Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
THINGS ARE in place for the Rockies management team to return in 2010. To no one’s surprise, three-year deals are being fine-tuned for general manager Dan O’Dowd and manager.
THE ENTIRE coaching staff is being invited back. While none of the coaches were hand-picked by Tracy, the manager became very comfortable with the staff during his four months in charge, and he did not pressure for any changes.
FOUR CONTRACT options will require quick attention from the Rockies. Right-handed pitcherhas a $5.4 million option but no buyout. First baseman has a $6.5 million option but no buyout. Catcher Yorvit Torrealba has a $4 million opion with a $500,000 buyout. Left-handed pitcher Alan Embree has a $3 million option with a $250,000 buyout.
Rockies will decline the options, most likely. The biggest deicsion will be Betancourt, who they have targeted to bring back and will attempt to come to terms on a two-year deal that will lessen the financial guarantee for 2010.
Torrealba could return but it will be closer to a $1 million deal. As much as the Rockies liked Giambi’s addition in the clubhouse his left-handed bat doesn’t really fit into the Rockies needs. There does not appear to be support for Embree’s return.
GARRETT ATKINS won’t be back next year. The question is how soon will he be gone. The Rockies don’t figure to tender Atkins a contract by the December 20 deadline. With his $7.05 million salary in 2009 the maximim cut is 20 percent so he would have to be offered at least $5.64 million. That works against teams trading for him, too, because they would inherit the contract.
Teams might feel once Atkins was on the open market his value would come down. If the Rockies don’t feel he has a trade value they could decide to not even put him ont he 40-man roster which has to be filed next month. That would allow them to protect another player they wouldn’t want to risk losing for $50,000 in the Rule V Draft at the winter meetings.
A YEAR AGO the Rockies were pursuing left-handed free agent, but he opted to take a simliar offer from Washington. The Rockies eventually traded for Beimel, who now says he would like to return to Colorado in 2010. More likely, however, the Rockies will take a less expensive approach and go with and Randy Flores in left-handed roles.
And don’t overlook lefty prospect, who has a combined 2.29 ERA between High-A Modesto and Double-A Tusla in 2009. Reynolds appeared in 60 games, working 74 2/3 innings, and allowed only 55 hits and 17 walks while striking out 87.
BRAD MILLS becomes third former Triple-A Colorado Springs SkySox manager to get a big league job with his hiring in Houston.
Mike Hargrove and Charlie Manuel both managed the SkySox when they were affiliated with Cleveland. And you can add Mike Scioscia to the list, with an asterisk. The Rockies had hired Scioscia to manage the SkySox in October of 1999, and days later the Angels asked for permission to interview Scioscia for their big-leauge managerial job, which he received. So he was a SkySox manager, although he was never introduced to the public and never wore the uniform.