Given chance to start over, Rockies stay in house with new GM


After 15 seasons as the Rockies’ general manager — the last two in some sort odd, impractical tandem system — Dan O’Dowd stepped down on Wednesday. The man who took on some of O’Dowd’s responsibilities following the 2012 season, Bill Geivett, also resigned. Finally, the Rockies could make a clean break of it and work on reshaping their dysfunctional organization.

Instead, they promoted senior director of player development Jeff Bridich to the general manager role.

The Denver Post described Bridich as O’Dowd’s right-hand man, which doesn’t exactly seem like a positive qualification at this point. Since Bridich became the Rockies’ director of player development  in 2006 (moving up to the senior role in 2011), the Rockies have gone 662-767, good for a .463 winning percentage. They’ve lost 89, 98, 88 and 96 games the last four seasons, finishing between 18 and 30 games back of the NL West winners. In fact, they’ve still never won the NL West in their 22 years of existence (their three playoff appearances all came as the wild card).

Bridich is a Harvard product. He’s 37 years old. Those two facts would seem to suggest that he’s more of a new-school guy. He appears to be fairly well regarded by the baseball community, though he wasn’t talked up as a GM candidate before today. It’s hard to imagine him not being an upgrade. The Rockies under O’Dowd shifted directions weekly. New plans were discarded even before they were fully implemented. It was a terrible way to run a baseball team.

And that’s why the Rockies probably should have chosen to start from scratch today, bringing in a new GM from outside of the organization. But it should be noted that the baseball operations department is merely half of the problem in Denver, if that. Until the Monforts go, one imagines there’s always going to be a little dysfunction to deal with.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.