Results tagged ‘ Jason Giambi ’

The high price of Ubaldo

Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has a club-friendly contract, some success under his belt and a nice fastball. That means the Rockies would require a lot to deal him.

The price has surfaced.

Word in the industry is the Rockies are requiring a high price from the Reds, with whom they’ve had talks. The Rockies require starting pitchers Travis Wood and Homer Bailey, plus one of two young stars — flame-throwing left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman or top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco, currently at Triple-A Louisville. The Rockies have made it known that they have no plans to lower their price.

Another name that has come up in talks between the teams is prized first base-outfield prospect Yonder Alonso, but the Reds called him up from Louisville on Tuesday after trading Jonny Gomes to the Nationals for two prospects, left-handed pitcher Chris Manno and outfielder-first baseman Bill Rhinehart.

The Denver Post reported that the Rockies have asked about Reds outfielder Chris Heisey.

In other news:

– The Red Sox and Yankees made inquires on Tuesday, mainly to stay updated on the situation. In addition, the New York Post and ESPN reported that the Blue Jays have expressed interest in Jimenez.

– Sports Illustrated and CSNNE.com each say the Red Sox have interest in backup outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, and the Boston Herald said the Red Sox have inquired about catcher Chris Iannetta and Jimenez, but not Spilborghs.

– The Rockies placed first baseman Jason Giambi on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a left quadriceps strain, which likely will mean he won’t be dealt before the Deadline. However, the Rockies could still deal him after the Deadline by having him pass through waivers. As long as Giambi is with his new team by Sept. 1, he will be eligible for the postseason roster.

– Thomas Harding

Giambi might have to leave to chase ring; Iannetta ignoring rumors

Jason Giambi loves Colorado, but realizes he might have to go elsewhere to chase his goal.

At 40, Giambi signed with the Rockies before the season hoping to win a World Series ring for the first time in his career. But with the team needing a major turnaround now, if not yesterday, to become relevant in the playoff race, general manager Dan O’Dowd recently met with Giambi and acknowledged that some prime playoff contenders have expressed interest in him. The Phillies and the Pirates are known to have expressed interest in Giambi to serve as a left-handed bat off the bench and a first baseman.

Even if he is not dealt before Sunday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, he can be moved later in a waiver deal. As long as he is on the new team’s roster before Sept. 1, he will be eligible for the postseason roster. Although Giambi is under a regular one-year deal, because of his experience and the respect he has earned from the Rockies, he will be consulted before any trade occurs.

“I’m definitely in open communication with Dan, and I’m open to whatever,” Giambi said. “That’s part of this game. But I love it here. The Colorado fans have been incredible. The front office has been unbelievable. I love Jim Tracy and my teammates. It would definitely have to be the right situation.”

Giambi said he hasn’t thought about whether he’d prefer to continue his current role with a National League team or return to the American League, where he spent his entire career before joining the Rockies in 2009, as a designated hitter. He said the team would need to have a solid plan for days off for him if it is counting on him as part of the first base equation.

Also high on the list of Rockies players who could be moved is catcher Chris Iannetta. The Pirates, a contender, have surfaced as a possibility. The Padres, who aren’t contending but like Iannetta’s experience and ability to reach base, are another team believed to be interested. Iannetta is avoiding following the rumor mill.

“It’s counterproductive,” Iannetta said. “So I just avoid it all together and focus on what I can control.”

Rockies don’t mind Ubaldo pitching winter ball … if he’s still with them

Chances are if the Rockies end up receiving an offer they’ll accept for right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, it’ll be close or at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. But if the Rockies aren’t blown away and they hold onto him, his preparation for 2011 will be different.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Jimenez said he will pitch in the Dominican Winter League for Licey, something he has done for most of his career. The club has been asking some Latin American players to back away from winter ball in recent years, fearing it causes additional wear and tear.

But after Jimenez suffered a cut on his thumb cuticle in Spring Training and also battled leg muscle issues, then missed time early in the year with the cuticle injury, he has decided pitching in the winter actually reduces risk because he is more ready for the season.

“Yeah, for sure it got me ready. This year, when I got to spring training I was getting ready for the season,” Jimenez told the AP. “But a year before when I played winter ball I went to spring training already ready.”

Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd told the AP: “Sounds like a great idea.”

How available is Jimenez, exactly? Jon Heyman of SI.com says via Twitter it’s a “Justin Upton-esque trial balloon.” During the offseason, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said even Upton was available in a way of saying anything was on the table when it came to improving the club. Of course, the D-backs are a surprise National League West contender, and Upton is a key reason.

In another Trade Deadline-related story, foxsports.com reporter Ken Rosenthal reported on Twitter that teams are interested in backup first baseman and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi, but Giambi would like to stay with the Rockies. According to Rosenthal, the team will consult Giambi before making a deal.

Rockies have interest in Berkman

Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd has said it’s doubtful he can land a big bat, but he’s trying. According to The Denver Post, the Rockies have aggressively pursued switch-hitting Lance Berkman to play the outfield corners and occasionally spell Todd Helton at first base.

The key here would be Berkman’s desire to return to the National League. Berkman saw a dramatic drop in his power with the Astros and Yankees last season, although finished he year with the Yankees as a designated hitter on an upswing as far as average is concerned.

An important aspect of the pursuit of Berkman, according to the Post, is Helton would be on board with bringing in Berkman. The two have the same agent. Helton helped the Rockies recruit Jason Giambi as his backup last season, but by season’s end Helton admitted not playing nearly every game was difficult. Still, the Rockies need a solid alternative, given Helton’s history of back problems and his age.

The Rockies desire a right-handed corner bat, preferably one that can play some first base. Berkman has more power from the left than from the right, but he fits — if the price is right. The Cardinals, Blue Jays and Athletics also have pursued Berkman.

The Mariners’ Jose Lopez, if he’s non-tendered, Jorge Cantu, whom the Rockies considered trading for last season, and Troy Glaus are acknowledged targets. The Rockies also are looking at the Athletics, who appear to be deciding whether to non-tender Edwin Encarnacion or Colorado native Kevin Kouzmanoff.

Some current Rockies will no doubt be watching the situation closely. Third baseman Ian Stewart and outfielders Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs could potentially lose playing time, depending on who is signed. Interestingly, the Rockies hired Carney Lansford as hitting coach and charged him with the task of waking up the bats of all three. Stewart and Smith didn’t meet the club’s expectations for production last year. Spilborghs finished strong but struggled with strikeouts early.

– Thomas Harding

 

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