Jason Giambi Rumors

AL Central Notes: White Sox, Moscoso, Giambi

Links from the AL Central…

  • Though the White Sox looked for ways of obtaining an impact left-handed bat, they didn't end up finding one, Scott Merkin of MLB.com writes. Manager Robin Ventura enters the season with a righty-heavy lineup, but it beats forcing the issue in the view of GM Rick Hahn "If it doesn't fit with the rest of what you are trying to do from a position player standpoint, we would be regretting come the middle of the season," the GM said. Hahn added that he'll be prepared to move aggressively in case a need for left-handed hitting emerges during the season.
  • Hector Santiago doesn't see himself as a lock to make the White Sox, even though Ventura has strongly suggested the left-hander will break camp with the team, Merkin reports. Santiago said he doesn't consider himself to be on the team. "I've only got a year in and nothing guaranteed to me," he said. The 25-year-old posted a 3.33 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 70 1/3 innings in 2012.
  • Royals right-hander Guillermo Moscoso said he won't miss pitching in the thin air of Coors Field, Dick Kaegel of MLB.com reports. The Royals claimed Moscoso from Colorado in November after he posted a 6.12 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 50 innings last year.
  • Jason Giambi, who interviewed for the Rockies' managerial opening this past offseason, drew interest from other teams, including the Phillies, as a potential coach, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. However, Giambi said he's enjoying Spring Training with the Indians and hopes to continue playing for a while. "I'm going to keep playing until they tear the uniform off or my body tells me it's time to go," he said.

Indians Sign Jason Giambi

9:55pm: Giambi will receive a $750K salary plus incentives if he makes the Indians roster, says Hoynes (on Twitter).

9:37pm: The Indians have signed Giambi to a minor league contract, according to a team announcement. He will report to MLB Spring Training on Wednesday in Goodyear, Arizona, reports Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer (via Twitter).

8:44pm: The Indians are close to finalizing a minor league deal with former Rockies slugger Jason Giambi, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The contract will include an invitation to MLB Spring Training.

Giambi, 42, will look to compete for a spot on the bench as a left-handed designated hitter and offer depth at first base. The 2000 AL MVP posted a .225/.372/.303 batting line in 89 at-bats with the Rockies in 2012 as he served as a pinch hitter. 

Rockies Notes: Tulo, Giambi, Chacin, Volstad

Four years ago today, the Rockies avoided arbitration with third baseman Garrett Atkins by agreeing to a one-year, $7.05MM contract making him the second-highest paid player on the team behind only Todd Helton. The Rockies, however, didn't get their money's worth. After averaging a slash line of .301/.363/.480 the previous four seasons, Atkins' 2009 numbers dropped to .226/.308/.342 and was non-tendered that winter. He played just 44 games with the Orioles in 2010 before being released midseason and hasn't seen any MLB action since. Let's take a look at the news and notes coming out of the Mile High City today:

  • Coming off an injury-plagued 2012, Troy Tulowitzki was the subject of several trade rumors this offseason. "It was a weird thing – the first time I had ever had any trade rumors," Tulowitzki told MLB.com's Thomas Harding. "Any normal person is going to start to think, 'What if this? What if that?' But I can't control those things. Whatever happens, happens, but I definitely want to stay."
  • Jason Giambi has received calls from a few teams and is working out five days a week, as he is determined to continue his playing career, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
  • Better health of the pitching staff and improved defense are two reasons why fans should have hope for the Rockies, Renck writes within the same article. Renck cites Jhoulys Chacin as a prime candidate for a bounceback year because of his strong finish last season, his new two-year, $6.5MM contract, and a repaired relationship with the front office.
  • Renck feels right-hander Chris Volstad will receive a long look in Spring Training, especially with his former Marlins pitching coach Mark Wiley now working for the Rockies as their new pitching coordinator (via Sulia).

Quick Hits: Posey, Gonzalez, Giambi, Urbina, Pirates

Buster Posey is eligible for arbitration for the first time off the heels of his MVP campaign.  The Giants would obviously like to lock the catcher up for the foreseeable future, but the club has yet to begin contract discussions with agent Jeff Berry, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).  For more on Posey's unique case, check out Matt Swartz's arbitration breakdown.  Here's more from around baseball..

  • Michael Gonzalez's one-year, $2.25MM contract with the Brewers could pay him up to an additional $400K in performance bonuses, according to the Associated Press.  Gonzalez will earn $50K for 25 games finished, $75K each for 30 and 35, and $100K apiece for 40 and 50.  The reliever told reporters today that he prefers to be called Michael rather than Mike, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (via Twitter).
  • Jason Giambi is working out and told Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter) that he hopes to play this season.  The 42-year-old will likely have to go to camp with a club on a minor league deal.  Giambi was said to be drawing interest from three or four teams in early December.
  • Ugueth Urbina threw live batting practice in Venezuela yesterday and former Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was on hand to scout for several teams, writes Luis Carlos Gonzalez of El Nacional.  "I told people from the Marlins, where I left behind some friends, and other teams, that Urbina was going to take the mound, and they told me to go see him," Guillen said (translation courtesy of Nick Collias).  Guillen added that Urbina looked good, though he needs to "keep working".
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) looked at five GMs that could be on the hotseat in 2013, including Neal Huntington of the Pirates and Royals GM Dayton Moore.
  • If the Pirates do not finalize their deal with Francisco Liriano, reliever-turned-starter Chris Leroux is another option for the rotation, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  Liriano suffered an arm injury in December, leading the Bucs give second thought to the two-year, $12.75MM agreement.

Astros Links: Berkman, DH, Norris

Here's the latest from the American League's newest team, the Houston Astros…

  • Lance Berkman remains atop the team's DH wishlist according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). There are still issues to be resolved before a reunion takes place.
  • Crasnick notes that if the Astros can't bring Berkman back, they're likely to seek a late-20s player who's been blocked and needs an opportunity to serve as DH (Twitter links). They don't have interest in players like Luke Scott, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Jason Giambi, and Travis Hafner.
  • A few teams are considering right-hander Bud Norris as a back-end rotation option, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). The 27-year-old pitched to a 4.65 ERA in 168 1/3 innings last season and projects to earn $2.9MM through arbitration next winter.

Free Agent Rumors: Oswalt, Delmon, Sizemore, Ross, Ludwick

Here's the latest from the Winter Meetings on a handful of free agents:

Earlier updates:

NL West Notes: Ryu, Affeldt, Giambi, Rockies

Buster Posey was named the NL MVP today, becoming the first Giant since Barry Bonds in 2004 to capture the leagues highest honor.  It was a solid year overall for the NL West when it came to postseason awards, as Clayton Kershaw and Wade Miley each had runner-up finishes in the NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year races, respectively.

Here's the latest from around the division…

  • Scott Boras introduced client Hyun-Jin Ryu to the media (including Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times) today and compared Ryu to Mark Buehrle in terms of body size and ability.  The Dodgers won the rights to the Korean southpaw with a $25.737MM posting bid and have until December 10 to work out a contract, or else Ryu will return to the Korean Baseball Organization.  As Hernandez notes, Boras and Ryu were both vague about the likelihood of Ryu signing with L.A., though the Buehrle comparison could be a hint about Boras' contract expectations.
  • Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (Twitter link) has the salary breakdown of Jeremy Affeldt's new three-year contract with the Giants.  Affeldt receives a $3MM signing bonus and will earn $5MM per season in 2013-15.
  • Jason Giambi withdrew his name from consideration to be the Rockies' next hitting coach, and Giambi told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that "it could be a PR nightmare" if the team struggles under new manager Walt Weiss and Giambi (a finalist for the manager's job) is already on the staff.  Giambi had said he wanted to keep playing if the Rockies didn't hire him to manage but now admits to Renck that "I have no idea what I am going to do next."
  • The Rockies have finalized their 2013 coaching staff, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.  Jim Wright, the club's pitching coach in 2002, returns to the job after most recently serving as Colorado's bullpen coach.  

Quick Hits: Giambi, Cano, Arencibia, Phillies, Angels

Jason Giambi was a surprise candidate to become the Rockies' next manager, but now that the job has gone to Walt Weiss, the team has offered Giambi the job of hitting coach, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post.  Giambi had said he would continue playing if he wasn't hired as manager, though he's taking a few days to consider Colorado's offer.  If he turns it down and wants to keep playing, agent Joel Wolfe tells ESPN's Jerry Crasnick that "several teams" have shown interest in his client, who will be 42 years old on Opening Day.

Here are some more items from a very busy day around baseball…

Managerial Notes: Rockies, Blue Jays

Assuming the Nationals work out a deal to keep Davey Johnson in place, the Rockies and Blue Jays will be the only two teams still seeking managers. Here’s the latest on their respective searches…

  • Walt Weiss and Matt Williams are the two remaining candidates for the Rockies' position, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Weiss remains the favorite, according to Saunders. Rockies bench coach Tom Runnells and veteran slugger Jason Giambi are no longer in the running for the job.
  • Williams, the Diamondbacks third-base coach, told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that his interview for the Rockies' managerial opening went "very well." Rockies owner Dick Monfort, GM Dan O'Dowd and senior VP Bill Geivett asked Williams about his philosophy on managing in Coors Field. 
  • The Rockies had some talks with former Rockies player Eric Young Sr. and Steve Buechele, who manages the Rangers' Double-A team, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. There's no indication those two candidates will receive more extensive consideration, Harding writes.
  • Former MLB manager and player Art Howe told Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that he'd like to manage the Blue Jays. The 65-year-old has some connections in Toronto and says the Blue Jays can compete before long. “They have some nice talent and were very competitive until they fell off with those injuries to their position players," Howe told Elliott.
  • Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reported yesterday that the Blue Jays are in no rush to find a manager. They'll resume their search following this week's GM Meetings.

NL Links: Padres, Haren, Giambi, Ross, Phillies

Ken Davidoff of The New York Post ranked the top 30 free agents by value, with Michael Bourn topping the list. Davidoff predicts the outfielder will sign a five-year, $85MM deal with the Nationals. Here's the latest from the only league Bourn has known as a big leaguer, the NL…

  • “Attractive and realistic … Guys we want and think we can get. We went through a list of 40 pitchers to come up with 8-10 we’re really trying to get," said Padres GM Josh Byrnes to Bill Center of The San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego figures to focus on arms this winter, and Center believes Dan Haren is near the top of that list.
  • Jason Giambi will still deciding whether to play or manage next season, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The Rockies are only considering him as a manager, however.
  • Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com looked at Cody Ross as a potential free agent target for the Phillies. In our Offseason Outlook, Ben Nicholson-Smith noted that the Fightin's figure to seek outfield help this winter.
  • The Cardinals have had discussions about expanding Jim Edmonds' role in the organization, reports Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). That could mean more time in Spring Training or something else for the team's long-time center fielder, who currently serves as a special instructor.