HomeMLB RumorsWest Notes: Black, Giants, Soderstrom

West Notes: Black, Giants, Soderstrom

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Rockies manager Bud Black and owner Dick Monfort are discussing a contract extension that would keep Black in Colorado beyond the 2024 season, per a report from MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Harding notes that while Black and Monfort acknowledged that they are “talking” about a deal, no agreement has been reached at this point and it’s unclear if a deal will come together prior to Opening Day, which is now less than two weeks away.

Per Harding, Monfort indicated that the club’s focus remains on preparing for the regular season, but that he nonetheless hopes that the sides will be able to reach an agreement. There’s certainly reason for optimism that the sides will eventually work out a deal in some capacity, as the veteran manager has inked one-year extensions in each of the past two springs and reporting in previous years has indicated that the Rockies and Black have a long-standing unofficial agreement on a rolling year-to-year deal where either side can walk away after any given season.

Black, 66, spent nine years as manager of the Padres from 2007 to 2015 (including a 2010 season that saw him win the NL Manager of the Year award) before joining the Rockies prior to the 2017 season. He led the club to back-to-back postseason appearances in his first two years with the club but the club has struggled badly under his leadership over the past five seasons, never winning more than 74 games in a season and even suffering the franchise’s first ever 100-loss campaign in 2023, when the team lost 103 games en route to a last place finish in not only the NL West but the entire National League; only the Royals and A’s lost more games last year. With that being said, Monfort is well-known for being loyal to his employees and valuing continuity in the organization, so it’s not necessarily a surprise that he would be interested in continuing the club’s relationship with Black beyond the 2024 campaign.

More from around MLB’s West divisions…

  • The Giants are set to enter the regular season with little certainty in their starting rotation behind staff ace Logan Webb. With veterans Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray starting the season on the injured list where they’ll be joined by youngsters like Tristan Beck and Sean Hjelle, the club figures to lean on offseason signing Jordan Hicks and top prospect Kyle Harrison to fill out the middle of its rotation. That still leaves two spots undecided, however, and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle noted today that manager Bob Melvin brought up right-handed rookie Mason Black as one arm the club is likely to turn to for a rotation spot this season. Black, 24, was the club’s third-round pick in the 2021 draft and posted a solid 3.71 ERA in 29 starts split between the Double- and Triple-A levels last year. Slusser adds that other possibilities for the final spots in the rotation and/or bullpen mix are fellow youngster Keaton Winn and non-roster veterans Daulton Jefferies and Spencer Howard. Of course, that could all change if the club’s reported run at left-hander Blake Snell were to bear fruit.
  • The Athletics announced earlier this evening that they have optioned catcher Tyler Soderstrom to Triple-A, effectively ending the 2020 first-round pick’s bid to open the 2024 season with the club. Soderstrom, 22, was a consensus top-100 prospect entering last season as a well-regarded, bat-first catcher. Things came off the rails for the youngster upon making his major league debut, however, as he hit a paltry .160/.232/.240 in 138 trips to the plate during a 45-game stint in the majors last year. Soderstrom’s first taste of big league action saw him strike out in 31.2% of his plate appearances while recording just four extra-base hits. His struggles continued this spring as he recorded just four hits against eight strikeouts in 34 trips to the plate across 14 games, prompting Oakland to send him back to the minors for additional development time. In the meantime, the club appears likely to rely on a tandem of Shea Langeliers and non-roster invitee Carlos Perez behind the plate to open the season.

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