Yesterday the Rockies chose Walt Weiss as their new manager, deciding not to hire Jason Giambi for the job after interviewing the still-active 41-year-old first baseman.
Giambi has said previously that he’d like to continue playing if he didn’t land the manager gig, but today general manager Dan O’Dowd told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the Rockies are hoping Giambi will consider becoming their hitting coach.
“We consider him a Rockie, we hope this is the spot he will consider,” O’Dowd said. “He was very impressive in his interview for the manager’s job.”
Renck indicates that the Rockies would want Giambi to retire as a player if he accepted the hitting coach job and they’re unlikely to be interested in re-signing him strictly as a player. So, basically, if he wants to keep playing it would have to come elsewhere, but if he’s ready to retire the Rockies have an immediate spot on the coaching staff waiting for him.
Giambi going from first baseman to hitting coach while working under a first-time manager with no professional coaching experience who was coaching a high school team when the Rockies called him sure would be interesting. For at least one year, anyway.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.