Rockies, Weiss to discuss future next week

Rockies, Weiss to discuss future next week

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich offered no hints on the future of manager Walt Weiss, whose three-year contract expires when the season ends Sunday, but a decision will come after the two meet next week.

Weiss has managed the club for four seasons and this year, with the team 74-85 after Thursday night's loss to the Giants and needing one win to have his best season. It is the Rockies' sixth straight losing season.

A contract extension didn't occur, even when the team was in reach of National League Wild Card contention in July and well into August, and uncertainty has arisen. It means that when they talk, both sides will have to agree to go forward, reach a contract and have it all approved by Rockies owner, chairman and CEO Dick Monfort.

Last year, the sides finished the season with no announcement but announced two days after the season that Weiss would return this year for his final contract season. Bridich said there was no timetable on a decision, which will be based on a comprehensive group of factors, which is why he is taking his time.

"In a decision-making process like this, it's not totally or fully dependent on some sort of win-loss record or this or that," Bridich said. "There are a lot of factors that go into it. That's how it should be. It's not that simplistic."

Weiss told MLB.com on Saturday, "I want to make sure it's still a fit for me, and I'm sure the team wants to feel the same."

Weiss is 282-363 since taking over the team after its worst season in franchise history, under Jim Tracy, who resigned. Weiss was hired by previous GM/chief baseball officer Dan O'Dowd but the day-to-day operation was run by senior vice president of Major League operations Bill Geivett, and Bridich replaced that duo. Weiss said he believes he has played a part in improving the attitude.

"When we start winning here, that mentality will be even that much more evident," Weiss said. "We talked about just being tougher. That was one of the things we talked about a lot, being tougher mentally, physically, emotionally. That's what it takes to win at the highest level -- toughness, competitiveness -- because it's difficult to out-talent people."

Bridich said, "The environment in the clubhouse, it's moved in the right direction. It's a positive for us. The time that Walt's been involved with the team, if you're looking to dole out credit, absolutely he deserves credit. It's a good thing. It's a good thing for the organization."

Always a high-scoring team, the Rockies have made improvements in offensive efficiency, and the starting rotation has performed well much of the season. However, the bullpen's 5.11 ERA went into Thursday the Majors' worst.

Much of the Rockies' improvement this season has come from a strong group of players the organization has developed. A club record-tying 12 players have made their debuts this season.

With Bridich having been promoted from player development director to GM after the 2014 season, the Rockies are expected to be dependent on homegrown talent next year.

Regardless the identity of the manager, Bridich said a playoff berth in 2017 is a realistic goal.

"It should be part of our thought process and our goal-making," Bridich said. "You go back two winters ago, and was it really realistic for us to talk about that? That's why we didn't do it. The goal was to talk about meaningful games.

"There were some intrinsic and some intangible things that we had to start to cross off the list before we could realistically start talking about playoffs and thinking about playoffs. You know what? It's a good thing that we should start thinking that way, as an organization and a group."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.