Jason Giambi Rumors
Items out of the AL and NL West..
- Much has been made of the Rangers' Josh Hamilton dilemma this offseason, but GM Jon Daniels will also need to re-tool his pitching staff this winter, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The Rangers will have money to spend, but also have Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz working their way back from injuries. Martin Perez remains an option for the team as well.
- Jim Tracy told Troy E. Renck and Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post that there wasn't one particular issue that led to his resignation from the Rockies, but rather a number of factors. It would seem that Tracy was irked by some of the club's unconventional ideas and his overall decrease in power.
- Meanwhile, Jason Giambi would retire as a player if he were given consideration for the managerial opening, a source close to the Rockies veteran told Renck and Saunders.
- Given Hamilton's injury history and age, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com doesn't think that the Rangers should give him more than three guaranteed years in a new contract. However, Durrett believes that there's at least one team out there that will go beyond that for the outfielder. A vesting option for a fourth year based on whether Hamilton stays healthy could be a concession the Rangers could comfortably make.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs wonders if Hamilton might be the most confusing free agent ever. Cameron could see the slugger landing a five-year, $125MM deal from a team that chooses to ignore all the risk but can also envision him taking a one-year pact somewhere to prove that his second half wasn't a sign of things to come.
The Rockies have announced, via Twitter, that Jim Tracy resigned as manager and the resignation is effective immediately.
"Jim Tracy is a man that has brought professionalism to the Rockies organization since 2009," said Rockies senior vice president of Major League operations Bill Geivett in a statement. "However, Jim has decided that he no longer wants to move forward as manager. We respect Jim's decision, and we wish Jim and his family the best of luck as we begin our search for the right person to become the next manager of our organization."
Geivett and Tracy began discussions on Friday regarding Tracy's future. Tracy had a handshake agreement to manage in 2013 and was due to be paid $1.4MM. Troy Renck of the Denver Post, who broke the story, tweeted there are no plans for Tracy to remain with the organization.
In a separate tweet, Renck reports bench coach Tom Runnells and Triple-A manager Stu Cole are expected to be in-house candidates to replace Tracy, but not Jason Giambi because he wants to continue his playing career.
Tracy had been under fire after leading the Rockies to a last place finish in the NL West with a franchise record for losses at 64-98. It was a tumultuous season in Colorado. Pitching coach Bob Apodaca resigned only to be replaced by co-pitching coaches Bo McLaughlin and Jim Wright. There was an experiment with a four-man rotation that has since been scrapped, although the concept of hybrid relievers and a strict pitch count will continue. GM Dan O'Dowd also relinquished day-to-day Major League duties to Geivett, who moved into an office in the Coors Field clubhouse and was with the team for every road trip.
Tracy, the fifth manager in Rockie history, also has the distinction of helping guide the Rockies to their best record (92-70 in 2009) resulting in a Wild Card berth and Tracy being named NL Manager of the Year. Since then, however, Tracy has posted a 220-266 record with declining win totals in each of those three seasons.
The Rockies have been scouting the Giants’ minor league teams, so a deal could be developing, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes (Twitter links). The Giants asked about acquiring Marco Scutaro for bench help a couple of weeks ago and relievers Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle could also interest San Francisco, Schulman writes. Here are more notes on the 37-60 Rockies...
- The Rockies don’t want to move Michael Cuddyer and are determined to keep Belisle, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes.
- Scutaro, Jason Giambi, Betancourt, Matt Reynolds and Jonathan Herrera are the most likely Rockies to be traded in that order, Heyman writes.
- The Rays, Nationals, Rangers and A’s appear to have interest in Scutaro, along with the Giants. Heyman reports that the Rockies could either seek a highly-regarded prospect for Scutaro or accept salary relief and a fringy prospect.
- Several teams have called about Reynolds, Heyman reports.
The chances of Cole Hamels getting traded are diminishing, but they haven't disappeared, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports. The Phillies are trying to sign the left-hander to a long-term deal, but will weigh trade offers if they can’t agree on an extension. Here are Stark’s latest rumors...
- The Rays would be looking for a combination of high-end young pitchers, a young catcher and a controllable hitter if they discuss trades involving James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson. Wade Davis is drawing as much interest as Shields, now that he’s pitching well out of the Tampa Bay bullpen, Stark reports.
- The Astros have told rival teams that they’d absorb a substantial percentage of Wandy Rodriguez’s salary in a trade if it allows them to get “the best value back.”
- The Padres aren’t shopping Edinson Volquez, but they haven’t made him untouchable.
- Teams don’t expect the Marlins will trade Josh Johnson, who’s under contract for 2013.
- Brandon McCarthy’s history of shoulder problems diminishes his trade value. “He's not going anywhere," one executive predicted to Stark.
- The Nationals haven’t been focused on finding a center fielder.
- Hunter Pence is attracting as much interest as anyone on the Phillies, including Hamels. However, the Phillies have downplayed their interest in trading the right fielder. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Placido Polanco and Kyle Kendrick would be available if the Phillies decide to sell this month, Stark reports. Rollins can veto any trade and would only accept deals to West Coast contenders.
- The Pirates have asked about tons of hitters, including Billy Butler, but they’re still in a “buy-low frame of mind.” The Royals have told clubs they’d have to be overwhelmed to part with Butler, Stark reports.
- The Rockies are trying to move Marco Scutaro and Jason Giambi, but they’d have to be “bowled over” to deal relievers such as Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle and Matt Reynolds.
The Rockies are expected to trade some players this summer after failing to meet expectations through the first three months of the 2012 season, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. Here's Renck's breakdown of the Rockies' trade candidates:
- Jason Giambi could help a contender as a left-handed bat off of the bench, Renck writes. Though Giambi doesn’t want to leave Denver, he understands a trade could take place. "You can't worry about it. If it happens, it happens. It's like playing in your free agency year. Just go play. But I love it here," he told Renck.
- Marco Scutaro could be in demand this summer, when the Tigers are expected to be among the teams seeking middle infield depth. Scutaro says he’d prefer to stay in Colorado, though it’s not his choice. "Sometimes you hear all the rumors and nothing happens. Then it's quiet, like with me last winter, and I got traded."
- Jeremy Guthrie could be moved, even if it’s just for salary relief. The Blue Jays had interest in Guthrie, but talks cooled. Like Giambi and Scutaro, Guthrie will hit free agency this offseason.
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.
Giambi, 41 in January, has spent two-plus seasons in Colorado as a pinch-hitter and Todd Helton's backup. The former Athletic and Yankee slugged 13 homers and drew 35 walks in only 152 plate appearances in 2011, so he still has some pop and a good eye at the plate.
The Giambino, a former second-round pick (1992), will return for an 18th Major League season. He boasts an impressive .281/.404/.525 for his career.
As our Offseason Outlook shows, the Rockies only have two option decisions to make this winter, and Troy Renck of The Denver Post says both appear to have already been made. The team will decline their end of Aaron Cook's $11MM mutual option, and Jason Giambi seems set to exercise his end of a $1MM mutual option. We learned that the team intends to exercise their end of Giambi's option last month.
Cook, 33 in February, has thrown just 382 2/3 innings over the last three seasons due to various injuries. He's pitched to a 4.94 ERA during that time with 4.39 K/9, 3.21 BB/9, and a 56.7% ground ball rate. The team will pay him a $500K buyout, and Renck says they do have interest in bringing him back as long as it's on a low-risk contract.
Giambi, 41 in January, hit .260/.355/.603 with 13 homers in just 152 plate appearances this past season. He drew a lot of interest both before and after the trade deadline, but has talked openly about enjoying his time in Colorado. He'll return as the backup first baseman and pinch-hitter extraordinaire in 2012.
Last night we learned that all option decisions - regardless if it's team, player, or mutual - must be made by 11:59pm ET on Monday, October 31st.
After one of the greatest, wildest, sloppiest and most exciting games in baseball history, we're going to see a Game Seven tomorrow night. It will be the first seventh game in the Series since the Angels needed the maximum to beat the Giants in 2002.
As we prepare for the last game of 2011, here are some news items....
- In an interview with 620-WDAE radio (reported on by Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times), James Shields says he thinks the Rays will pick up his $7MM option for 2012 and he will pitch for the team next season. The Rays are a near-lock to pick up Shields' option but they could shop the right-hander for a trade this winter.
- Smith also notes that Shields' option could be worth as much as $8MM depending on an innings-pitched incentive clause and how Shields fares in AL Cy Young voting.
- Jason Giambi is considering declining his side of his $1MM mutual option for 2012, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. We heard last month that the Rockies were going to pick up their side of the option, so the decision appears to be up to Giambi.
- If Grady Sizemore had played his exact career with another team and the Indians had a chance to sign him, the Tribe wouldn't even consider the move, argues Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. That's how Pluto frames the Indians' decision about Sizemore's $9MM option for 2012.
- The Red Sox and Giants will both be contenders for Carlos Beltran this winter, reports Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).
- The Angels should rehire former scouting director Eddie Bane, opines Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. Bane was fired by then-GM Tony Reagins last year but still has a good relationship with owner Arte Moreno and team president John Carpino.
- The week's minor league transactions are recapped by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
- After getting burned on the Michael Gonzalez and Kevin Gregg signings, "it’s unlikely that the Orioles will spend big money on a closer" this winter, says Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
The Rockies intend to exercise their half of Jason Giambi's $1MM mutual option for 2012, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Colorado GM Dan O'Dowd noted the plan earlier this week, with Giambi once again slated to serve as a pinch-hitting option and backup first baseman to Todd Helton.
It seems likely that Giambi will exercise his side of the option, given that he enjoys playing in Colorado so much that he was already talking about re-signing with the Rockies in 2012 if he was traded earlier this season. Giambi has been an unusual fit with the club, given that he and Helton are both left-handed, but Giambi has performed well as a Rockie --- he has a .254/.375/.492 line in 405 plate appearances since joining Colorado in August 2009.