Troy Renck of the Denver Post suggested earlier this week that Jason Giambi, who hasn’t even officially retired from baseball, might be a candidate to fill the Rockies’ managerial vacancy following Jim Tracy’s sudden resignation. And now that suggestion by Renck has morphed into more of an actual report.
Renck writes in a Sunday column that Giambi “remains a candidate for the Rockies’ manager job until he’s ruled out” and will likely have an interview with team officials at some point over the next week.
Giambi might not seem like the managerial type, given his ties to the BALCO case and a reputation for hard-partying, but Renck says he’s spent the past three years as a “coach-in-training,” mapping out potential moves in his head throughout games. Renck also says Giambi has transformed his personal life.
Sandy Alomar Jr., Tim Wallach and Brad Ausmus are also thought to be in the mix for the job.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.