With overpaying for middling middle infielders and mediocre corner outfielders in their 30s becoming something of a pandemic in the National League, it’s refreshing to see an NL West club make a smart infield acquisition that doesn’t burn a few million dollars at the expense of a similar, younger player in the system getting an opportunity to play at a less expensive rate.

This is exactly what the Colorado Rockies have done in signing 38 year old (!) Casey Blake to a one year contract worth $2 million, with incentives that could see his salary rise another million.

After trading away Ian Stewart earlier this off season, the Rockies had a hole at third base that wasn’t likely to be immediately filled by Nolan Arenado, D.J. LeMahieu, Chris Nelson or Jordan Pacheco.¬†Of course, Blake is far from a guarantee after coming off surgery in September that ended an injury plagued season that measured as the worst of his career. However, Blake’s worst is still better than the other options available.

Making the contract even more team friendly is that the $2 million isn’t guaranteed.

It’s almost difficult to believe that the same team that’s been able to see a savvy bargain in Blake also spent $31.5 million on three years of Michael Cuddyer.