Rockies Lose Jose Contreras, But Bring Back Jason Giambi

Back in October, my buddy Odie sent me a text saying “I can’t believe Contreras is pitching important innings for the Rockies.” After all, the Jose Contreras we saw pitch against the Boston Red Sox as a member of Chicago White Sox a couple of months earlier, was one of the worst pitchers we had seen all year.

He couldn’t throw strikes, he couldn’t field his position, and his head seemed in the clouds. He was truly terrible.

Contreras will join the Phillies' bullpen

However, Contreras found the fountain of youth with the Colorado Rockies and pitched quite well for them down the stretch. In seven games, Contreras had a 1.59 ERA and struck out 17 in 17 innings pitched.

Contreras’ performance with the Rockies earned him a contract for 2010. According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the Philadelphia Phillies have signed Contreras to a one-year contract. No terms of the deal have been disclosed.

Contreras is the second relief pitcher the Phillies have signed this offseason. Earlier in this offseason, the National League Champions signed Danys Baez.

Contreras is expected to be an old-fashioned “swing man” for the Phillies. He will be a guy who can spot start or pitch a couple of innings out of the bullpen if need be.

Contreras, 38, will be entering his eighth season in the major leagues and has a career record of 71-63 with a 4.61 ERA with the New York Yankees, White Sox and Rockies.

While the Rockies lost Contreras, they did manage to bring back a fan favorite.

As first reported by Andrew Marchand of ESPN 1050 Radio, the Rockies have re-signed Jason Giambi to a one-year, $1.75 million contract. Giambi is expected to be the Rockies’ top pinch-hitter and power source off the bench in 2010.

The Rockies have brought back the Giambino

This is a good re-signing by the Rockies.

Much like Contreras, Giambi was revitalized in Colorado after being released by the Oakland A’s earlier in the year. In 24 AB’s with the Rockies, Giambi hit .292 with two home runs and a .452 OBP.

Just as important as to what Giambi produced on the field, it’s what he did off the field for the Rockies, which made him a valuable part of the Rockies’ clubhouse.

Despite being a poster boy for the steroid era, Giambi has always been a favorite of any clubhouse he has been a part of. His loose personality and leadership abilities are good for a young Rockies team.

Giambi will be entering his 16th season in the major leagues and has a career .282 average with 409 home runs and a .405 OBP with the A’s, New York Yankees, and Rockies.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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