Weiss expected to sign new deal before World Series
First-year manager improved record by 10 wins from 2012 season
DENVER -- Rockies owner Dick Monfort told a group of writers from MLB.com and the Denver Post Wednesday that he expects to come to an agreement with manager Walt Weiss on a new contract before the start of the World Series.
"We haven't talked specifically about his contract, but I expect we'll have an agreement by the end of next week with Walt," Monfort said. "It won't be a one-year handshake. We'll do something that makes you assured he's here for more than a year."
In his first year managing at any professional level, Weiss' Rockies improved their record by 10 games over the 2012 season under former manager Jim Tracy. Monfort said Weiss deserved "a little" of the credit for the Rockies 10-game improvement. Nevertheless, the 74-88 record earned them a spot in the National League West cellar for the second consecutive year.
"It was a grind, and the guy hung in and battled," Monfort said of Weiss, noting in particular his response to the Rockies ongoing challenges on the road, where they finished 29-52. "He's passionate about it. He gets it."
The Rockies opened the season the way they closed the 2012 season, with senior vice president for Major League Operations Bill Geivett working out of an office next to Weiss' in the Rockies clubhouse. The perception of the front office increasingly encroaching on the field management was a sticking point for Tracy, who walked away from the job during the offseason, unwilling to continue managing under the conditions that caused him so much frustration in 2012. Tracy left Colorado with the highest winning percentage in club history at .488 (294-308), including a trip to the postseason in his first year at the helm in 2009 and winning seasons in his first two years as manager.
"Walt was young and he'd never managed," Monfort said of the evolving dynamic between Weiss and Geivett. "We probably dictated to Jim, and he didn't like it. I don't think 'Geivo' will be as close to the situation as he was. Maybe he won't be down there every day."
Monfort stressed that he is trying to be fair to Weiss, who is one of the lower paid managers in the game. Monfort is reluctant to lock him into three years at a salary that he might outgrow quickly if he continues improving the team in increments of 10 games or more per season, turning the cellar-dwelling club into a legitimate "middle-of-the-pack" club or better. He stressed there are no obstacles to an agreement, but that he is looking for a fair arrangement with Weiss.
"Other than our players, we have one guy under contract, and that's Walt," Monfort said. "The other 210 people that work for the Rockies don't have a contract."