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.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.