Jason Giambi a possibility to return to American League

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With the Rockies falling out of contention, Jason Giambi could be on the move.  The 40-year-old slugger told the Denver Post on Friday that he has talked with Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd about a trade back to the American League.

Giambi has been outstanding in limited action this season, hitting .266/.364/.638 with 10 homers and 23 RBI in 94 at-bats.  With Todd Helton also having a bounce-back season, Giambi hasn’t seen much action at first base.  He did get to DH against AL teams last month, though, and he went 7-for-23 with two homers and two doubles in six games.

The Rangers and Angels seem like the best fits for Giambi among AL contenders.  The Rangers would prefer an outfield bat, but they do have Mitch Moreland capable of playing the outfield when needed.  And Giambi would be an obvious upgrade over Russell Branyan in Anaheim.

Giambi would also be an upgrade over Jorge Posada as a DH against right-handers for the Yankees, but that’s a less likely match.

If the Rangers are willing to offer Chris Davis for Giambi, the Rockies should jump.  Davis has been a failure in Texas to date, but he’d be a legitimate alternative to Ian Stewart and a suitable backup for Helton in Colorado.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.