Colorado Rockies sign slugger C.J. Cron to minor league deal

The Colorado Rockies signed first baseman C.J. Cron to a minor league contract Monday. Cron also received an invitation to major league spring training.

The Rockies' addition of the right-handed-hitting Cron follows the team's signing of first baseman Greg Bird, who bats left-handed, last week. Bird also signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Josh Fuentes and Ryan McMahon also could be options at first or at third after the blockbuster trade that sent Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this offseason.

The 31-year-old Cron had season-ending surgery after suffering ligament damage in his left knee after he was hit by a line drive on Aug. 10. Signed to a one-year deal by the Detroit Tigers last offseason, Cron hit four home runs in 13 games but struggled with a .190 batting average.

Cron was a key part of a powerful lineup for the 2019 Minnesota Twins, which set MLB's single-season home run record. He contributed a .253 average with 25 homers, a career-high 78 RBIs and a .311 on-base percentage while scoring 51 runs in 125 games.

Despite his power, Cron doesn't walk much -- evidenced by his 148 career walks vs. 582 strikeouts -- and is regarded as a mediocre defender at first base.

Cron played his first four major league seasons for the Los Angeles Angels, who selected him with the 17th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, and one season for the Tampa Bay Rays. He has 118 career home runs and 373 RBIs while hitting .257.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.