Tag:Todd Helton
Posted on: January 17, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:09 pm
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Giambi coming back to Rockies

Jason Giambi At age 40, Jason Giambi isn't ready to call it a career. The Rockies announced that he'll be back next season on a minor-league contract with an invitation to major-league spring training. The Denver Post reports the deal is for $1 million.

It's not clear where Giambi is going to get at-bats given Colorado's glut of infielders. Todd Helton will be back, and the Rockies also have Ty Wiggington, Jose Lopez and Mike Jacobs as options at first base. He could be just a spare kept waiting in the wings in case Helton breaks down again, but it's tough to see Giambi, a 40-year-old who has made more than $130 million, toiling in the minors.

Giambi played in 87 games for the Rockies last season, batting .244 with 35 RBI and six homers.

Also Monday, the Rockies gave reliever Matt Lindstrom a two-year deal worth $2.8 million next season and $3.6 million for 2012. The club has a $4 million option for 2013, which would be his first year of free agency.

UPDATE: The Post spoke with general manager Dan O'Dowd, who said the Rockies could make a spot for Giambi on the big-league roster by going with four outfielders, which they have the flexibility to do because Wigginton can play in left and right field if needed.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 3, 2011 3:02 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Rockies agree to extension with Cargo

It appears the Rockies will lock up Carlos Gonzalez in addition to Troy Tulowitzki. There had been talks about Gonzalez signing an extension, and according to a Twitter account tied to Gonzalez, the two sides are close.

Here's what Twitter has to say on the matter, including @CarGoMedia5 and the Denver Post 's Troy Renck :







UPDATE: It appears the deal is done, pending a physical.



The deal, if seven years as reported, would put Gonzalez, 25, under team control through 2017. Tulowitzki is locked up through 2020. The Rockies paid a high price with a declining Todd Helton, who singed a nine-year extension through 2011 worth $141.5 million in 2001. Helton signed an extension that reworked the final years of that contract last March, paying him $9.9 million for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with deferred money through 2023. Gonzalez will be 32 when this contract expires, which isn't over-the-hill as far as free-agent contracts go, as Jayson Werth proved this off-season. However, in seven years, the Werth deal could be a cautionary tale.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb   on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.





Posted on: November 21, 2010 4:53 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2010 5:33 pm
 

Rockies determined to contend, need improvements

de la Rosa In 2010, the Rockies tried to make another attempt at a late-season surge that has become a trademark, but fell far short in finishing 83-79, nine games out of first.

They were one-and-a-half behind first place on Sept. 20, so that's quite a dizzying decline.

"We fell off the face of the earth," Rockies president Dick Monfort admitted to the Denver Post .

The Rockies don't plan to fall off the face again, although they'll have work on their hands to avoid that. The first priority is finding a way to replace starter Jorge de la Rosa, who looks certain to depart as a free agent. Colorado isn't willing to go more than three years for the talented but inconsistent lefty.

"[De la Rosa] told us a minimum of five years. We think [it will end up] four, but we aren't willing to do four," Monfort stated. "At three we would look at it. ... We are worried about his commitment if we go four. How would he respond to that?"

Colorado is concerned about de la Rosa's commitment after showing up to spring training in 2009 out of shape, but he may have turned a corner last season after giving birth to Twins. However, you can't base the next four-to-five years off one season of being in good condition.

The opening de la Rosa (pictured) has left in the rotation is stressing out GM Dan O'Dowd, as Monfort reveals, but it is what it is. Colorado is exporing replacing de la Rosa with a veteran along the lines of Carl Pavano, Jon Garland, Javier Vazquez, Aaron Harang, Dave Bush and Kevin Millwood in free agency. On the trade front, Gavin Floyd, Scott Kazmir and James Shields have been bandied about. The club acquired Felipe Paulino from the Astros in exchange for Clint Barmes this past week.

The Rockies also are considering adding a big bat, such as catcher Victor Martinez or Arizona's Justin Upton.

However, even if the club does import a bat, it's imperative for current Rockies of Todd Helton, Ian Stewart, Chris Iannetta and Seth Smith to improve.

Helton seems ticked for the Hall of Fame, but for now has a contract through 2013 and needs to step up after struggling to a .256/.362/.367 line in 473 plate appearances. While Helton's contract is no longer backbreaking thanks to a restructuring, he still is expected to produce.

"We need someone that can protect us at first base. But we still are all hoping Todd [bounces] back. I think he can. We don't expect a lot of power. Just those 12-pitch at-bats, getting on base," Monfort said. "That's the guy we missed."

Iannetta, meanwhile, figures to open the year as starting catcher after the club cut ties with Miguel Olivo. With a long-term contract in tow, the Rockies need Iannetta to step up and produce in the majors, not just in the minors. Meanwhile, outfielder Seth Smith struggled after finally getting his wish of being a starter.

And Ian Stewart is expected to be a 30-home run, 100-RBI producer, but hit 18 home runs in 2010, including with almost a month of time missed to injury. Stewart holds the key to the team, as Monfort reveals.

"If he can become a 30-home run, 100-RBI guy, we could win the division," Monfort said. "We need those guys to step up. Iannetta needs to respond. Smith wanted to be a starter, then struggled. We are hoping that [new hitting coach] Carney [Lansford] will be a little more forceful with them. They need to get it done."

It took the Rockies 12 seasons to get back to the playoffs after losing the division series in 1995 after the 1993 inception of the club. They have no interest in another prolonged drought, especially with Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki's contracts affording the Rockies just a three-to-four year window of contention, unless Colorado comes up with the funds to resign the trio.

However, with a modest payroll ($86 million in 2010), the Rockies may not be able to do that. To raise payroll, ticket prices would have to be raised, and that has not happened in years.

The time to win is now in Colorado.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:52 am
 

R.I.P. Rockies: Talented trio not enough

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Colorado Rockies.

For a while there, it looked like the Rockies were going to do it again.

A 15-12 August, followed by a 10-game winning streak in early September, got the Rockies in position to pull off another of their late-season runs toward the playoffs. They were just a game back in the National League West on September 18, and Troy Tulowitzki was playing like Superman.

But alas, it was not to be. In fact, they finished in exactly the opposite fans hoped, dropping an amazing 13 of 14 to finish the season in third place, nine games out.

WHAT WENT WRONG

The Rockies got some amazing performances from their star players, but didn’t get enough help beyond those guys.

Second base was a disaster, as Clint Barmes batted .235. Todd Helton struggled with a bum back and saw his average drop 69 points. Outfielder Brad Hawpe, an All-Star a year earlier, was so bad the team released him in August. The guy who finished 2009 as the closer, Franklin Morales, got demoted. Chris Iannetta signed a three-year contract and completely forgot how to hit. Beyond the stellar Ubaldo Jimenez, none of the starters managed to finish more than a game over .500.

Troy Tulowitzki And then there were the injuries, of which the Rockies had more than their share. Aaron Cook had his leg broken by a line drive. Huston Street started the season hurt and his replacement, Manny Corpas, ended up with Tommy John surgery.  Tulowitzki broke his wrist. Four of the five starting pitchers went on the disabled list.

The other major factor was Colorado’s miserable performance on the road. A year after notching a winning road record, they went just 31-50.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Three things went very right: Tulowitzki, Jimenez and Carlos Gonzalez.

Jimenez provided the highlight of the year April 17 when he pitched the franchise’s first no-hitter (after 18 years) in Atlanta. Jimenez was untouchable in the first half of the season, going into the All-Star break 15-1 with a 2.20 ERA. Reality caught up to him in the second half, when he went 4-7, but he still finished as a 19-game winner.

Tulowitzki had one of the most spectacular months anyone has ever put together, with 15 homers and 40 RBI in the season’s final 30 games. The Rockies only had six other players with as many as 40 RBI FOR THE SEASON, let alone in a month. Tulowitzki overcame the wrist injury to finish with a .315 average and a .919 OPS.

Gonzalez arrived in a big way in his first full season, putting together an MVP-worthy campaign. He won the batting title, had 117 RBI and finished with a .974 OPS, leading the league in total bases. On July 31, he hit a walkoff homer to complete a cycle. He was just fun to watch all season.
 
HELP ON THE WAY

Chris Nelson’s time may have arrived after the problems the Rockies had at second base. Nelson batted .280 in 17 major-league games and .313 the rest of the season at Triple-A.
 
EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Rockies have a nice core to work with, and the NL West showed itself to be up for grabs this season. A little better luck with injuries, another bat and better play on the road, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t contend next year.

Todd Helton SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Rockies need to get deeper. They have some weapons, but this year showed they need a better supporting cast.

Word is they’re looking for another impact bat and interested in Victor Martinez. If Martinez is open to converting eventually to be a full-time first baseman, it would be a great fit. They could let Miguel Olivo go, hope Martinez can mentor Iannetta, and prepare for life after Helton.

Seth Smith is probably no longer in the plans as an everyday outfielder, and there are some options out there.

The Rockies also have to figure out the rotation, as they’re probably going to lose Jorge De La Rosa and have an option on Jeff Francis that’s probably too rich for the Rockies’ blood.

2011 PREDICTION

The Rockies could actually be headed for a step back, simply because Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Jimenez are statistically unlikely to repeat what they did this season. If the supporting players don’t step up, it could be another third-place finish.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: October 1, 2010 12:48 pm
 

Rockies could make play for Victor Martinez

Victor Martinez The Rockies made their annual September surge, only for Colorado to fold down the stretch.

The club can't afford to have anymore of these slow starts only to turn it on in the second half -- there is a window of opportunity to win, as shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is only too well aware of.

"We like our chances that we are going to be together for the next three years, and really that could be the end of it," Tulo observed to the Denver Post . "It's going to be tough to keep all three of us, I'll tell you that. I want it to happen, and I want it to happen here."

Along those same lines, the Rockies are looking for impact bats -- one to start in the outfield and one who could complement Todd Helton at first. They may also need a catcher, as it's likely Miguel Olivo declines his mutual option in search of a more lucrative contract. Unless Colorado is ready to turn the job over to Chris Iannetta -- and based on their actions over the past year, that's not happening -- the club also needs a catcher.

Enter Victor Martinez, who Troy Renck of the Post says the Rockies will target. Martinez could catch and then spell Todd Helton at first base. Given Helton's weakness is against lefties and Iannetta flourishes against southpaws, it could be a perfect platoon. Given that V-Mart is going to have countless suitors, however, Colorado likely won't be able to compete with the offers the backstop will receive.

Renck names Conor Jackson as a low-cost alternative that could platoon with Helton. Jackson is coming off a second-straight injury plagued season but shouldn't find much trouble finding a bench spot somewhere.

 -- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: October 1, 2010 12:48 pm
 

Rockies could make play for Victor Martinez

Victor Martinez The Rockies made their annual September surge, only for Colorado to fold down the stretch.

The club can't afford to have anymore of these slow starts only to turn it on in the second half -- there is a window of opportunity to win, as shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is only too well aware of.

"We like our chances that we are going to be together for the next three years, and really that could be the end of it," Tulo observed to the Denver Post . "It's going to be tough to keep all three of us, I'll tell you that. I want it to happen, and I want it to happen here."

Along those same lines, the Rockies are looking for impact bats -- one to start in the outfield and one who could complement Todd Helton at first. They may also need a catcher, as it's likely Miguel Olivo declines his mutual option in search of a more lucrative contract. Unless Colorado is ready to turn the job over to Chris Iannetta -- and based on their actions over the past year, that's not happening -- the club also needs a catcher.

Enter Victor Martinez, who Troy Renck of the Post says the Rockies will target. Martinez could catch and then spell Todd Helton at first base. Given Helton's weakness is against lefties and Iannetta flourishes against southpaws, it could be a perfect platoon. Given that V-Mart is going to have countless suitors, however, Colorado likely won't be able to compete with the offers the backstop will receive.

Renck names Conor Jackson as a low-cost alternative that could platoon with Helton. Jackson is coming off a second-straight injury plagued season but shouldn't find much trouble finding a bench spot somewhere.

 -- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: September 29, 2010 9:39 am
 

Helton not retiring

Todd Helton Todd Helton is not retiring.

"The pan is to come back and play better next year," Helton told the Denver Post 's Troy E. Renck .

Said Jim Tracy -- "It's been my understanding all along that he will be back."

Helton, 37, is hitting .260/.365/.375 with eight home runs and 36 RBI in 114 games this season. In March, he signed an extension through 2013.

Helton has been slowed by back and leg injuries last season.

In the same article, one of the first basemen who played in Helton's absence, Jason Giambi, said he wouldn't play again this season, but he would play again.

"There's no chance I am retiring," Giambi told Renck. "I love it here. But I want to keep going regardless."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


Category: MLB
Posted on: September 17, 2010 8:53 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:54 am
 

Rockies backed up Mannings

Todd Helton Apparently the Rockies have a thing for quarterbacks.

The New York Times ' Billy Witz has an interesting angle on this weekend's matchup of the Mannings in the NFL: the Rockies have backups to Peyton Manning and Eli Manning on their roster. Todd Helton backed up the elder Manning at Tennessee and Seth Smith was behind Eli at Ole Miss.

In addition to those two, the Rockies drafted Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker in the first round of June's draft and North Carolina State QB Russell Wilson in the fourth round.

Assistant general manager Bill Geivett said the team isn't targeting quarterbacks, but does find QBs usually have leadership qualities and intelligence, two things they certainly don't mind.

"Especially with all the offensive schemes you've got to learn now," Geivett said. "All that being said, you better hit."

While Parker and Wilson are starting for their teams, Helton played in four games before Peyton Manning took over and Smith never got into a game as a quarterback, but did play as a receiver.

"Being around guys like that made it an easy decision," Helton said of choosing baseball over football.

Anyway, go ahead and read the whole article, it's pretty interesting.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .




 
 
 
 
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