Rockies pick up Giambi’s option, decline Cook’s

October 31, 2011 | 11:24 am | 26  

The Colorado Rockies announced they and first baseman Jason Giambi have exercised their mutual option on his contract for the 2012 season, but the Rockies have declined their side of Aaron Cook‘s mutual option. Cook, a second-round pick in 1997 who has spent his entire career with the Rockies, is now a free agent.

Giambi’s option is reportedly worth $1 million, the same salary he made in 2011. Cook’s option would have cost the Rockies $11 million.

Cook was 72-68 in 10 seasons with the Rockies and is the franchise’s all-time wins and innings pitched leader. Since his best season in 2008 when he went 16-9 with a 3.96 ERA and represented the Rockies in the All-Star Game, Cook’s numbers have steadily slid downward as he’s dealt with a series of injuries. He was 3-10 with a 6.03 ERA in 97 innings in 2011.

Giambi hit .260 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI in 64 games in 2011, his third season with the Rockies.

The moves leave the Rockies with 32 players on their 40-man roster. The team also has five players on the 60-day disabled list.

26 Comments »

  • Pooter | October 31, 2011 | 12:06 pm

    I heart Giambi!!!

  • drrockies | October 31, 2011 | 2:15 pm

    good to have the Giambino back…we lose nothing by doing that and develop his coaching resume for us going forward.

    Cook was no surprise. Should have been gone 18 months ago but his lack of production and injuries created zero interest from any other team.

    Now let’s trim the EY2/Spilly’s of the team and solidify it with contributors.

  • Rich M | November 1, 2011 | 7:32 am

    Sorry for the second year in a row I just don’t get the Giambi move. His left handed bat is completely redundant at first base and that’s the only position that he can play in the NL. But if the Rockies insist on keeping the same front office, then I guess they will continue to make the same roster mistakes year after year.

  • progmatinee | November 1, 2011 | 11:50 am

    From the Rockies perspective with Pacheco and Wigginton and EYJ that play multiple positions (to various degrees of quality) I think they don’t think the roster spot is that big of a deal.

    I think from their perspective they think of it as at just $1,000,000 there aren’t many players you can find that will put up double digit homeruns in limited playing time.

    I think they still doubt Helton’s health a little, I think they like Jason as a person, I think they like him as a clubhouse influence, I think they believe his PH stats will improve.

    Would it be nice if it was from the right side? Of course, but for $1m is there someone out there?

  • Ryan (the other one) | November 1, 2011 | 12:19 pm

    I think you’re right on all of those points, Prog. And in this case, I think the Rockies’ front office perspective is the correct one. Giambi is worth $1M, even taking into account the roster/handedness negatives.

  • Bill | November 1, 2011 | 2:06 pm

    Well I guess I agree with most everyone. I think that Giambi “wastes” a roster spot which would be better served with a younger, more versatile right-handed power hitter.

    That being said he is probably cheap at $1M per year and they say he is a positive clubhouse influence. However he has been here the past two years and we have NOT made the playoffs. I agree with Prog that one of the reasons he will be back is their uncertainty about Helton and his health.

    I understand that Wiggy, Pachaco and EY can play multiple positions but I hope Wiggy and EY end up playing them somewhere else.

  • Gary | November 1, 2011 | 2:24 pm

    Wow Giambi is going to be back. I guess we can expect a shitty pinch hitter who can only hit when he is starting but can’t start all the time if Helton gets hurt. Waste of a roster spot if you ask me. Well another year of being pathetic because there are not going to be many changes to this team. All we get is O’Dud coming up with excuses again.

  • Rich M | November 1, 2011 | 3:10 pm

    If I have to choose between Pacheco and Giambi, I would rather go with Pacheco. In addition why not wait until opening day and shoe horn Giambi unto the roster once some others have lost their standing. Just don’t get this move at all, and the clubhouse stuff means very little to me – I judge success with the wins and losses.

  • Agbayani | November 1, 2011 | 9:23 pm

    Gary, you just won the thread. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Someone needs to remind O’Dowd that we play in the league without a DH.

  • GARY 2 | November 2, 2011 | 4:39 am

    Hey,u guys never agree with me over the past 2 years1 Howcome the new Gary gets props? I’m sorry I just love every thing about Giambi,except the side of the plate he hits from.I just feel,regardless of sucess as PH’er,Tracy holds him back too often,instead of using him in the 7th/8th.His HR per AB ratio was in the top ten or so all season.With Todd’s back problems at the end of the year,I think this signing is a no brainer.And to my new name sake I say-welcome aboard!

  • Pooter | November 2, 2011 | 8:41 am

    Everyone of you that bitches about Giambi are the same people that stand up and cheer louder than you have cheered all game when he comes to the plate in a pressure situation. I do agree that Tracy did not use him properly last year, but I still think of everyone on the Rockies last year he is the guy I would choose to bat with the game on the line.

    Hating on Giambi has become as trendy as hating on EYJ or Tebow. There is not a better pinch hitter in baseball!!!!! Good move O’Dowd!!

  • egossage | November 2, 2011 | 11:18 am

    Not only are there better pinch hitters in baseball, there is a better pinch hitter on the Rockies. Seth Smith is a better pinch hitter. Also, I can’t stand when Tracy uses Giambi as a pinch hitter. It’s almost a guaranteed K. I’m not one of the ones bitching about him though.

  • Rich M | November 2, 2011 | 12:46 pm

    Now wait a minute Pooter, I also love your personal pet (EY2) beacuse he brings a dimension to the game that is exciting to watch – speed! He is also a switch hitter and in theory at least can defensively play multiple positions.

    Giambi on the hand needs to swing from the right side of the plate to help the Rockies and he simply doesn’t do that. In the mean time he blocking a younger and more versatile player, while he still gets a $1m and is will be 41 years old. Nope I still don’t understand this move at all, but then again I hated the move last year too.

  • Pooter | November 2, 2011 | 1:05 pm

    In a HUGE spot you would seriously rather have Seth Smith than Giambi? We are talking Seth from last year, not Mr. Late Night in 2007-09. Giambi is a feared pinch hitter, his stats reflect the fact that faces so many studs out of the bullpen. If this team can find some serious power in the middle of the lineup, generate some runs, and then have a guy like Giambi on the bench. That’s a playoff team!

    Who knows, maybe Big G is the coach in waiting…..

  • progmatinee | November 2, 2011 | 1:15 pm

    $1m is nothing in these days for 13 HRs. Too bad Spilly fell off the cliff in 2011 because he could have been the legit RH PH for 2012 and maybe the roster spot could go to someone more flexible.

    At this point I’d rather have Giambi than Spilly no doubt.

  • progmatinee | November 2, 2011 | 1:17 pm

    Oh and I still really want to see Giambi hit at least once in just about every game and to do that you have to pick your spots better. None of this hold him back for the ninth inning in a close game.

    Whats wrong with trying to pad a lead in the 6th or 7th inning? Or down by 3 trying to cut it to 2 or 1. He doesn’t need to be held until the bases are loaded.

  • Gary | November 2, 2011 | 2:56 pm

    Wow you want Giambi in a huge spot? He was 4/30 pinch hitting last year. That is .133 with one home run and 4 rbis. You want him pinch hitting? Even if he advanced runners it wouldn’t have been so bad but when you strike out, you don’t advance runners. Its time to get younger. They should just let him retire.

  • Ryan (the other one) | November 2, 2011 | 3:10 pm

    Giambi’s left-handedness as a back-up to Helton isn’t ideal, but it’s importance is also being overblown in this thread. Of course it’d be more “normal” if we had a RH back-up to Helton, making it easy to play him and rest Helton on LHP days. But it doesn’t matter so much in this case because niether Helton or Giambi shows much difference in LHP/RHP splits. Some split, yes, but not much. They’re interchangable in that way. So Helton gets to rest when he needs to, regardless of who the starting pitcher is.

    If you want to make a big deal about Giambi being a defensive liability or a pseudo-DH being a drag on the roster, fine. I still like him on the team for $1M despite that, but fine, there’s a case to be made there. But to complain so loudly about him not being righty doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Also, I echo Prog’s comment about not using him earlier in games. Just one more example of how bad Tracy sucks at his job.

  • Rich M | November 3, 2011 | 8:07 am

    When the Rule 5 draft happens in a few weeks and the Rockies likely end up losing a player that could have helped them down the road, simply because they had to put Giambi back on the 40 man roster now. Not the brightess GM work that I have seen lately.

    Let’s see the 2011 roster was put together so well that the Rockies went from expecting a division title and at least 90 wins to not even breaking 500. Obviously not all of that is on Giambi, but the desire and ability to take a chance to reshape the 2012 roster seems to be a foreign concept for DanO and the Rockies.

    Maybe the same roster is for the best “when you don’t know what to do – do nothing?” Just saying that so far (and yes it is early) the ticket buying public (with higher seat prices) has not been impressed with the off season progress of the team.

  • Rich M | November 3, 2011 | 8:26 am

    Oh BTW Giambi hit a sizzling .219 against left handed pitching in 2011 and an even more impressive .188 with RISP. Now it might just be me, but I would like to see some improvement in those areas for the Rockies in 2012 and at 41 years old – I just don’t see it happening.

  • Ryan (the other one) | November 3, 2011 | 8:57 am

    He also hit 3 HRs and had 6 RBIs against LHP in only 32 at bats. With RISP? 5 HRs and 20 RBIs, again, in only 32 at bats. 20 RBIs in 32 at bats! 20! And were talking about a poor number in an antiquated stat like batting average, with a tiny sample size to boot?

    But even if we want to play the “batting average in a small sample size” game, here’s one for you: Giambi hit .316 last year with 2 outs and RISP. In 19 at bats. (While throwing in 5 HRs, by the way.)

    Now, I don’t think the fact that he hit .316 with 2 outs and RISP is any more relevent than the fact that he hit .188 with RISP overall – again, a stat like batting average is just so worthless in such a small sample size, but if we want to argue using stats like this, then its just as easy to pick one of them and say that Giambi was not just a good, but an elite player last year.

    I’m not saying that he was, by the way, and like I said, there are lots of GOOD reasons to not bring Giambi back – maybe he’ll suck next year and the front office will regret picking up that option, which wouldn’t suprise me – but I for one am really glad the front office is taking a little more comprehensive approach than parsing a stat like batting average in a handful of at bats when its making roster decisions.

  • drrockies | November 3, 2011 | 9:50 am

    Lots of comments regarding Giambino. I have to admit, when I am watching a game and he walks up, I get pumped hopeful of a game changing at bat. Rewarded sometimes, sometimes not. I agree that I think he was underutilized..why just the ninth inning?

    My support of Jason is his impact in the clubhouse and dugout. I couldn’t begin to tell any of you how important leadership and presence is since I have not played MLB, but I know I would be pulling all the info I could from his experience.

    Let’s be honest, it is the starting nine that will decide the success for the Rox, not fill-in players that we keep trying to experiment with.

    Go Rox!

  • Rich M | November 3, 2011 | 10:42 am

    Ryan, all that I am suggesting is that I for one regretted bringing Giambi back in 2011, not because he was totally ineffective (he wasn’t!), but more so that his presence on the Rockies roster took at bats away from a younger developing player that may actually help the Rockies sometime down the road during a year that ultimately the Rockies weren’t going anywhere anyway.

  • elrodvt | November 3, 2011 | 5:15 pm

    Almost every thread here turns into a hate fest about O’Dowd.
    Tiring.

    Agree with Prog. Helton’s unlikely to go a season without missing a week or two. Although Giambi is shaky in the field he’s not a bad backup for that price. Depending on what happens during the year he can always be released. I also agree he’s got to be a steadying influence for a young team.

  • GARY 2 | November 4, 2011 | 2:21 am

    Rich M.I believe I read in the Post that there are only 37 men currently on the 40 man roster.Thus,at this point I don’t see Giambi costing us a young gun.Also as I said above,and Prog and others agreed,use Giambi earlier in the game.I had posted near the season’s end that having Giambi on the bench-while losing by a couple runs-and saving him for a situation that never develops in the ninth,is alot like a basketball/football coach having timeouts left after losing by a point or two.A cardinal sin and defeating the avowed purpose for spending the 1 million in the first place!

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 5, 2011 | 11:32 am

    I’ve been skeptical about having 2 lefty 1B’s who can no longer play fulltime. However, considering how horribly the bench hit last year, picking up a $1M option on the one guy who did hit seems like no big deal. I can’t imagine there’s going to be a 40-man crunch for a team with a weak bench and poor prospects in the high minors.

    If Giambi’s tying up a spot during the season and not producing enough to to justify it, you can always release him.

    And yeah, Seth Smith would be a great pinch hitter. The problem is, if you could managed to come up with two corner OF’s who outhit him, this team has too many holes to keep him in that role and not use him as trade bait.