San Francisco Giants – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-09-19T04:38:57Z WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[NL West Notes: Dozier, Belt, Diamondbacks, Black]]> 2018-09-16T14:56:57Z 2018-09-16T14:56:57Z Brian Dozier, mired in a dreadful slump after a hot first week with the Dodgers, spoke to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register about those struggles. Dozier played through a bone bruise in his knee earlier this season, and while he said the knee “feels great” now, he acknowledged that he developed some bad habits at the plate while trying to compensate for it at the time. The 31-year-old Dozier added that he doesn’t believe playing primarily in a platoon capacity has had an adverse impact on him. (The Dodgers’ constant lineup fluctuations based on matchups has been a source of frustration for many of their fans.) Dozier will be a free agent at season’s end, but the .218/.306/.391 slash he’s carrying isn’t likely to do him any favors — particularly when he’ll be heading into his age-32 season next year.

More from the division…

  • Brandon Belt underwent an MRI on his ailing knee, but the Giants aren’t planning to shut him down for the remainder of the season, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Belt is considered day-to-day for the time being, but he’ll start more games before season’s end. It’s been a disastrous summer for Belt — and, really, for most of the Giants’ offense — as his production has cratered after soaring to career-best levels in the season’s first half. Belt, 30, posted a ridiculous .307/.403/.547 batting line through June 1 before landing on the disabled list due to a bout of appendicitis. He never seemed to recover his footing after that, as he’s floundered at a miserable .203/.283/.290 pace since returning. Belt also missed a bit more than two weeks due to a hyperextended knee in late July and early August.
  • Clay Buchholz, whose season ended yesterday due to a flexor mass strain, tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he’d love to return to the Diamondbacks, but there have yet to be any discussions about a new contract between the two sides. Piecoro also chatted with Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, whom the Diamondbacks passed over in favor of Dansby Swanson back in the 2015 Draft. Bregman said he was thrilled to go to the Astros with the No. 2 overall pick but admitted that part of him was also “pissed,” because he’d hoped to be the top overall selection in the draft. He also relayed a story from the 2012 draft, when Arizona showed interest in him as a late first-rounder but instead drafted catcher Stryker Trahan. Arizona called him to see if he’d sign as a second-rounder, but Bregman informed the team he planned on attending college at Louisiana State University.
  • In a fun Sunday-morning read, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post walks through a typical day in the life of Rockies manager Bud Black during the team’s pennant race — covering everything from an early radio appearance to lineup planning, pre-game media sessions, in-game decisions and post-game work and rituals. Saunders also chats with catcher Chris Iannetta and lefty Kyle Freeland about Black’s managerial style and his teaching methods. “Buddy has a laid-back style, but even though it’s laid back, I wouldn’t say it’s relaxed,” says Iannetta of Black — his fifth big league manager. “…I think it’s the sign of a good manager when he knows when to be hands-on and when to take his hands off.” It’s obviously an extra-appealing read for Rox fans, though fans of any club will still appreciate the detailed look at the day-to-day operations of a big league skipper.
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giants Notes: Front Office, Bochy, Belt]]> 2018-09-16T00:00:20Z 2018-09-15T23:16:16Z Although the Giants are mired in their second straight poor season, expectations are that both executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy will return in 2019, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. General manager Bobby Evans may not be as fortunate, though, as Nightengale reports that he’s on the “hot seat.” Evans, previously San Francisco’s assistant general manager, took over the GM role from Sabean in April 2015 as part of a series of promotions. The Giants were the reigning World Series champions at the time, but their results have been disappointing since then, even though they’ve been among the game’s highest-spending teams.

More from San Francisco, which has dropped 11 of 12 this month to fall to 10 games under .500:

  • Giants first baseman Brandon Belt’s season may be over. Belt underwent an MRI on his sore right knee, and if the results aren’t to the Giants’ liking, they’ll shut him down for 2018, Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group was among those to report. Belt has been dealing with knee issues since late July, when he landed on the 10-day disabled list and missed two-plus weeks. The 30-year-old’s OPS has dropped nearly 100 points since he returned from the DL (from .842 to .756), which may be thanks in part to his knee. Between Belt’s injury and the fact that the Giants have nothing to play for as their season nears an end, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them put Belt on ice until 2019. Belt remains a key cog for the organization, as he’s due another $48MM on the five-year, $72.8MM extension the Evans-led Giants awarded him in April 2016.
  • While it appears Bochy will return next year (something he’d like to do), at least one member of his staff won’t. The club dismissed strength and conditioning coach Carl Kochan on Thursday, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports California. Kochan had been in his seventh season with San Francisco, and his firing is just the first of multiple changes that could occur. The Giants are evaluating “all levels of the organization” at this point, Pavlovic writes.
Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Bruce Bochy Says He Hopes To Manage Giants In 2019]]> 2018-09-15T01:21:06Z 2018-09-15T01:21:06Z Long-time Giants skipper Bruce Bochy left little doubt that he wants to return next season in a chat with John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. His current contract expires after the 2019 campaign.

Certainly, the results haven’t been there over the past two seasons — and, especially, in recent weeks. Even if the postseason long seemed a difficult objective after a disastrous 2017 effort, the club hung in the hunt for most of the current season. But the Giants are now closer to last place in the NL West than they are to third, reflecting a brutal stretch of play.

The writing was already on the wall when CEO Larry Baer expressed clear support for the team’s leadership. But it could be that the sudden downturn, along with other unhappy developments such as season-ending surgery for Buster Posey, has upped the uncertainty.

As Shea explains, it’s unclear at the moment whether the club remains committed to Bochy. Similarly, the club’s long-tenured front office leadership has yet to receive any public assurances. Both Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans will enter the offseason with a single season left on their deals, too.

For his part, though, Bochy says he’s still fully on board. “I still enjoy this as much as I did my first year,” he tells Shea. Of course, he also made clear that his drive is based upon the fact that he “want[s] to get back to the postseason.” Just how much of a priority contention will be in 2019 isn’t yet clear.

All things considered, the Giants face an immense amount of uncertainty. The options are limited with about $125MM in salary commitments already written in stone for each of the next two seasons — much of which is tied up in underperforming players.

Whether the uncertainty will lead to wholesale change, though, remains to be seen. Certainly, it’d be hard to lay the struggles of the past two seasons at Bochy’s feet. The roster wasn’t quite up to snuff on paper, even before injuries and declines intervened. Whether or not Bochy shares a significant portion of the blame, though, he could be caught up in a broader shift — if, that is, the club’s ownership decides it’s time to blow up a leadership combination that has brought so much success.

Giants fans, in particular, will certainly want to give Shea’s piece a full read, as he covers a lot of ground on the broader subject of the organization’s situation.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Have No Plans To Shut Down Rodriguez, Suarez]]> 2018-09-13T00:40:11Z 2018-09-13T00:40:11Z
  • Though the Giants’ hopes of contending have long since vanished, the team doesn’t have any plans to shut down rookies Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez for the final weeks of the year to limit their workloads, writes Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Rodriguez, a former outfielder and the son of Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, has quietly been one of the NL’s best rookies in 2018, working to a 2.35 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 through 103 1/3 innings of work after signing a minor league deal this past offseason. Suarez, also 26, has given the Giants 145 1/3 innings of 4.33 ERA ball with 7.5 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 52.4 percent ground-ball rate. Both have presumably worked their way firmly into the rotation picture in 2019 and beyond with their 2018 showings.
  • ]]>
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Giants’ Ryder Jones Out For Season With Dislocated Knee]]> 2018-09-09T23:27:51Z 2018-09-09T23:27:27Z Giants rookie infielder Ryder Jones will not return this season after dislocating his knee, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Bay Area was among those to report. Jones made seven plate appearances during his brief September call up.

    It’s a sad and unfortunate situation for Jones, as the injury was something of a freak accident. The video in the link above shows how the 24-year-old dislocated his knee: it happened during an all-or-nothing-type swing in which he fouled a pitch into the seats behind third base. Jones immediately collapsed to the ground in immense pain, and needed help from the training staff to leave the field. The official diagnosis thereafter was a left knee patella dislocation, which apparently felt as painful as it sounds. The worst part is that this is the recurrence of a similar injury Jones suffered during the 2015 season.

    Jones will reportedly undergo an MRI on Monday in order to determine if there’s any further damage beyond the initial diagnosis, and he’ll likely hit the 60-day disabled list at some point in the upcoming days to clear room for another September body. That will bring an abrupt end to an audition that was shaping up to be quite interesting; although Jones had only amassed seven plate appearances across four September contests, he’d already collected three hits including two homers.

    Of course, there are risks that come with his profile. Jones struck out in the other four trips to the plate in 2018, and that certainly doesn’t help alleviate the pre-existing concerns about his plate discipline. During Jones’ MLB debut last season, he whiffed in 31.7% of his plate appearances while walking just 6.1% of the time. Across 171 trips to the plate in his career, Jones has now compiled a .185/.251/.318 batting line.


    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Is It Time For Giants To Deal Bumgarner?]]> 2018-09-09T18:33:45Z 2018-09-09T18:33:45Z
  • The Giants should explore the idea of trading Madison Bumgarner this offseason, ESPN’s Buster Olney opines.  Bumgarner is controlled through the 2019 season via a $12MM club option that is sure to be exercised, and the Giants would certainly get a good return for even just one year of the star lefty’s services.  Of course, the team declined offers for Bumgarner at the trade deadline and has given every indication that it plans to contend in 2019.  Olney, however, sees parallels between the Giants and the Phillies teams from earlier this decade, who suffered for holding onto a veteran core too long rather than recognize that a rebuild was necessary.  Keeping Bumgarner next season or extending him may not make sense, Olney feels, for a Giants team that could soon face its own rebuild.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Baggarly: Giants Should Re-Sign Holland, Hundley]]> 2018-09-08T17:37:50Z 2018-09-08T17:30:44Z
  • The Giants would be wise to re-sign upcoming free agents Nick Hundley and Derek Holland, opines The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, who writes that re-upping the former “figures to be a top priority” (subscription required). Hundley’s approaching the end of his second season in San Francisco, where he has backed up star catcher Buster Posey. It’s no surprise the Giants are prioritizing the position, though, considering Posey underwent season-ending hip surgery last month and could miss the start of next year. Offensively, the 35-year-old Hundley has made a case for a new deal by hitting a passable .235/.294/.407 (90 wRC+) in  245 PAs. On the other hand, Baseball Prospectus has Hundley ranked among the majors’ worst defensive backstops this season. Holland, a minor league signing last winter, has been a major bargain for the Giants. After his career went into a tailspin with the Rangers and White Sox from 2015-17, the soon-to-be 32-year-old has bounced back to log a 3.54 ERA/3.87 FIP with 8.96 K/9 and 3.54 BB/9 in 152 2/3 innings (31 appearances, 27 starts).
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[2018-19 Opt-Out & Player Option Decisions]]> 2018-09-07T16:59:55Z 2018-09-07T16:53:25Z With Major League teams increasingly adding opt-out provisions to free-agent contracts as a means of incentivizing players to sign, there are now a handful of those decisions that impact the free-agent market every offseason. With nearly 90 percent of the season already in the books, many of the opt-out decisions/player option decisions look pretty clear cut.

    Things could change over the final month, but here’s a look at where things currently stand…

    Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (Two years, $65MM remaining): Truthfully, Kershaw is the only player with an opt-out provision in 2018 who could be called likely to exercise the clause at present. While he hasn’t been quite as dominant as usual and has spent time on the DL for a third straight year (back issues, biceps tendinitis), it’s difficult to imagine him having to take less than that $65MM sum in free agency.

    In 131 1/3 innings this season, Kershaw is sporting a 2.40 ERA with 8.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 0.89 HR/9 and a 48.9 percent ground-ball rate. He hasn’t topped 200 innings since 2015, but he’s still a clearly elite starter. If he does formally opt out, the Dodgers can issue a qualifying offer, though perhaps the easiest scenario would be for Los Angeles to simply extend Kershaw’s current contract to prolong his already historic Dodgers career.

    David Price, Red Sox (Four years, $127MM remaining): Price is having his best season with the Red Sox, having notched a 3.60 ERA with a strikeout per inning and 2.4 walks per nine innings pitched through 152 1/3 frames. His results have been solid, but it’s nearly impossible to imagine a scenario where he exceeds $127MM in free agency at the age of 33. Price’s Boston tenure has been rocky at times, but it seems likely that he’ll be back in the rotation next season.

    [Related: Club option decisions on starting pitchers, relievers and position players]

    Jason Heyward, Cubs (Five years, $106MM remaining): Declining to opt out is little more than a formality for Heyward at this point, as he hasn’t come close to living up to his $184MM contract in Chicago through the first three seasons. To his credit, though the 29-year-old has had a nice rebound effort, hitting .275/.342/.399 with above-average defense in right field. That might make the Cubs feel better about his contract moving forward, but it won’t be enough to prompt Heyward to test free agency. His contract contains a second opt-out clause following the 2019 season, at which point he’ll have four years and $86MM remaining, but that also seems like a long shot.

    Elvis Andrus, Rangers (Four years, $58MM): Andrus could be considered more of a borderline call than some on this list, but he seems likelier to stay with Texas than to opt out. The 30-year-old hasn’t had a bad season, hitting .270/.322/.396 with quality defense, but his bat hasn’t been as potent as it was in 2016-17 when he hit a combined .299/.348/.457. The downturn in offensive output might not be entirely Andrus’ fault; he did incur a broken elbow when he was hit by a pitch earlier this season — an injury that caused him to miss just over two months of action. It’s easy to imagine that injury having a lingering effect on Andrus’ swing, too.

    Like Heyward, Andrus has a second opt-out clause in his contract after the 2019 season. At that point, he’ll have three years and $43MM remaining on his contract. If his bat returns to its 2016-17 levels, surpassing that $43MM mark in free agency could be plausible. If Andrus opted out, he’d certainly be issued a qualifying offer — there’s no reason for the team to worry about him taking a one-year deal worth about $18MM when he just walked away from $58MM — which would only further hinder his earning power.

    Yasmany Tomas, D-backs (Two years, $32.5MM remaining): Tomas clubbed 31 homers with the 2016 Diamondbacks but did so with a .315 on-base percentage and some of the worst defensive ratings of any player in the Majors — regardless of position. He’s since been outrighted off the 40-man roster and, in 371 Triple-A plate appearances this season, has 101 strikeouts against 11 walks with a .280 OBP. Suffice it to say: he’s not going anywhere.

    Mark Melancon, Giants (Two years, $28MM remaining): Injuries have ruined Melancon’s first two seasons with the Giants, though he’s been excellent since returning in 2018: 2.64 ERA, 7.9K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 53.1 percent ground-ball rate in 30 2/3 innings. That performance is encouraging for the Giants as they look to 2019, but it won’t be enough to make Melancon’s camp think he can top $28MM heading into his age-34 season.

    Brandon Kintzler, Cubs ($5MM player option): Kintzler’s contract technically contains a $10MM club option or a $5MM player option, but it’s clear given his dismal performance since being traded to Chicago that the team won’t be opting for that $10MM sum. Kintzler was very good with the Twins and Nationals from 2016 through this past July, but his typically excellent control has evaporated in Chicago while his hard-contact rate has skyrocketed. It’s only a sample of 11 2/3 innings, but his struggles make the option seem a fairly straightforward decision.

    Eduardo Nunez, Red Sox ($5MM player option): Nunez’s deal comes with a $2MM buyout, making this effectively a $3MM decision for his camp. He’s struggled to the point that he may not even want to take that risk, though, hitting just .258/.282/.384 through 473 trips to the plate.

    Rob Bradford of reported this week that Nunez’s option increased from $4MM to $5MM once he reached 400 plate appearances. Bradford spoke to Nunez, who acknowledged that the knee that gave out on him in the postseason last year has been a problem for him throughout 2018, though he believes he’s finally “close” to 100 percent. Perhaps a strong month and a big postseason could prompt him to again test the open market, but his overall production to this point makes the player option seem a likelier outcome.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Select Abiatal Avelino, Transfer Jeff Samardzija To 60-Day DL]]> 2018-09-04T23:33:14Z 2018-09-04T23:20:52Z 6:20pm: The Giants announced that right-hander Jeff Samardzija is headed to the 60-day DL to open a roster spot for Avelino. The move doesn’t necessarily end Samardzija’s season, given how long he’s already spent on the disabled list, though there’s no immediate indication that he’s close to returning. Schulman tweets that doctors have “ruled out” surgery, but Samardzija is continuing to get additional opinions in an effort to find the cause of the ongoing inflammation in his shoulder and a better means of preventing it down the road.

    12:45pm: The Giants are set to select the contract of infielder Abiatal Avelino, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). Also coming onto the active roster is outfielder Ryder Jones, who already held a 40-man spot, Schulman adds on Twitter.

    Avelino, 23, was just acquired in the late-August deal that sent veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees. He would have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft this fall, which helps explain his inclusion in the trade and today’s promotion decision.

    With the move, the Giants will get a brief look at Avelino in the majors while also providing some rest opportunities for veteran shortstop Brandon Crawford down the stretch. After turning in a strong performance to open the year at the Double-A level for the Yanks, Avelino has struggled at the highest level of the minors. Still, he is a reputedly promising defender in the middle infield who showed newfound pop in 2018.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[September Call-Ups: 9/1/18]]> 2018-09-01T22:38:55Z 2018-09-01T21:24:34Z A few call-ups were announced yesterday, but we’re likely to see far more prospect promotions and even contract selections take place today as rosters expand. We’ll use this post to keep track of those moves…

    • The Marlins selected the contract of righty starter Jeff Brigham today; he’ll be among those playing in the majors for the first time ever. Brigham’s solid 3.44 ERA in Triple-A this season is muddied a bit by his 4.45 FIP, but he’s maintained solid ratios. Brigham’s 8.25 K/9 and brilliant 2.24 BB/9 give him a solid 3.69 K/BB ratio that probably looks quite nice to a Marlins club that’s hurting for serviceable major league starters. Miami has also recalled right-handers Sandy Alcantara and Nick Wittgren along with catcher Chad Wallach.
    • The Athletics selected several contracts today, including that of catching prospect Beau Taylor. The lefty-hitting backstop has never played in the majors, but he’s done well for himself at the Triple-A level this season by drawing walks in 14% of his plate appearances while hitting .248. He’s even chipped in a pair of stolen bases. The biggest knock on Taylor is his lack of power; the 28-year-old owns a sub-.100 ISO and has never hit more than eight homers in a given season. Other contracts selected by the Astros today include those of lefty Dean Kiekhefer and righties Chris Hatcher and Liam Hendriks. The A’s recalled lefty Daniel Coulombe and shortstop Franklin Barreto as well.  
    • The Indians selected the contract of right-hander Jon Edwards today, who hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2015. The 30-year-old Edwards has done well for himself in the Tribe’s minor league system in 2018, though, racking up 56 strikeouts in just 39 1/3 innings while pitching to a 3.64 ERA. Though he’s exhibited extreme control issues in the past, his 2.70 BB/9 in 30 innings with Triple-A Columbus suggests there’s a possibility he’s put those problems behind him. The Tribe promoted catcher Eric Haase to the majors alongside him.


    • The Mariners have selected the contract of Justin Grimm among their September moves, whom they signed to a minor league contract on July 25th. Grimm’s been plagued by shoulder and back issues all season and struggled to a cataclysmic 13.50 ERA in 12 2/3 innings for the Royals earlier this season, which led to his release early on in the summer. With the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate, though, he’s put up a pristine 1.64 ERA and an even more impressive 13.91 K/9 mark. In addition to Grimm, Seattle also selected the contract of Kristopher Negron, and recalled right-handers Chasen Bradford and Ryan Cook, lefty James Pazos, catcher David Freitas.
    • The Nationals have selected the contract of right-hander Austen Williams, who’ll be getting his first MLB cup of coffee this September. He’s been quite impressive in the upper minors this season, including a 0.55 ERA in 16 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. That’s backed up by excellent peripherals, including 20 strikeouts against just four walks. Williams had pitched exclusively as a starter until this season, and it appears a transition to a relief role has catapulted him to a status as an incredibly intriguing talent. The Nats also recalled catcher Pedro Severino to fill in while Wieters is dealing with a hip/groin injury (per Jamal Collier of
    • The White Sox promoted Caleb Frare to get his first taste of the bigs; as James Fegan of The Athletic points out, he needed to be added to the 40-man roster in order to be protected from the coming winter’s Rule 5 Draft. They’ve good reason to do so, as the lefty reliever has thrived with the organization ever since being acquired from the Yankees a month ago in exchange for $1.5MM in international bonus pool funds. He’s put up fantastic numbers in 12 2/3 innings at Triple-A Charlotte, including a 0.71 ERA and 13.50 K/9. Aaron Bummer will join him as the other White Sox player to receive a September promotion so far.
    • The Royals have selected the contract of catcher Meibrys Viloria to account for the hole left by Drew Butera, who was traded to the Rockies yesterday. Fascinatingly, Kansas City decided to promote the 21-year-old Columbia native even though he’s never played above the High-A level. He’s done just fine there, though, batting .260/.342/.360 in 407 plate appearances over the course of 2018. Viriola is expected to maje his MLB debut as early as this week while mainstay catcher Salvador Perez deals with a sprained thumb.
    • After a short stay in the minors, righty reliever Ray Black is back up with the Giants. He’s had a poor showing in the majors so far, allowing ten earned runs in 15 1/3 innings. He did manage to strike out 22 batters in that span, though, and owns a 2.11 FIP in 25 2/3 innings at Triple-A this season. His blistering 16.13 K/9 at that level perhaps speaks to his potential even more.
    • The Cardinals recalled catcher Carson Kelly today, who’s widely considered to be the club’s catcher of the future once Yadier Molina’s contract is complete. However, he’s yet to prove his worth at the major-league level, as evidenced by his .150/.216/.187 batting line across 118 MLB plate appearances. The Redbirds have also called up lefty Tyler Webb and righty Daniel Poncedeleon.
    • The Phillies have opted to recall outfielder Aaron Altherr, who’d largely been a fixture in the club’s major-league outfield for the past two seasons prior to a late-July demotion. While his 13.3% walk rate so far this season was downright fantastic, that was about the only aspect of Altherr’s performance to be happy about; he was striking out at a 32.7% clip while hitting just .171 and slugging just .305. Philadelphia also added outfielder Dylan Cozens and righty reliever Yacksel Rios to their active roster.
    • The Yankees are set to give right-hander Stephen Tarpley his first taste of major-league action after selecting his contract earlier today. Tarpley is quite an interesting arm-he’s been utilized as a multi-inning reliever at two levels of the minors this year, and to great effect. Most recently, he’s pitched to a 2.65 ERA and 10.06 K/9 across 17 appearances spanning 34 innings at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Infielder Tyler Wade and right-hander Luis Cessa will also join the MLB club as rosters expand.
    • The Mets will give righty Eric Hanhold his first taste of major-league action, MLBTR has learned. Acquired in the 2017 trade that sent Neil Walker to the Brewers, Hanhold has apparently been quite unlucky to own his 7.11 ERA at Triple-A this season. Rather, his 3.43 FIP in 19 innings at that level produces some level of optimism that he can serve as a quality reliever in the majors. A .429 BABIP and 2.86 K/BB ratio further strengthen that case.
    • The Reds are set to give shortstop prospect Blake Trahan a September call-up, as C. Trent Rosencrans of The Athletic was among those to tweet. Trahan came to the Reds by way of the club’s third-round draft pick back in 2015. He did not rank amongst MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Reds prospects in the publication’s most recent rankings, though Fangraphs ranks him 24th in that regard thanks to a 55 speed tool and a 60-grade arm. He’s also likely to be a league-average shortstop. That’s about all there is to like about Trahan at present, as he’s only hit .245/.327/.302 at the minors’ highest level.
    • The Reds have also recalled Lucas Sims, who arrived in Cincinnati just prior to the non-waiver trade deadline as part of the package in exchange for sending Adam Duvall to Atlanta. Sims owns a 5.96 ERA and 7.15 K/9 in a Braves uniform, but his minors track record indicates he might have better days yet to come; the righty has managed to strike out at least ten batters per nine innings at every level of the minors post-Rookie ball, and has a sub-4.00 MiLB ERA in each of the past two seasons.
    • The Twins will promote right-hander Zach Littell, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Littell has but 3 1/3 innings of MLB experience, during which time he allowed seven earned runs with one strikeout en route to a demotion. His 3.57 ERA at Triple-A this season is far more palatable, albeit unspectacular.
    • The Twins also announced that they’ve selected the contract of left-hander Andrew Vasquez, who’ll be receiving his first cup of coffee after pitching to a sub-1.50 ERA out of minor-league bullpens across the past three seasons combined. They’ve also selected catcher Chris Gimenez in addition to recalling outfielder Johnny Field and right-hander Tyler Duffey.
    • The Red Sox have officially recalled five players, including first base/outfield type Sam Travis. After serving as a somewhat serviceable piece in 2017 (.263/.325/.342 batting line), Travis has struggled in limited major-league action this year to the tune of a 45 wRC+ and -0.1 fWAR. Boston has also promoted left-handers Bobby Poyner and Robby Scott, as well as right-hander William Cuevas and infielder Tzu-Wei Lin.
    • The Tigers have recalled right-hander Sandy Baez from Double-A Erie, per a club announcement. Baez made his major-league debut back on June 4th, entering the game in relief during a double-header. He didn’t allow any runs in 4 1/3 innings, though he did walk three batters in that appearance. Aside from that, Baez has never pitched above Double-A, and owns a troublesome 5.64 ERA there on the 2018 season, in part due to command issues.
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[August 31st Trade Deadline Recap]]> 2018-09-01T16:35:07Z 2018-09-01T15:42:28Z A flurry of activity came yesterday in advance of the deadline to acquire postseason-eligible players via trade. In case you weren’t able to keep track of it all, here’s a roundup of the swaps made by MLB organizations on August 31st, 2018, sorted by the team on the acquiring end of the major-leaguer involved.

    AL West

    AL Central

    • The Indians acquired Josh Donaldson from the Blue Jays. Toronto will send $2.7MM to Cleveland as well, and they’ll get back a player to be named later, the quality of which will be dependent upon how Donaldson’s health situation progresses.

    AL East

    • The Yankees took Adeiny Hechavarria off the Pirates’ hands in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. It’s not yet known how much cash the Bucs will chip in to help pay the ~$1MM still owed to Hechavarria.
    • The Yankees also pried Andrew McCutchen from the Giants. San Francisco gets infield prospect Abiatal Avelino and right-handed pitching prospect Juan De Paula.

    NL West

    NL Central

    NL East

    • (No trades)
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants’ Steven Duggar To Undergo Surgery For Torn Labrum]]> 2018-08-31T22:52:32Z 2018-08-31T22:51:21Z TODAY: Duggar says he will indeed undergo surgery, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets.

    YESTERDAY: Giants outfielder Steven Duggar has been diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left shoulder following an MRI, the team revealed to reporters after last night’s game (link via Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle). Doctors have recommended surgery for the 24-year-old.

    Duggar, who hit .255/.303/.390 through his first 152 plate appearances this season, suffered the injury while diving back into second base on Tuesday. In addition to the ensuing tear, he also dislocated the shoulder on the dive, further adding to the damage in his non-throwing shoulder. Surgery for Duggar would likely have him ready for the start of the 2019 season, Schulman notes.

    The Giants are facing a sizable seven-game deficit in the NL West, where they trail three other teams, and they’ve recently lost Buster Posey to season-ending hip surgery (among a plethora of other team injuries in 2018). But while those factors already made a postseason berth a long shot, the Duggar injury is still a tough one for the organization. The Giants’ hope is that Duggar can step up as their center fielder of the future, and the injury will deprive the organization of further time to evaluate Duggar against big league pitching in Septemeber. Beyond that, there’s concern about lingering effects when any player goes under the knife for this type of surgery.

    While Duggar’s numbers at the plate haven’t been especially eye-catching just yet, he did show some extra-base ability (two homers, 11 doubles, one triple) and has undoubtedly impressed both on the bases and with his outfield defense. Duggar excelled in the majority of defensive metrics, turning in a +4 mark in Defensive Runs Saved, a +0.7 Ultimate Zone Rating and being credited for three Outs Above Average by Statcast. He also went 5-for-6 in stolen base attempts and ranked in the top 15 percent of players (min. 150 PAs) in Fangraphs’ BsR metric despite having a fraction of the playing time of many of the players ahead of him.

    Duggar was promoted for his Major League debut in early July and, as such, will finish the season well shy of a full year of Major League service and well shy of any reasonable expectations for Super Two status in arbitration. As things currently stand, then, he wouldn’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2021 season and isn’t on track to reach free agency until the conclusion of the 2024 campaign — at which point he’ll be heading into his age-31 season.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Promote Chris Shaw]]> 2018-08-31T19:43:01Z 2018-08-31T19:42:07Z 2:42pm: The Giants have formally announced Shaw’s promotion to the Majors.

    1:24pm: The Giants are set to select the contract of outfielder Chris Shaw, reports Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter). The 2015 first-round pick ranks as the Giants’ No. 4 prospect on’s midseason rankings and fifth on Baseball America’s midseason update.

    Shaw, 24, has played both first base and left field in the minors but has played the outfield exclusively in 2018. He’s displayed strong power marks to this point in his career but also demonstrated some concerning trends in terms of plate discipline. Thus far in 2018, he’s hit .259/.308/.505 with 24 homers and 21 doubles in 422 plate appearances, but he’s also drawn walks at just a five percent clip while striking out in 34.1 percent of his trips to the plate.

    Scouting reports on Shaw generally indicate that he has significant raw power but limited speed that makes him a questionable fit in left field. But, with Brandon Belt entrenched at first base (Shaw’s best defensive position), the Giants will continue to work on the slugger’s outfield defense.

    [Related: San Francisco Giants depth chart]

    Shaw’s promotion comes on the heels of San Francisco’s trade of Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees earlier this morning. Between that and the season-ending injury to young center fielder Steven Duggar, there should be sufficient playing time available for Shaw in left field. The Giants will get their first look at how Shaw handles big league pitching while they also evaluate young corner outfield options in the form of Austin Slater and Mac Williamson.

    Looking ahead, it’s possible that an arrangement of Shaw, Duggar, Slater and Williamson could see the bulk of the outfield work at AT&T Park down the line, though the uncertainty that comes with that mix makes the Giants a logical fit to explore the market for outfield additions this winter.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees Acquire Andrew McCutchen]]> 2018-08-31T16:24:37Z 2018-08-31T15:45:45Z The Yankees and Giants have struck a trade that will send veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen to New York, the teams announced on Friday. Minor league infielder Abiatal Avelino and minor league right-hander Juan De Paula are heading to the Giants in exchange.

    McCutchen has reportedly cleared revocable waivers, which freed the Giants to shop him around the league without restriction. We had recently looked at some plausible landing spots for the veteran, with MLBTR readers pegging the Yanks as one of the likeliest suitors. McCutchen also topped MLBTR’s most recent ranking of the top August trade candidates.

    While the Yanks still are counting on top slugger Aaron Judge to return in time for the postseason, it’s increasingly worrisome that he remains sidelined by a chip fracture in his wrist. And though the Yanks are all but certain to end up in a Wild Card play-in, the club still needs to prepare both to maximize its chances of winning that game and to be ready for a full postseason series of it does so.

    Presently, the Yankees are utilizing long-time infielder Neil Walker in the outfield while also giving a roster spot to the light-hitting Shane Robinson. While Clint Frazier would be an appealing option, he’s just launching a rehab assignment after a lengthy DL stint of his own. Under the circumstances, it’s not hard to see why the Yankees held interest in McCutchen, who has produced solid offensive numbers this year despite failing to play to his once-great levels.

    True, McCutchen’s batting line — .255/.357/.415 — doesn’t look all that appealing at first glance for a corner outfielder, though it’s roughly 15 percent better than that of a league-average bat when adjusting for his cavernous home park (by measure of wRC+). McCutchen is drawing walks at a strong 12.9% clip and has perhaps been unfortunate only to carry a .160 isolated power that’s lower than any full-season mark in his career. There’s a statistical argument to be made that his overall numbers are worse than should be expected of someone who makes the quality of contact McCutchen has made so far in 2018; Statcast credits him with a .364 xwOBA that lands well over his actual .339 wOBA output.

    Nonetheless, as he closes in on his 32nd birthday, McCutchen simply isn’t the player that he once was. But he’s still a solid performer who is still capable of playing on a near-regular basis. McCutchen has hit more against lefties and isn’t grading well on the bases despite 13 steals, however, so once the Yankees’ roster is at full strength, he could potentially be deployed more selectively. He has generated average or better grades for his glovework in right, a welcome change after some rough seasons in center field.

    For the Yankees, the optimal roster situation does not include McCutchen as an everyday presence. But, once Judge is back, he could potentially be quite a useful player by entering the mix with Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner.

    For the Giants, there isn’t much reason to hold onto McCutchen at this point. The club isn’t going to make the postseason regardless, barring a miracle. And the veteran likely won’t be worth a qualifying offer. If the Giants want him back, they can still pursue him on the open market.

    Meanwhile, the Giants will pick up some new assets. Avelino, 23, raked at Double-A to open the year but has fallen back to earth upon ascending to the highest level of the minors. He’s struggling to reach base and hasn’t sustained the power burst he showed earlier in the year, though it’s still notable that he has hit 15 home runs in 501 plate appearances after never previously even reaching double digits in a full season.

    Avelino also runs well and has mostly played shortstop as a professional, though he also has seen significant time at second and third. He rated 23rd among Yankees prospects on’s midseason ranking of the Yankees’ best prospects, so the scouting community has recognized his intriguing recent developments. While Avelino will need to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from Rule 5 draft consideration, the Giants likely won’t find that too onerous and may consider allowing him to compete for a job in camp next spring.

    In De Paula, the Yanks will add a hard-throwing 20-year-old who has spent the summer playing with the Yankees’ short-season Class-A affiliate in Staten Island. In 47 1/3 innings (nine starts, one relief appearance), he’s worked to a 1.71 ERA with 8.8 K/9 against 4.9 BB/9 and a 48.5 percent ground-ball rate. De Paula ranked 26th among Yankees prospect, per, drawing praise for a curveball and changeup that give him a chance for three above-average pitches.

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported that a deal was close and that Avelino would head to the Giants (Twitter links). ESPN’s Buster Olney reported an agreement had been reached (Twitter link). Ken Rosenthal and Jim Bowden of The Athletic added financial details and that De Paula would be the second prospect in the deal (Twitter links).

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Place Steven Duggar On DL, Select Gregor Blanco]]> 2018-08-30T00:02:31Z 2018-08-30T00:02:31Z The Giants announced Wednesday that they’ve placed rookie outfielder Steven Duggar on the 10-day disabled list due to a shoulder injury and selected the contract of veteran outfielder Gregor Blanco in his place. Buster Posey, who underwent season-ending hip surgery earlier this week, was moved to the 60-day DL to open roster space for Blanco.

    The exact nature of Duggar’s injury isn’t yet clear, as he’s headed for an MRI for further evaluation, per Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic (Twitter links). The 24-year-old sustained the injury while diving back into second base in yesterday’s game and appearing to dislocate the shoulder (before having it popped back into place). Baggarly notes that it could be a subluxation — an injury that could put an end to the young outfielder’s debut season.

    Through 152 plate appearances on the season, Duggar has batted .255/.303/.390 with a pair of homers, 11 doubles, a triple and five steals (in six tries). Though the Giants are all but eliminated from postseason contention, a season-ending injury to Duggar would sting all the same. San Francisco’s hope is that the former sixth-round pick (2015) can be its center fielder of the future, and the month of September would’ve been an important evaluation period for the promising prospect.

    In Blanco, the Giants will welcome a familiar face back to the roster. The 34-year-old spent time with the Giants earlier this season and was also a mainstay on their roster from 2012-16. In all, he’s strode to the plate 2183 times as a Giant (excluding postseason play), hitting a combined .258/.335/.359 along the way.