55 million next year. The trade will void his $5 million option for 2013, allowing him to become a free agent following the coming season. He posted a .238/.370/.414 line with 14 home runs in 112 games this year.

Chatwood went 6-11 with a 4.75 ERA in 27 games (25 starts) with the Angels this year, in his debut season as a major-league pitcher. His numbers should improve with the move to the National League, and it’s likely he will open 2012 in the Rockies’ rotation.

Colorado’s rotation is thin compared to where it stood in spring training of 2011, following the departure of Ubaldo Jimenez and injury to Jorge De La Rosa.

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