Jason Giambi’s coaching career will have to wait a bit longer.
In addition to releasing closer Chris Perez the Indians also announced that they’ve re-signed Giambi to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Giambi hit just .183 for the Indians at age 42, but did manage nine homers in 186 at-bats, including several big bombs, and drew constant praise for the vibe he brought to the clubhouse. That’s no doubt why the Indians are interested in bringing him back, although we’ll see if they actually want to carry a 43-year-old part-time designated hitter mostly for vibe-creating purposes next spring.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.
First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.
More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:
The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.