The Rockies are close to signing John Maine to a minor league deal, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Maine, who drew interest from six or seven teams, will be able to opt out of the contract if he doesn't make the Rockies' Opening Day roster. The Phillies and Royals showed interest in the 29-year-old right-hander as recently as yesterday, but they'll have to turn elsewhere for pitching depth.
Maine auditioned for teams last month after the Mets non-tendered him in December. He pitched to a 4.01 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 87 starts from 2006-09, but struggled to stay healthy and pitch effectively in 2010. Maine limped through nine early-season starts last year and didn't pitch after injuring his shoulder in May. He underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in July.
This post was first published on February 17th.