The search that lasted all winter has extended into spring. The Rockies, while talking up their own candidates, continue looking for starting pitching. They have talked to the Rays about right-hander Jeff Niemann, a major league source confirmed Saturday. They Dodgers have called teams, including the Rockies, to gauge the interest in left-hander Chris Capuano, sources said.

Niemann makes sense because he’s affordable at $3 million and he’s under control through 2014. ESPN’s Buster Olney first reported the Rockies’ interest in Niemann. The Rockies have praised their rotation candidates this spring, but the calls to teams suggest that they know they need reinforcements. More should be revealed after the candidates make a turn or two through the rotation this spring. Top fifth-starter candidate Drew Pomeranz starts today in the Rockies’ spring opener.