Last week’s Winter Meetings had a couple of scares. First, it was Jayson Werth’s humongous seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals that sent a shockwave of dollar signs through the baseball world. Then it was Rockies manager Jim Tracy collapsing in the hotel lobby.
Werth is still counting his money. Tracy, too, is doing just fine.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post passes along word that the 54-year-old skipper was in Colorado for organizational meetings this week and is now back at his part-time Bradenton, Florida home, free of the symptoms that caused him to lose his balance in Orlando 11 days ago.
Tracy was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, but cardiologists found no reason to keep him hospitalized longer than a day. Well, 12 hours to be exact.
“I feel strong. And I really do believe that I will feel better than ever this spring,” Tracy told Renck. “I can’t wait to get the season going again. It was scary, but this could end up helping me. … It did make me think about a lot of things.”
The Rockies begin Cactus League play in Arizona on February 26 against the Diamondbacks.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.
Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.
Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.
If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.