Jason Giambi and the Rockies have exercised their mutual option on his $1 million contract for 2012.
Giambi had a .958 OPS with 13 homers and 32 RBIs in 131 at-bats as Todd Helton's backup last season. He hit a home run once every 10 at-bats against right-handers.
Via Associated Press
Colorado Rockies, Free Agent Rumor
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Six players become free agents on Sunday after their options for the 2012 season were declined.
The Brewers declined a $6 million club option on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt's contract, who gets a $2 million buyout.
Others whose options were declined included Atlanta outfielder Nate McLouth; Colorado right-hander Aaron Cook; and the San Diego trio of right-handers Aaron Harang and Chad Qualls, and outfielder Brad Hawpe.
McLouth receives a $1.25 million buyout rather than a $10.65 million salary for next year under the contract he signed with Pittsburgh before the 2009 season.
Cook had an $11,125,000 option with a $500,000 buyout.
Harang declined his $5 million player option but does not get a $500,000 buyout because he fell 14 1/3 innings short of the 185 specified in his contract. San Diego declined a $6 million option on Qualls, who gets a $1.05 million buyout.
Hawpe gets a $1 million buyout rather than a $6 million salary.
Via Associated Press
Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Free Agent Rumor
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It appears as though Jason Giambi will return to the Rockies next season when he exercises the mutual option on his $1 million contract.
Giambi has to make his decision by Monday and then Colorado will have until Wednesday to pick up their half of the agreement.
However, it's likely there will be a joint announcement Monday given Giambi's thinking and the team's desire to bring him back.
Via Denver Post
Colorado Rockies, Free Agent Rumor
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The National League
The Kevin Towers
Jim McLennan of The AZ Snakepit: "The Diamondbacks enter the 2011-12 winter as reigning champions of the National League West, as position they've only enjoyed once since 2002. With most of the starters, both around the diamond and in the rotation, set to come back next year, it appears there's not much to do for Kevin Towers and his crew. Is that quite the case?"
The Frank Wren
David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "He knows plenty of people questioned his decision to play shortstop instead of pitch in pro ball, and has heard some scouts and other so-called experts doubt whether he will be able to hit against more advanced pitching. That made his 2011 success that much more gratifying for Braves shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons, who hit .311 with a .351 on-base percentage at high-A Lynchburg, winning the Carolina League batting title by a whopping 21-point margin in his first full season in the minors."
The Theo Epstein
Gordon Wittenmyer: "He doesn't like the word "rebuilding." He doesn't believe in curses. And he doesn't even claim to understand what he's gotten himself into. "Boston's not Chicago," said Theo Epstein. "Chicago's not Boston." But the Cubs' new president of baseball operations -- or "savior" for short -- takes a vision of organization and culture building into his new job that involves the production of a "Cubs Way" handbook, development of an objective-analysis computer program and an expanded front office of like-minded decision makers who may or may not pull all-nighters like they did in Boston nearly 10 years ago."
The Walt Jocketty
Danny Wild/MLB.com: "Drew Hayes' dominant season didn't end the way he wanted it to, but, as they say in baseball, a good closer needs to have a short memory. Hayes, a Reds prospect out of Vanderbilt, finished a solid season with Class A Dayton with 22 saves and a 1.35 ERA over 51 regular season outings in the Midwest League, good enough to earn the MiLBY Award as Class A Full Season Reliever of the Year."
The Dan O'Dowd
Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post: "The key to the Rockies' offensive improvement is Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp. You read that right. The National League recipient of the Hank Aaron Award on Monday night at the World Series could impact the Colorado lineup more than Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. How? Kemp plans to work out with Dexter Fowler this winter in Arizona."
The Michael Hill
Juan C. Rodriguez of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Bloomberg Businessweek as part of its sports issue ranked the Florida Marlins No. 2 among the smartest spenders among all franchises in the four major sports over the last five years."
The Ed Wade
Stephen Goff of The Examiner: "Former three-time All-Star pitcher Jon Matlack, who spent 13 seasons in the major leagues with the New York Mets (1971-77) and Texas Rangers (1978-1983), was hired on Monday afternoon as the Houston Astros' new minor league pitching coordinator."
The Ned Colletti
T.J. Simers of The Los Angeles Times: "It was late in the season, the Dodgers already having clinched first place, so it was really a long time ago. Don Rickles was a guest of manager Tom Lasorda. "He told me to put on a Dodgers uniform," Rickles said, "and he had me sit next to him in the dugout." Late in the game Lasorda told Rickles to go to the mound and remove the pitcher. "True story," Rickles said."
The Doug Melvin
MLB Trade Rumors: "The Brewers announced that they re-signed infielder Edwin Maysonet to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training."
The Sandy Alderson
Matthew Artus of Amazin Avenue: "It always seemed fitting that Vin Scully had that call. In the moment, his tenure with the Los Angeles Dodgers brought an impartial view to a critical broadcast in baseball history. In hindsight, he remains above criticism about losing his commentating fastball and can't be compared to how he called Buckner."
The Ruben Amaro Jr.
David S. Cohen of The Good Phight: "So, with those preliminaries out of the way, let me be very clear about what I think will happen with the Phillies this off-season - they will not re-sign Jimmy Rollins and will instead sign Jose Reyes to a six-figure five- or-more-year deal."
The Neal Huntington
Charlie Wilmoth of The Bucs Dugout: "This isn't the first time The New York Post has connected Francisco Cervelli to the Pirates -- in August, they reported that the Pirates almost traded Brad Lincoln for him. I guess there's no good reason to be opposed to the Pirates acquiring Cervelli, but I wouldn't want them giving the Yankees anything too interesting in return."
The John Mozeliak
Viva El Birdos: "Game 5 was the fault of the Cardinal hitters. Had someone -- anyone -- managed a hit with runners in scoring position manager Tony La Russa's bullpen managing would have been marginalized. As fate would have it, though, La Russa took center stage with a display of either drunkenness, hubris, or complete ineptitude."
The Jed Hoyer
Gas Lamp Ball: "Does this affect how Padres Fan feels about the rumors that the Padres are interested in acquiring John Lackey? Maybe. I don't quite understand the numbers, but if Lackey misses 2012 due to elbow surgery, the Red Sox would be able to realize an option that turns Lackey's five year deal into a six year deal, with the sixth year being at league minimum."
The Brian Sabean
Grant Brisbee of The McCovey Chronicles: "Should the Giants trade Brian Wilson for a bat? It's a notion that has been floated, and often. Teams like to trade from strengths to address weaknesses, and the Giants have a lot of pitching. But when you rank the pitchers from most valuable to Zito, you realize that the names at the top will not be traded under any circumstances. Cain, Lincecum, and Bumgarner aren't going anywhere. So any decent rosterbation has to start with the pitchers that come next on the list."
The Mike Rizzo
Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post: "The Nationals have yet to make an official announcement regarding their manager in 2012, but all indications still point to Davey Johnson retaining the position for next season."
The American League
The Andy MacPhail
Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun: "A quick update on the Orioles' GM search, if you want to call this an update. We know De Jon Watson is meeting with the interviewing committee Wednesday. And he might want to bring a pillow. The past two, I've been told, have been rather lengthy and exceptionally thorough -- which is what you want, I assume, for such an important position. Watson, the Los Angeles Dodgers' 45-year-old assistant general manager, will be the third to interview, following Arizona's Jerry Dipoto and Toronto's Tony LaCava."
The Ben Cherington
Alex Speier of WEEI.com: "Theo Epstein 'fessed up. Yes, that was indeed him in the Diablos hat at a Starbucks in the Chicago area. Epstein was spotted by a fan, who reached out to Chicago-area media outlets to report that he had seen the former Red Sox general manager at a Starbucks heading in the direction of Wrigley Field. Though Epstein -- wearing a Diablos hat -- had tried to play Jedi mind tricks to convince the fan otherwise, he was unsuccessful."
The Kenny Williams
Jim Margalus of The South Side Sox: "It was awfully courteous of Tony La Russa and Ron Washington to showcase every one of Ozzie Guillen's bad managerial habits in Game 5 of the World Series. Now, Robin Ventura only has to go through about 3 1/2 hours of film instead of 162 games' worth in order to understand why many of Guillen's moves just didn't help."
The Chris Antonetti
Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer: "The Indians are holding strategy meetings this week to decide if they'll exercise the 2012 contract options on Grady Sizemore and Fausto Carmona. Sizemore is the more pressing of the two decisions. Not only in terms of the size of the $9 million option, but because he'll be eligible for free agency if the option isn't picked up."
The Dave Dombrowski
Jason Beck of MLB.com: "The Tigers will have their fair share of questions this offseason, from filling out the rotation to potential options atop the batting order to what to do at second base. Who's going to back up Alex Avila behind the plate seemingly doesn't register high on the list."
The Dayton Moore
Will McDonald of The Royals Review: "Our national innocence is destroyed because the Royals have announced a transaction during the World Series. Oh wait, this is an off-day, so it's totally cool... (I don't understand anything Bud Selig does or believes.) Dutton (I believe he was the first) has reported that the Royals have named former Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland their new pitching coach. Eiland had first interviewed for the job earlier this month."
The GM Formerly Known As Tony Reagins
Mark Saxon/ESPN.com: "Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Tuesday that personality conflicts with catcher Mike Napoli had nothing to do with the January trade that cost the Angels one of the most powerful hitters in the American League and saddled them with the onerous contract of Vernon Wells. Scioscia said injuries and durability issues were at the crux of the trade."
The Bill Smith
Joe Christenson of The Star Tribune: "The Twins cut ties with four-time All-Star closer Joe Nathan at least temporarily on Tuesday, declining his $12.5 million option for next year, choosing instead to pay him a $2 million buyout. It was an expected move that makes Nathan a free agent, just like Matt Capps, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel."
The Brian Cashman
Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave Blues: "After two mortifyingly slow Aprils to start his Yankees career, Mark Teixeira wanted to start on the right foot in 2011. In that regard he was a smashing success. In 102 April PA he hit .256/.392/.549, which represented the best April of his career. And then the wheels came off."
The Billy Beane
John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle: "What if the A's moved into a new ballpark and kept the same address? It ought to be considered. Talk has escalated of the Raiders and 49ers sharing the proposed Santa Clara stadium, which wouldn't have happened on Al Davis' watch for obvious reasons."
The Jack Zduriencik
Jon Shields of Pro Ball NW: "Undoubtedly considered one of the best pitchers on the planet as reflected by a projected payday on par with the one the similarly aged, similarly durable but much more MLB proven King Felix Hernandez received from the Mariners last January, the combined cost of Yu Darvish's posting fee and contract figures to go down as one of the three or four largest financial commitments ever made for a pitcher. That's a little scary for a guy who has never thrown a pitch in MLB. When has it ever been a good idea to sink that much money into a pitcher?"
The Andrew Friedman
Bradley Woodrum of SBNation.com: "On December 17, 2010, the Tampa Bay Rays sent their starting shortstop and 2009 AL All Star Jason Bartlett to the San Diego Padres. In return, they received relievers Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos, and Adam Russell with minor league infielder Cole Figueroa. Many Rays fans protested the transaction, Bartlett having been the Rays' best shortstop since Julio Lugo and at least the second best in team history, but the Rays felt compelled to trade Bartlett for a variety of reasons."
The Jon Daniels
The Dallas Morning News: "Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson appeared on KESN-FM 103.3's Ben and Skin Show on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a number of Rangers-related topics. Toward the end of the interview, Wilson -- who has remained mum on the subject all season long -- finally discussed his pending free agency ... 'At some point you need to be made to feel special. If you have a girlfriend or a wife or whatever -- maybe both, some people like to party -- if you don't make them feel special, eventually they feel neglected and they feel left out. Texas is going to have their chance to do that after the World Series is over and we'll go from there. They have first crack because they own my rights. That's the way it's always been. We've given them a couple opportunities and said this is sort of what we had in mind and they weren't there yet. So hopefully they get there and everything's find and it works out, because it's a great group of guys to play with. Baseball is baseball anywhere, but when you show up to work and you really like the people that you're with, then it makes it a lot more enjoyable and to be a part of a good team like this is really fun.'"
The Alex Anthopoulos
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com: "Blue Jays manager John Farrell will not be shipping back to Boston. On Tuesday, amidst rampant rumors that the Red Sox might be interested in bringing Farrell back to his former organization, Toronto announced a change in its employee policy. Without mentioning Farrell specifically, the Blue Jays made it clear that he will not be managing their American League East rivals any time soon. Blue Jays team president Paul Beeston and general manager Alex Anthopoulos issued a joint statement that read: 'Due to the distraction caused by media speculation regarding our employee permission policy, the Toronto Blue Jays have amended their policy and will not grant permission for lateral moves.'"
Via Andrew Perna/RealGM
Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays, Misc Rumor
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The Rockies are raising season-ticket prices for the first time in four years.
They are offering to protect current ticket holders at last year's rate if they renew by a winter deadline.
The highest increase is eight percent for lower reserve outfield ($11 to $12 per game), followed by seven percent for club level infield seats ($38 to $41). The smallest spike is three percent for outfield box seats.
Via Denver Post
Colorado Rockies, Misc Rumor
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Rockies Oct 2011 Archive
Associated Press | Oct 14, 2011
Rockies pitcher Drew Pomeranz was arrested early Friday morning in Oxford, Mississippi.
Denver Post | Oct 3, 2011
The Rockies struggled with their starting rotation this season and it figures to be a point of emphasis this winter.