The Rockies are in search of starting pitching and have checked in with the Rays about Jeff Niemann and others, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com. However, the talks have yet to reach an advanced stage.
Niemann missed the bulk of 2012 after he was struck by a comebacker off of the mound against the Blue Jays in May. The soon-to-be 30-year-old won't be eligible for free agency until 2014 and will earn a reasonable $3MM this season after avoiding arbitration with Tampa Bay. Across five big league seasons, Niemann owns a career 4.08 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
The Rays, of course, aren't short on pitching and could afford to part with Niemann. The Rockies, meanwhile, hope to improve upon their current group of starters which includes Jhoulys Chacin, Jeff Francis, Jorge De La Rosa, Drew Pomeranz, and Juan Nicasio.