Weiss will return to Rockies in 2016

Weiss will return to Rockies in 2016

DENVER -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss and general manager Jeff Bridich each announced Tuesday that Weiss will be back in the dugout for 2016, the final year of his current three-year contract.

The pair will concentrate on improving the team, after two last-place finishes and one fourth-place finishes in Weiss's three years.

They made the announcement to head off speculation about Weiss' status after the Rockies finished 68-94. Both said they would wait until season's end to discuss next year. Neither indicated a parting of ways was in the works, but it wasn't until Tuesday's meetings that the Rockies officially clarified the issue.

"We will be having ongoing meetings/discussions, but I will say this for now: Walt and I met for several hours today about the season and how we can get better with him back in 2016," Bridich said. "It's going well, and we will continue to meet."

Weiss said there is "still a lot to discuss with Jeff, but I will be back."

The makeup of the coaching staff and the team's offseason plans for trades, free agency and arbitration figure to be issues that Bridich and Weiss will discuss over the next several days. There has been no public discussion about whether Weiss will receive a contract extension.

Weiss is 208-278 since replacing Jim Tracy after the 2012 season, and his .428 winning percentage is the lowest of any manager in club history. Bridich just completed his first season as GM, after being promoted from senior player development director last October when the Rockies went away from the two-headed setup of Dan O'Dowd and Bill Geivett.

Weiss has managed through an era of weak starting pitching, which hasn't kept pace with generally a strong lineup. As the 2015 season ended, players offered support of Weiss.

After driving in the go-ahead runs during a seven-run ninth inning in the Rockies' 7-3 season-ending victory over the Giants, first baseman Justin Morneau called the comeback "a testament to Walt and the coaching staff as much as anything. ... That reflects on the coaching staff, and moving forward there are a lot of good pieces here."

Weiss has often been criticized for not displaying emotion from the dugout. But at the end of the home schedule, second baseman DJ LeMahieu said Weiss has "got our backs" and "he's challenged us, no doubt." Third baseman Nolan Arenado, who had a breakout season, said, "The blame doesn't go to him. He puts the best guys out there, and we need to go perform."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.