The Colorado Rockies attempted to bolster their bullpen Tuesday by coming to terms with a pair of veteran relief pitchers, Jason Motte and Chad Qualls.

Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post first reported the news and the Rockies quickly confirmed the two-year deals for both relievers. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, citing sources, reported Motte’s contract is worth $10 million and added that Qualls’ contract is worth $6 million.

Upgrading the bullpen was one of the top things on the Rockies’ to-do list this winter. They finished last in the majors in reliever ERA last season at 4.70, according to The National League average was more than a run better at 3.66.

Motte spent last season with the Chicago Cubs, posting a 3.91 ERA across 57 appearances. He broke into the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he finished with an ERA of 2.75 or better in four of his first five seasons before struggling in 2014 with a 4.68 mark.

Saunders noted the 33-year-old right-hander dealt with shoulder soreness near the end of last season. If he’s back to full strength, he should be a strong bounce-back candidate.

The Rockies will mark the ninth different stop in Qualls’ career. He sports a 3.80 career ERA, including a 4.38 mark last season. Yet, a 2.99 xFIP and a 8.39 strikeout rate in 2015, per FanGraphs, while with the Houston Astros suggests he pitched better than his ERA would indicate.

Ultimately, Motte and Qualls aren’t going to solve all of Colorado’s woes in the latter innings. The former must prove he’s back to full health, and the latter has endured some up-and-down campaigns over the past handful of years.

They can provide some stability in the late innings if at their respective best. For the Rockies, which struggled mightily in those situations in 2015, it’s worth taking a chance on a pair of resurgent seasons.


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