San Francisco Giants Rumors

San Francisco Giants trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Giants Designate Ehire Adrianza For Assignment

The Giants announced they have designated infielder Ehire Adrianza for assignment. The move was necessitated because Adrianza is out of options.

The Giants now have 10 days to either trade, release, or outright Adrianza to the minors.


NL West Notes: Giants, Maybin, Quentin, Padres, Hill

After winning the World Series in three out of the last five years, the Giants have become a model front office, writes Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. They’ve done a little bit of everything ranging from developing their own home grown pitching staff to acquiring and extending Hunter Pence. GM Brian Sabean has balanced sabermetric ideas with traditional scouts, and brought in one of the top managers in Bruce Bochy.

Here’s more from the NL West:

  • The Padres are willing to eat a “chunk of money” to move Cameron Maybin or Carlos Quentin, a talent evaluator tells Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Per the evaluator, experiments with Quentin at first base did not meet with success. Both players are being shopped aggressively, although rivals may think one or both will be released before long.
  • The Padres don’t consider themselves to be a small market club, writes Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. While it may look like the club “opened the coffers” over the offseason, it was all a part of a steady build up. The franchise now supports a $100MM payroll thanks to a lucrative TV contract, central revenue, local sponsorships, and non-baseball events at Petco Park.
  • The Diamondbacks have made Aaron Hill available, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. However, the club has not talked with the Angels about the second baseman. That Arizona would like to deal Hill is no surprise. He has two-years and $24MM remaining on his contract, but he’s been ousted by a combination of Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings. The club also has utility infielder Cliff Pennington available. The Angels do appear to be an obvious fit after naming Johnny Giavotella as their starting second baseman.
  • Arizona is searching for a new formula to develop ace pitching, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The club has a plethora of high upside pitching, but they still need to find that breakout talent. Piecoro examines a few of 2014’s newest studs. Corey Kluber is said to have an elite work ethic, which is obviously an important but difficult-to-measure skill. Others like Garrett Richards and Jake Arrieta always had excellent stuff but lacked consistency. Some of the pitchers that could take a step forward for the D’Backs include Archie Bradley, Robbie Ray, Rubby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster.

Minor Moves: Tomas, Oliver, Brignac, Zito

Here are today’s minor transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Diamondbacks have optioned Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, the team reports via Twitter. The club signed Tomas for $68.5MM over the offseason. He struggled both defensively and offensively this spring. A stint in Triple-A should give him time to adjust to the outfield and improve his plate approach.
  • Phillies Rule 5 pick Andy Oliver has elected free agency after he was outrighted, the club announced via Twitter. The hard throwing lefty has struggled with walks throughout his career. That continued this spring with 11 walks and 22 strikeouts in 12 and two-thirds innings. The club also announced on Twitter that they reassigned catcher Rene Garcia, first baseman Russ Canzler, and infielder Cord Phelps to Triple-A.
  • Marlins utility infielder Reid Brignac has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. In 905 major league plate appearances, Brignac has a .222/.266/.314 line.
  • Athletics pitcher Barry Zito has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Jane Lee of MLB.com. The former star is working his way back from a one-year hiatus. He posted a 4.79 ERA in 20 and two-thirds spring innings. The 37-year-old struck out 14 and walked five. A former ninth overall pick of the A’s, the southpaw struggled after moving across the Bay to San Francisco on a seven-year, $126MM contract. That deal concluded after the 2013 season.
  • The Red Sox have released Casey Crosby, Bryan LaHair, and Matt Hoffman per the MLB transactions page. Crosby was once a top prospect with the Tigers, but the 26-year-old lefty has yet to develop command. Lahair, 32, had a nice run with the Cubs in 2012 when he hit .259/.334/.450 with 16 home runs in 380 plate appearances. He spent the 2013 season in Japan and split 2014 between Cleveland’s Double and Triple-A clubs.
  • The Phillies have released shortstop Tyler Greene according to the MLB transactions page. Greene, an 11th round pick, was once rated among the Phillies’ best prospects. He missed the entire 2014 season and has never posted a strikeout rate below 33 percent at any level.
  • The Giants have released pitcher Edgmer Escalona per the MLB transactions page. Escalona pitched in parts of four seasons for the Rockies, accruing 100 innings. He has a career 4.50 ERA with 6.39 K/9 and 2.88 BB/9.
  • The Cubs have released lefty pitcher Francisley Bueno according to the transactions page. The 34-year-old has pitched in parts of four season for the Braves and Royals. The soft tossing lefty has a career 2.98 ERA with 4.92 K/9 and 1.79 BB/9 in 60 innings. He’s a pure platoon pitcher.
  • The Braves released former closer Matt Capps per MLB.com. The righty last appeared in the majors in 2012. He has a career 3.52 ERA with 6.53 K/9 and 1.72 BB/9. He’s thrown just 12 minor league innings over the last two seasons – both with the Indians.

(more…)



NL West Notes: Padres, Bradley, Rockies, Sabean

The Padres have “sort of banned the word ‘small-market’ ” in regards to how they both perceive themselves and how they wish to be seen around the league, team co-owner Peter Seidler tells Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  The Padres’ busy offseason and second straight year with a payroll in the $100MM range were made possible by increased revenues from Petco Park and national and local TV contracts.  Team president/CEO Mike Dee notes that the Padres’ recent spending “should not be looked upon as an aberration.  This should not be looked upon as ownership is going for broke. This should be looked upon as ownership is doing what they said they were going to when they bought the team, which is trying to make this a franchise that operates at a very high level.”

Here’s the latest from around the NL West…

  • Archie Bradley‘s promotion to the Major Leagues and to the Diamondbacks‘ starting rotation is all but official, Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic writes.  Bradley’s strong performance during Spring Training gave the Snakes reason to explore trading Trevor Cahill, eventually sending the veteran righty to the Braves.  “If [Bradley] had needed more work, Cahill would still be here,” Tony La Russa said.  “Trevor got the attention of a number of clubs, so we started getting calls from different clubs.  It wasn’t a question of let’s trade him at some point. It came to a decision of Archie versus Trevor.”
  • Speaking of highly-touted young arms in the NL West, Eddie Butler still has a chance to earn a place in the Rockies‘ rotation after his start today, Nick Groke of the Denver Post writes.  Jon Gray, the Rockies’ top prospect and one of the top-ranked prospects in all of baseball, will not be starting his MLB career quite yet, as Groke notes in another piece that Gray will begin the season at Triple-A.
  • Brian Sabean’s promotion from Giants general manager to VP of baseball operations will allow Sabean to personally scout new talent, he tells reporters (including The San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea).  This includes players currently in MLB and also international prospects who could become more available thanks to the expanding Cuban market and the possibility of an international draft being instituted.  “The international schedule is moving fast. I don’t see enough of our minor-league teams to draw my own conclusions,” Sabean said.  “I hardly see any games before the June draft, which I used to do. Selfishly, I’d like to see some guys who could be in play trade-wise and free agents to be. This allows me to be more places.”

Giants Extend Sabean, Bochy; Sabean Promoted, Evans Named GM

The Giants announced today that the contracts of general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy have been extended through the 2019 season. Sabean’s extension, however, comes with a promotion, as he’s been named executive vice president of baseball operations. Meanwhile, assistant GM Bobby Evans has been promoted to senior vice president and general manager, while Jeremy Shelley has been named senior vice president and assistant GM (All links to Twitter).

That the Giants front office and primary on-field decision-maker are being rewarded in this capacity is hardly a surprise, considering the team’s recent results. This group of front office and on-field leaders has, of course, led the team to a trio of World Series victories in just five years, capturing baseball’s ultimate prize in the 2010, 2012 and 2014 seasons.

Reports of extensions for Sabean and Bochy surfaced yesterday, although at the time the specific length of each deal remained an unknown. Additionally, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area noted that a promotion could come with Sabean’s extension, meaning that Evans would become the new general manager.

Giants president and CEO Larry Baer offered the utmost praise for Bochy and Sabean in a statement in the accompanying press release:

“Brian and Bruce form the foundation on which all three Championship teams have been built. The strength and stability of Giants baseball is a direct reflection of the strength and stability of the partnership of these two men. My top priority this off season was to ensure that this partnership and our outstanding baseball organization remain intact for years to come.”

Sabean had been baseball’s longest tenured GM, having initially been promoted to the position in 1997. Bochy’s tenure has been shorter, though he’s still one of the longest-tenured managers in all of baseball, having been at his post since October of 2006. Sabean has twice been Baseball America’s Executive of the Year and has also been The Sporting News Executive of the Year, while Bochy is a two-time National League Manager of the Year.

As for Evans, the well-liked executive is entering his 22nd season with the Giants organization. He’s previously worked extensively in contract negotiations for the Giants (both in extensions and free agency), and he’s an integral part of the arbitration process and oversees the signing of the team’s top picks in each year’s draft. Baer offered the following kind words about his newly minted GM: “Bobby and I have worked together for more than two decades, and he has excelled at every aspect of his job.  I have the utmost confidence in his ability to handle the daily activities of baseball operations.”

Per the club’s press release, Shelley joins John Barr and Dick Tidrow as assistant GMs in the restructured front office. Baer referred to Shelley as a “rising star” in the world of baseball operations, calling the promotion “well-deserved.”


Cardinals Claim Gary Brown

The Cardinals have claimed outfielder Gary Brown off waivers from the Giants, tweets Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area. He was designated for assignment earlier this week.

Brown is a former first-round pick and top 100 prospect whose career has yet to take off as many expected. Brown surfaced in the Majors for the first time in 2014, collecting three hits in seven at-bats. A center fielder, Brown has batted .277/.342/.415 in parts of five Minor League seasons.


Giants Agree To Extend Brian Sabean, Bruce Bochy

8:27pm: Bochy and Sabean have agreed to the extensions and they should be announced tomorrow, Heyman reports (Twitter link).  Slightly amending his earlier tweet, Heyman reports that the extensions will run through “at least” the 2018 season.

8:24pm: The extensions for Bochy and Sabean would run through the 2018 season, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.  Sabean’s deal could also involve a promotion, as CSNBayArea.com’s Alex Pavlovic reports that he and the Giants have discussed making Sabean the organization’s president of baseball operations.  Longtime assistant GM Bobby Evans would then become San Francisco’s new general manager.

9:15am: The Giants are “getting close” to long-term deals for GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy, Bob Nightengale reports in the midst of a longer piece addressing the defending World Series champions. The pair is already under contract through 2016, pursuant to extensions reached back in March of 2013.

It appears, then, that the San Francisco brain trust is not going anywhere soon regardless whether new contracts can be agreed upon. But it is hard to fault the idea of doubling down on a Sabean-Bochy tandem that has delivered three titles in five years, especially after watching other clubs lure rival leaders with big paydays this past offseason.

As Nightengale notes, the recent deals signed by executive Andrew Friedman and skipper Joe Maddon have helped raise the bar in their respective markets. Of course, Bochy, at least, was already said to be paid at or near the $5MM annual rate that Maddon reportedly landed over five years.

As one of the game’s more willing spenders, the Giants might be expected to enjoy somewhat more success than other organizations. And Sabean has not always drawn wide plaudits for his moves, taken individually. But the results speak for themselves: the organization has reeled off winning seasons in five of six years while enjoying entirely unmatched success in the playoff format, all while delivering a variety of popular, star players to a fan base that has turned out consistently.


Minor Moves: Axelrod, Oliver, Blackley, Ledezma

Here are today’s minor transactions from around baseball, with the latest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Reds outrighted right-hander Dylan Axelrod off their 40-man roster and down to Triple-A, according to the team’s official transactions page.  This move will help free up space for one of the several veterans Cincinnati is looking to add to its 40-man roster.  Axelrod posted a 2.95 ERA in 18 1/3 IP for the Reds last season and a 4.01 ERA in 103 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level in the Reds and White Sox organizations.
  • The Phillies have put Rule 5 Draft pick Andy Oliver on waivers, CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports.  If Oliver clears waivers, Salisbury notes that the Phils could try to fully obtain the lefty’s rights from the Pirates in a trade.  As a Rule 5 Draft player, Oliver must spend the entire season on a 25-man roster or else be offered back to his original club (Pittsburgh).
  • The Giants seem to have released left-hander Travis Blackley, as per the southpaw’s own Twitter page.  Blackley tweeted his thanks to the organization for giving him a chance to pitch this spring (on a minor league deal) and used the past tense in describing the Giants as “a very classy organization that I was proud to play for!”  Blackley posted a 5.23 ERA over 192 2/3 innings spread over four MLB seasons between 2004-13 with the Mariners, Giants, A’s, Astros and Rangers, and he spent the 2014 campaign pitching in Japan.
  • The Twins have released left-hander Wil Ledezma, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (via Twitter).  Ledezma, 34, signed a minor league deal with the Twins in December and was looking to reach the big leagues for the first time since 2011.
  • The White Sox released outfielder Brian Anderson, CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes reports (via Twitter).  The Sox also parted ways with two more veterans according to their team transactions page, releasing right-hander J.D. Martin and infielder Andy LaRoche.

NL West Notes: Gutierrez, Ethier, Dodgers, Padres

Giants right-hander Juan Gutierrez has elected not to exercise the April 1 opt-out clause in his contract, MLBTR has learned (Twitter links). Gutierrez has been slowed this spring by shoulder inflammation but is healthy now and touched 93 mph the last time he threw. Gutierrez has another opt-out in his contract for June 1 and will, in the meantime, hope to find an opportunity with the big league club. The 31-year-old Gutierrez logged 63 2/3 innings in the Giants’ bullpen last year, posting a 3.96 ERA with 6.2 K/9, a career-best 2.3 BB/9 and a 36.8 percent ground-ball rate, averaging a strong 93.5 mph on his fastball.

Here’s more from the NL West…

  • Andre Ethier was hit on the elbow by a pitch from Carlos Rodon today, but x-rays came back negative, writes ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Mark Saxon. Additionally, he notes that contractual issues surrounding Ethier won’t keep the Dodgers from going with Joc Pederson in center field. Saxon also says that the Dodgers won’t keep Pederson in the Minors to delay his free agency, although his situation is different than that of Kris Bryant, whose demotion to the Minors has caused quite a stir; Pederson already has 28 days of Major League service and would need to spend nearly six weeks in the Minors at this point to give L.A. an extra year of control. Manager Don Mattingly has hinted that Pederson will get the nod, though nothing has been officially announced yet, Saxon adds. “Joc’s kind of checked off all the boxes,” said Mattingly.
  • The Padres gave veteran catcher Wil Nieves a $100K retention bonus rather than adding him to the big league roster or releasing him, but he’s not a lock to be their backup catcher, writes Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. While it may be difficult to find a definitive upgrade outside the organization this close to the regular season, a source tells Lin that the search could go right down to the wire before Sunday’s deadline to set the 25-man roster. An out of options player such as Austin Romine of the Yankees would make some degree of sense, and the Orioles have quite a few experienced catchers, including Steve Clevenger and Ryan Lavarnway. Those names, however, are merely my own speculation.

Giants Designate Gary Brown For Assignment, Add Justin Maxwell To Roster

The Giants have designated outfielder Gary Brown for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for fellow outfielder Justin Maxwell, who has been informed that he made the team, per Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links).

Maxwell, 31, entered the day with a .316/.361/.526 batting line and went 4-for-4. After a pair of solid seasons at the plate in 2012-13, Maxwell received just 45 plate appearances with the 2014 Royals and struggled to a .150/.222/.175 line. Capable of playing all three outfield spots, Maxwell has batted .230/.344/.407 against left-handed pitching throughout his career. Maxwell grew up a Giants fans, Schulman notes, so today’s news is likely particularly exciting for him.

Designating Brown for assignment was likely tough for the Giants, as he’s a former first-round pick and top 100 prospect whose career has yet to take off as many expected. Brown surfaced in the Majors for the first time in 2014, collecting three hits in seven at-bats. A center fielder, Brown has batted .277/.342/.415 in parts of five Minor League seasons.