Walt Weiss Rumors

NL West Notes: Chavez, Weiss, LeMahieu, Uribe

There has been a great deal of trade talk surrounding A’s pitcher Scott Kazmir, but the Dodgers could have interest in another member of Oakland’s rotation, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes. The Dodgers could circle back to Jesse Chavez this summer, a right-hander they discussed with Oakland in the offseason. The Dodgers could use pitching reinforcements and the A’s own the worst record in baseball, so there could be a match there between now and the end of July.

Here’s more from the NL West:

  • Some might wonder if Walt Weiss is on the hot seat given the Rockies‘ woes, but GM Jeff Bridich says that’s not the case. “There’s no issue there,” Bridich said, according to Nick Groke of The Denver Post. “Throwing around blame is a very dangerous thing to do. The manager and the coaches don’t step on the field and take a bat and step into the batter’s box, and they don’t take the ball to stand on the mound.” Knowing he has the confidence of his GM, Weiss says he does not feel any heat, “This is my third season, and we haven’t won. And I’m sure people ask about my security here, I’m sure that becomes a topic. But I have to tell you, honestly, I have zero fear of losing my job.” The Rockies enter play today at 16-25, the fourth-worst mark in MLB.
  • One bright spot for the Rockies this season has been the play of second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders is championing to make the NL All-Star team.
  • Juan Uribe could be the odd man out when Hector Olivera is ready to join the Dodgers, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group.
  • The Dodgers‘ best-pitched game of the season didn’t come from one of their high-priced top line starters or one of their multi-millionaire free agent pickups. Instead, it came from Mike Bolsinger, who was acquired from the Diamondbacks by the Dodgers’ new regime in exchange for cash considerations, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes.  Through four starts, Bolsinger now boasts a 0.71 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9.
  • After a 10-5 start, the Padres have gone 10-18 and former U-T San Diego writer Bill Center (in a piece for MLB.com) wonders if it’s time for San Diego to act with urgency and shake up things.

NL West Notes: O’Dowd, Rockies, Trumbo

Former Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd has joined the MLB Network as a studio analyst, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. O’Dowd resigned from his post after 15 years at the helm of the Rockies last October and was replaced by understudy Jeff Bridich, who worked with O’Dowd for 10 years prior to the switch.

Here’s more on the Senior Circuit’s Western Division…

  • Saunders also conducted a Q&A with Rockies skipper Walt Weiss and discussed, among many things, the club’s offseason and Weiss’ role in constructing the roster. Asked about his role in shaping the roster, Weiss said that he “certainly spent a lot of time” not only with Bridich, but with others in the front office. “I enjoyed it,” Weiss added. “We talked about how passionate we are about certain things, as it relates to our club and the game in general. There was a period there where we worked to build a working foundation for now and the future.” Beyond that, Weiss expressed excitement over Bridich’s sharing of his player development background, which gave the manager an even better grasp of the team’s minor league system and future.
  • The Diamondbacks are preparing for an arbitration hearing with outfielder Mark Trumbo, reports MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Arizona filed at $5.3MM after Trumbo submitted a $6.9MM figure, leaving a fairly substantial gulf. With one more season of eligibility to come, and Trumbo’s 2016 salary built off of whatever base he ends up with this year, the stakes are that much higher.

Manager Notes: Weiss, Yost, Ventura, Sandberg, Johnson

With the regular season drawing to a close, let's take a look at a few managerial situations around the league:

  • Walt Weiss is expected to return for a second year as the Rockies manager, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Colorado owner Dick Monfort says the club has been pleased with Weiss's growth in the role, and Weiss says he has every intention of staying on. Though Renck clarifies via Twitter that pen has not yet gone to paper, he says that a new deal is largely a formality. The Rockies, in turn, have stated through their team Twitter account that, while there is mutual interest in a return, "nothing is official as of now."
  • The fate of Royals manager Ned Yost is entirely in the hands of general manager Dayton Moore, owner David Glass told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Glass added that he feels both Moore and Yost have performed their jobs well. Moore told Dutton that he won't discuss the contracts of Yost and the coaching staff until after the season.
  • Though he declined a contract extension opportunity just last winter, White Sox manager Robin Ventura says he wants to keep his post for the foreseeable future, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. Ventura's current deal runs through the end of next season.
  • The early returns are positive on Ryne Sandberg's run as interim manager of the Phillies, but he says he has yet to hear from the front office on his future, reports Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Zolecki opines that it is a "near certainty" that the Phils will look to keep Sandberg on for next year, as he has led the team to an 18-14 mark since taking over for the fired Charlie Manuel.
  • Nationals manager Davey Johnson says he would have offered to step aside if the team had not made a run to return to the fringes of the Wild Card race, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Though GM Mike Rizzo has made clear he had no intentions of dismissing the veteran from his post, Johnson explained that he would have wanted to afford bench coach Randy Knorr or third base coach Trent Jewett a chance to take an audition at the helm. Kilgore notes that Knorr seems to be the most likely internal option to take over next year.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.

NL Notes: Cubs, Weiss, Rockies, Manuel

On this date in 1961, 40-year-old Warren Spahn became the 13th pitcher in MLB history to win 300 games as he went the distance in the Milwaukee Braves' 2-1 victory over the Cubs. The complete game was the 317th for the left-hander, who also drove in Milwaukee's first run with a sacrifice fly. Spahn was enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973 with 363 victories, the most by any left-hander and the most by any pitcher who played his entire career in the live ball era. Here's more from this era's National League: 

  • Cubs catcher Welington Castillo is having a strong season behind the plate and he's showing the club he can be a valuable piece for the future. The same can't be said for the rest of the catchers in the Chicago farm system and the position is thin enough that GM Jed Hoyer said this weekend the front office plans to make acquiring more backstops a priority this winter, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  
  • Walt Weiss signed only a one-year contract to manage the Rockies this season, but he told the Denver Post's Patrick Saunders he wants to return in 2014. "Yes, sure. I knew it wasn't going to be all fun and games," Weiss said. "I have been through enough Major League seasons to understand that you'll get beat up. But I want to be a part of building something special here. That's what drives me."
  • The final weeks of the season provide the Rockies a platform for cold-hard analysis, opines Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. The Rockies need more talent and Renck names Giancarlo Stanton and Nelson Cruz as aquisitions who could fill the club's void of a right-handed power bat and Jesse Crain should be a free agent priority as a much needed late-inning arm.
  • The Phillies need to provide clarity to their managerial situation, according to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Brookover writes the assumption is Charlie Manuel will step aside for Ryne Sandberg and, if that is the Phillies' desire, the announcement should be made now so Manuel can use the remainder of the season as a well-deseved bow for being the franchise's winningest manager while also giving the players, who will be around when Spring Training opens in February, an idea of what they can expect from their next manager.

Edward Creech contributed to this post.

National League Notes: Phillies, Boras, Weiss

The Phillies have been a playoff contender for the better part of the past half decade, but time and a decline in talent may mean the window of opportunity is quickly closing at Citizens Bank Park, writes Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News"A lot of it will depend on how people perform, on how the young players perform," Amaro said. "At some point we're going to be filtering some young players onto this club and we need to find out who needs to be those guys to keep us going, to keep us afloat." Here's the latest news from around the National League.

  • Scott Boras believes the market is heating up for his unsigned clients like Kyle Lohse and Jose Valverde thanks to the start of Spring Training, says Adam Berry of MLB.com. "Like most free agents with that kind of ability, I think you get all kinds of calls. Frankly the calls increase during Spring Training rather than decrease because the need level of each club is more evident," Boras said. "These are ownership decisions at this point. The talent is there. 
  • Walt Weiss must put his stamp on every aspect of his squad as he enters the 2013 season as the Rockies first-year manager, writes Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post. Renck points to Todd Helton as the starting point with his declining skills, inability to play a full season and the lingering DUI arrest that must be addressed by the veteran first baseman in front of the team. 
  • John Mozeliak's contract extension from the Cardinals stems from his linear integration model that has paid dividends in the form of victories at the Major League level, says Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch“I think he’s got a real sense of how to make a decision and a recommendation and not panicking into doing something that is good for the moment,” Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said.