Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rockies Re-Sign Jason Giambi

The Colorado Rockies decided to pack a month's worth of work into one week. On Saturday the Rockies announced at their second annual fanfest that they had re-signed slugger Jason Giambi.

The crowd at the Coors Field event, held for season ticket and mini-plan holders, roared in excitement at the news.

After signing Chris Iannetta to a long-term deal in November, the Rockies signed Ryan Spilborghs to a three-year deal, Huston Street to a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year and signed Giambi.

Giambi was brought onto the roster at the end of the season in 2009 and immediately impressed the Coors faithful. In his first two at-bats he slugged game winning hits with the Rockies in the midst of the playoff hunt.

By all accounts Giambi was an immediate fit in the clubhouse. He meshed with not only the veterans, but he took to the younger players as well.

The deal appears to be a one-year agreement for somewhere around $1.75 million. While Giambi may be on the backside of his career, it never hurts to have a player on the bench who has trotted around the bases over 600 times in his Major League career.

The move allows Todd Helton to get a little more rest during the season. At the beginning of the 2010 season everyone in the Rockies organization was suggesting that Helton would play in the neighborhood of 110 to 120 games. Instead he trotted out to first base 151 times.

The move also allows Jim Tracy to be a little more flexible with the lineup. Seth Smith became a fixture as a pinch hitter after the seventh inning. His uncanny ability to come up big in the clutch off of the bench earned him the title "Mr. Late Night." The addition of Giambi allows "Mr. Late Night" to be used earlier in the game and come into the game for matchup purposes instead of keeping him on the bench just in case they might need his bat later.

For the price the move seems to be a good one. The Rockies get veteran clubhouse leadership to go along with a power bat off the bench who will be able to take some of the pressure to play everyday off of Helton's back.

The Rockies are still looking for a few more bench players and have kept the door open for both Orlando Hudson and Orlando Cabrera.

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