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01/28/10 5:30 PM EST

Redding touts Tracy as reason for signing

Rockies skipper, recent success lure veteran right-hander

DENVER -- Right-handed pitcher Tim Redding said watching the Rockies grow in recent years intrigued him. Talking to manager Jim Tracy only made his desire to play for them greater.

After signing a Minor League deal with a Major League opportunity, Redding spoke to SIRIUS XM's MLB Home Plate channel with hosts Joe Castellano and F.P. Santangelo, on Wednesday night.

"Jim Tracy, I spoke with him earlier this evening," Redding said. "Stand-up guy, players love playing for him and he has a burning will to win. I think it was probably the best feel-good story of the year last year, was him taking the reins and turning it around in May."

Redding, 32, is 37-57 with a 4.95 ERA in 179 games, including 144 starts. Last season, Redding went 3-6 with a 5.10 ERA in 30 games, including 17 starts, for the Mets. He considered the Rockies last season before joining the Mets.

"Signing with New York last year, you look at it on paper and you're like, 'All right, we're going to be NL East champions, if nothing worse than a Wild Card, and we're going to go to the playoffs and make some noise and have a chance to go to the World Series,'" Redding said. "And then it just seemed like since Week 2 or 3 of the season, every other series or every other week someone was going down. And it wasn't just going down for five or 10 days or a week. It was months."

With the Rockies, Redding will be competing for a spot in the starting rotation or a long-relief job.

Redding told the interviewers he is more comfortable as a starter but can perform in either role. Redding, however, has bullpen experience in the Minors, while coming up with the Astros.

"My heart's set on a starter -- I've got more experience in that role," Redding said. "I don't throw 96-97 [mph] like I used to in the Minor Leagues. When I was a reliever, as a closer back then, that was very simple and easy to gear up for. It was one inning, maybe four outs a night and 'here it is, hit it.'

"I have no gripes about being a reliever, whether it be a long guy, a situational guy, a 'tweener -- a sixth-seventh-inning guy. It's jut one of those things where I think the hardest position in the bullpen is being the long reliever because you don't know when you're going to get used."

Redding said he is excited for a chance to compete for a playoff berth.

"That organization has a lot of things going for it over the last, especially, five years," he said. "Dan O'Dowd is probably one of the most respected businessmen in the game as a general manager. Speaking to him through my agent, there's nothing but mutual respect for one another. That's one of the reasons I went [to the Rockies]."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.