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Cliff Lee will remain a Phillie as the window on the Dodgers' waiver claim closed today. Lee responded by allowing three home runs in a no-decision against the Diamondbacks this afternoon. When asked by Zach Links yesterday, 68% of MLBTR readers thought the Phillies should have let Lee go. But, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com outlines two scenarios explaining why the Phillies held onto Lee. In other news involving teams from the NL West:
- The Dodgers have been busy wheeling and dealing the past week turning over 20% of their roster with their recent trade acquisitions. Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times writes about how the Dodgers are being forced to mesh and develop its own chemistry in the season’s final two months while battling for a playoff spot.
- The Rockies rearranged the duties of General Manager Dan O'Dowd and Assistant GM Bill Geivett this past week, but the Denver Post's Troy Renck believes the switch seems convoluted unless it leads to a major overhaul in personnel, especially in the drafting and development of better starting pitching.
- The Rockies placed struggling left-hander Jonathan Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with left bicep tendinitis. Sanchez was acquired from the Royals for Jeremy Guthrie last month, but Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area tweets the real get for Colorado was salary relief to the tune of $1.1MM.
12:27pm: The Rockies announced the changes, naming Geivett the senior VP of Major League operations (Twitter links). O'Dowd retains the title of executive VP/general manager and will still be the team's chief baseball executive.
12:00pm: The Rockies are expected to announce a restructuring of the front office today, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. Dan O'Dowd will remain the GM but will focus on the minor leagues and player development while assistant GM Bill Geivett receives expanded day-to-day duties with the big league roster.
O'Dowd willl receive assistance from Geivett on the MLB side, according to Renck. Geivett, the Rockies' assistant GM since 2000, will work closely with manager Jim Tracy and continue answering to O’Dowd. For more on Geivett, check out Tim Dierkes’ piece from MLBTR’s 2011 series on potential GM Candidates around MLB.
The Rockies lead the National League in runs scored, but they've allowed more runs than any NL team and they have a disappointing 25-40 record. Rockies starters have combined for a 6.28 ERA and have allowed a .319/.384/.532 slash line this year. Or to put it another way, facing the Rockies’ rotation turns an ordinary hitter into Matt Holliday (career .313/.386/.538 line). Here are some notes on the Rockies…
- A Jason Giambi trade can't be ruled out even though the veteran slugger likes playing in Denver and has become a clubhouse leader, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes.
- Renck notes that it may be time for the Rockies to start thinking of creative ways of preventing runs at hitter-friendly Coors Field. Perhaps an expanded pitching staff for homestands would help the team limit scoring, Renck writes.
- Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post writes that Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd has "wasted ownership's money on a horrendous team" this year. Jeremy Guthrie needs to go and signing Michael Cuddyer "was a totally unnecessary move," Kiszla writes.
- Click here for the latest Guthrie rumors.
Here's the latest about the Rockies as the team opens up a three-game series against the Reds in Cincinnati….
- GM Dan O'Dowd tells MLB.com's Thomas Harding that the organization isn't going to make any quick changes based on the club's poor record thus far, including his own job. "That's human nature: fire the GM….And we're examining our entire process," O'Dowd said. "We don't stick our heads in the sand, but we make decisions in a calmer way, rather than an emotional way. Hey, I've made them the other way. I've acted the other way in previous years. That doesn't work, either. I've intentionally chosen to act the way I'm acting. I'm all in. No backing out now."
- Owner Dick Monfort told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post earlier this week that he wasn't going to fire either O'Dowd or manager Jim Tracy. As part of a live chat with Denver Post readers, Patrick Saunders disagreed with Monfort, saying "if the Rockies' season continues to go south this season, O'Dowd's job should be in jeopardy. There is no way he should be getting a free pass. This is a performance-oriented business."
- From that same chat, Saunders also said that Jamie Moyer's time in Colorado is running out as the Rockies will want to give their young pitchers a chance in the rotation. The Denver Post's Troy Renck cited Marco Scutaro and Jeremy Guthrie as midseason trade candidates; Renck would "be surprised if Guthrie is not dealt."
- The performance of the Rockies' pitching staff, as well as Tracy and O'Dowd's handling of those pitchers, is criticized by Paul Swydan of Fangraphs. Swydan also recaps the Rockies' poor returns on recent trades.
Today Brendan Bianowicz updates the GM Trade History series for the NL West. You can download the info-packed Excel spreadsheets below.
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post has the Rockies hot stove chatter; let's take a look.
- GM Dan O'Dowd explained that, "There is a difference between listening and attempting to move a player." Brad Hawpe falls squarely into the "listening" category. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports say the Rockies would probably seek a right-handed hitting outfielder and a reliever for Hawpe.
- New contracts for O'Dowd and manager Jim Tracy are still pending a few small details.
- The Rockies are trying to trade Garrett Atkins. If and when they fail, they'll release him. So rather than wait until the December 12th non-tender deadline, Atkins should join the free agent ranks by November 20th at the latest. The Rangers have "moderate interest" in Atkins, according to Jeff Wilson of the Dallas Morning News.
- The Rockies will attempt to sign arbitration-eligible players Clint Barmes and Huston Street to multiyear deals, but if that doesn't work they'll simply get one-year contracts.
- Catcher Paul Phillips who had 54 plate appearances with the big club this year, is expected to be designated for assignment re-signed to a minor league deal to create 40-man roster space.
- Click here to read Monday's Rockies rumors.
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies are close to agreement on a three-year contract with manager Jim Tracy.
The Rox are expected to hold off on announcing the deal until the World Series has ended. Tracy led the club to a 74-42 record and the NL Wild Card after taking over for Clint Hurdle in late May. He has a 636-616 lifetime managerial record in stints with the Dodgers, Pirates, and now Colorado. GM Dan O'Dowd is expected to receive a similar three-year deal.
Links for Tuesday…
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- The Hanshin Tigers are interested in Kenji Johjima, according to Kyodo News.
- The Rockies are expected to re-sign GM Dan O'Dowd and manager Jim Tracy this week, according to Patrick Saunders and Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
- Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times says the Dodgers "are mindful that [signing Yusei Kikuchi] could harm the club's long-standing ties in Japan." Kikuchi told Kyodo News that interviewing with 12 NPB and eight MLB clubs made his decision even more difficult. NPB Tracker has more.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle says Brad Lidge for Michael Bourn has been "the perfect trade." In that November 2007 deal, the Phillies also received infielder Eric Bruntlett and the Astros also acquired Geoff Geary and Mike Costanzo (Geary is now a free agent). I'd say the Astros may ultimately win the deal if Bourn's breakout season holds up, since they gave up one year of Lidge for five of Bourn. But, as Justice noted, the Phillies have a ring.
- Always fun…Dave Cameron's 2010 offseason plan for the Mariners at U.S.S. Mariner. My one beef is the John Danks acquisition…I don't think it fits from Chicago's point of view.
- Viva El Birdos takes a look at the Cardinals' 2010 commitments.
- MLB.com's Mychael Urban discusses Justin Duchscherer's future.
Links for Monday…
- Slate's Craig Fehrman writes about "the sports media's unique mindset toward [online] aggregators" and how MLBTR fits in.
- On his MLB.com blog, Phillies reliever Scott Eyre suggests he and catcher Paul Bako are reconsidering retirement because they're having so much fun.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler that he offered four players to the Indians for Cliff Lee back in July. Lee instead landed with the Phillies and shut down the Dodgers last night.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star believes it's very difficult for fans and reporters to create realistic trade scenarios. Do you agree?
- The Rockies are "ready to finalize deals with general manager Dan O'Dowd and manager Jim Tracy," according to Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies.
- The Yusei Kikuchi talks are moving along, says NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman. U.S.S. Mariner's Jay Yencich gives his scouting report on Kikuchi. In another post, Newman runs down the interested MLB teams. He notes that the Rangers sent pitcher Derek Holland along with Jim Colburn.
- WEEI's Alex Speier passes along a Dale & Holley appearance by ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney guesses the Red Sox might stop at four years for Jason Bay, and their primary competition will come from the Mariners and Giants.
- ESPN's Peter Gammons discusses Jed Lowrie as Boston's short-term answer at shortstop, with Jose Iglesias as the long-term answer.
- Pete Grathoff of the KC Star writes about the 35-year anniversary of Tommy John surgery.
With the Rockies' 2009 season over, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post is already discussing 2010. Here's the latest:
- Look for GM Dan O'Dowd to receive a new contract soon. O'Dowd will then attempt to re-sign manager Jim Tracy.
- Rafael Betancourt has a steep $5.4MM club option for 2010. The reliever wants to return, and Renck finds it possible. He says catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who has a $4MM mutual option, is less certain to remain with the team.
- The Rockies are expected to let free agent starter Jason Marquis leave and replace him with Jeff Francis. Presumably the Rockies will not offer arbitration to Marquis, a probable Type B free agent. Jason Giambi, Jose Contreras, and Joe Beimel are possibilities to re-sign.
- Renck sees Garrett Atkins as a trade or non-tender candidate. It wouldn't make much sense for a team to acquire Atkins prior to the non-tender deadline in mid-December.
- Renck considers right fielder Brad Hawpe a trade candidate given the Rockies' outfield depth. Hawpe will earn $7.5MM in 2010, but he can void his $10MM option for 2011 if traded. During the last four seasons, Hawpe has posted OBPs of .381 or better and SLGs of .498 or better. The knock is that he can't hit lefties, but he did a tolerable job against them in 2008-09. The other knock against Hawpe is his subpar defense. He still might fit with the Cubs or Mets, in my opinion.