San Francisco Giants Rumors

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

Minor Moves: Fisher, Clay, Diaz, Panik, Stinson

Here’s a look at today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • The Braves have purchased the contract of Carlos Fisher from the Somerset Patriots and assigned him to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Fisher, 31, previously spent parts of three seasons with the Reds, most recently in 2011. He posted a 4.74 ERA, 7.84 K/9, and 5.02 BB/9 in 98 2/3 innings.
  • The Angels have signed Caleb Clay from the Korean Baseball Organization’s Hanwha Eagles and assigned him to Triple-A, according to Cotillo (via Twitter). Clay was selected 44th overall by the Red Sox during the 2006 amateur draft. He’s since pitched for the Sox and Nationals organizations but never reached the majors. The 26-year-old right-hander struggled in his first season overseas, with a 8.33 ERA, 4.50 K/9, and 5.63 BB/9.
  • Once again from Cotillo (on Twitter), the Diamondbacks have signed 27-year-old Argenis Diaz to a minor league deal. Diaz was with the Reds until recently. Interestingly, Arizona’s Triple-A affiliate has only used Didi Gregorius and Nick Ahmed at shortstop to date in 2014. Diaz will presumably provide depth up the middle.

From earlier…

  • The Tigers will promote lefty Pat McCoy, Mark Anderson of TigsTown.com tweets. McCoy will have to be added to their 40-man roster. McCoy, 25, has posted a 2.94 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 33 2/3 innings this season divided between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers signed McCoy, a product of the Nationals system, to a minor league deal last fall.
  • The Giants will promote prospect Joe Panik, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Panik, the team’s first-round pick in 2011, will need to be added to the Giants’ 40-man roster. The second baseman was hitting .321/.382/.447 in 326 plate appearances for Triple-A Fresno.
  • The Orioles have announced that pitcher Josh Stinson has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles designated Stinson for assignment on Tuesday. He has pitched 13 innings for the Orioles this season, allowing nine runs while striking out six and walking six.
  • The Rockies have purchased the contract of pitcher Wilton Lopez, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding tweets. They’ve made space for Lopez by optioning pitching Chris Martin to Triple-A Colorado Springs and moving Michael Cuddyer to the 60-day DL. The Rockies outrighted Lopez last week.
  • The Yankees have released 1B/OF Russ Canzler, Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times-Tribune tweets. Canzler last appeared in the big leagues with the Indians in 2012. He hit .263/.332/.389 in 199 plate appearances for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2014.
  • The Royals have added selected the contract of OF Justin Maxwell, Jeffrey Flanagan of FOX Sports Kansas City tweets. Maxwell will take Norichika Aoki’s place on the active roster as Aoki heads to the disabled list with a groin injury. The Royals outrighted Maxwell in May, and he’s hit .316/.358/.541 in 106 plate appearances since then.
  • The Astros will add Jake Buchanan to their 40-man roster to start Saturday, and Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle notes (via Twitter) that fellow pitcher Jose Cisnero will head to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Buchanan on the 40-man roster. Buchanan, 24, has posted 5.2 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 in 76 1/3 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City this season.

Giants Designate Jake Dunning

The Giants have designated right-handed reliever Jake Dunning for assignment, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. The move creates room on the active roster for Joe Panik.

Last season, the 25-year-old Dunning contributed a 2.84 ERA, 5.68 K/9, and 3.91 BB/9 over 25 and one-third innings. This year, he made just one appearance for the big league club, walking one batter and unleashing two wild pitches in just two-thirds of an inning. Dunning also struggled in the minors this season with a 5.88 ERA. His fastball averaged 87.7 mph in his lone major league appearance, down over two mph from his average velocity last year.

Per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker, Dunning joins five other players in DFA limbo: Roger Bernadina, J.J. Putz, Evan Reed, Kevin Slowey, and Josh Outman.

 


NL Notes: Samardzija, Arroyo, Phillies, Marlins

The latest trade deadline news and rumors out of the National League …

  • Even as the team explores the possibility of an extension, the Cubs are still indicating to other clubs that top starter Jeff Samardzija is available, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. As Wittenmyer notes, Chicago engaged in “lukewarm final talks” with Matt Garza last year prior to dealing him away.
  • We heard last night that the Blue Jays were keeping a close eye on Samardzija. Further reports indicate that, unsurprisingly, they were not alone in watching his start last night. The Giants took a look, according to a tweet from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, as did the Royals, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Also present, albeit with unknown targets in their sights, were scouts for the AngelsIndians, and Reds, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
  • Diamondbacks starter Bronson Arroyo has a sprained UCL and is now on the DL for the first time in his career, reports Steve Gilbert of MLB.com (Twitter links). Though the current plan is for Arroyo to rest for about ten days, the injury certainly throws some uncertainty into his potential status as a trade candidate this summer. Arroyo’s calling cards, of course, are his remarkable durability and consistency. The injury suggests a potentially increased risk for a pitcher who is 37 years old, has 3,469 2/3 professional innings on his right arm, and is owed not only the rest of a $9.5MM salary for this year but also $14MM in future guarantees.
  • Phillies president David Montgomery says that he is confident in GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and his staff, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer“I just believe that group of people gave us the successful period we had,” Montgomery said. “They had different roles in it. I know people focus on Ruben’s role having changed vis-a-vis 2009 vs. 2008. … [Y]ou have to look at the whole body of work. Have we been served well? My answer to that is yes.” Regarding the team’s operating strategy, he said that it will continue to “pay attention to both today and tomorrow, and to do what’s right in both cases.”
  • While it remains unclear whether the Phillies would be willing to deal either or both of their veteran middle infielders (Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins), or if the players would in turn be amenable to waiving their no-trade protection, it is also worth considering what kind of value they might bring back. “I don’t know if some of those guys will get you enough in return to warrant making the trade,” an American League executive told the Inquirer’s Bob Brookover. The unnamed exec did indicate that some teams may be willing to look past the negative clubhouse reputation of closer Jonathan Papelbon, whose strong performance to date could make it possible for the Phils to offload him and save some future cash.
  • The Marlins are open to dealing for rotation help, but will first explore internal solutions, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Miami just promoted youngsters Andrew Heaney and Anthony DeSclafani. If the club does ultimately consider dealing away close-to-the-bigs talent in exchange for an established starter, Frisaro says that it would likely aim for a player that it can control beyond the season. He floats the possibility that the Fish could dangle infield prospect Derek Dietrich, who offers intriguing left-handed power.


Giants Sign Daniel Carbonell

12:45pm: Carbonell will earn $1MM in a signing bonus, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link).  He’ll earn $500K, $525K, $550K and $600K in each respective year of the four-year contract, and at least the first year of the deal is a split contract.

Also from Schulman (Twitter links), Giants VP/assistant GM Bobby Evans said that Carbonell is “more of a project” than other high-profile Cuban outfielders such as Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes.  The club doesn’t expect Carbonell to reach the majors in 2014.

12:10pm: The Giants have signed Cuban outfielder Daniel Carbonell to a Major League contract, the club announced.  Carbonell will earn a guaranteed $3.5MM in the four-year deal, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports, and the 23-year-old outfielder can earn another $3.5MM in bonuses.  Because he signed before July 2, Carbonell’s bonus will not count against San Francisco’s international draft pool.  Carbonell is represented by the Culture 39 agency.

Carbonell was rumored to be choosing between five suitors who were offering contracts of five-to-seven years in length, though he managed to find his desired four-year deal in taking the Giants’ offer.  The 6’3″, 196-pound Carbonell is now on the Giants’ 40-man roster and he’ll report to camp in Arizona once he obtains his work visa, the team said.

In his most recent season for Camaguey, Carbonell hit .298/.369/.449 with five homers, 40 runs scored and 28 steals (in 29 attempts) over 223 PA.  Baseball America’s Ben Badler has the scouting breakdown on Carbonell, with talent evaluators praising his speed and defensive potential, though his hitting is very raw.


Cafardo On Lee, Papelbon, Giants, Hammel, Black

In his Sunday Baseball Notes column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reminisces about a pitchers’ duel between the Red Sox’s Luis Tiant and the Angels’ Nolan Ryan 40 years ago, the likes of which we may never see again in today’s game. Tiant threw 195 pitches and was still on the hill when the Angels scored the game-winner with one out in the bottom of the 15th inning. Ryan, meanwhile, tossed 235 pitches in a meager 13 innings of work. “When you took the baseball, you wanted to finish what you started,” Tiant told Cafardo. “I didn’t even feel tired. I could have gone as long as I had to go. They beat me on a ground ball that went through the second baseman’s legs. It was the 15th inning and I was OK.” The last pitcher to pitch more than nine innings in a MLB game was Cliff Lee, who lasted ten innings in April 2012.

Here’s more from Cafardo’s column:

  • Speaking of Lee, the Phillies left-hander will likely have to be a post-waiver deadline deal since he won’t have enough time between now and July 31st to rehab his strained elbow. Lee should be able to clear waivers because he has two years left on his deal at $25MM each.
  • Jonathan Papelbon is pitching a lot better and there’s an expectation he could be one of the first Phillies to go once they decide to sell. One AL scout who has watched Papelbon’s outings said, “I’ll give him credit. I think he’s learning to pitch with what he’s got left. He’s not 96-98 [miles per hour], but he’s getting back up to 92-93 and making a lot of good adjustments.” Cafardo wonders if he could be a future member of the Tigers or Orioles.
  • When Marco Scutaro returns from his back injury, he will likely become the Giants‘ utilityman and GM Brian Sabean is trying to add a second baseman by the trading deadline. Chase Utley would be a great fit, but Cafardo wonders if the Phillies will actually deal him, whether the veteran would waive his ten-and-five rights, and whether the Giants would give up the necessary bounty to acquire him.  Ultimately, SF could set its sights lower.
  • Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel is having a good season, but the scouting community is mixed on what impact he’d have on a contending team.  Some question whether he can keep up this pace or whether he’ll be more of a back-of-the-rotation starter. Even positive comments Cafardo has heard have been tagged with the caveat you wouldn’t give up the farm for him.
  • Despite the harsh assessment of the Padres‘ season by club CEO Mike Dee recently, Cafardo finds it hard to imagine Bud Black losing his job and opines firing him would be a mistake because he is seen as one of the game’s best managers in the eyes of a lot of baseball executives.

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


Giants Showing Strong Interest In Jeff Samardzija

The Giants are showing strong interest in Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter).  Other clubs in the picture include the Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Red Sox, and Blue Jays.

Yesterday it was reported that the Cubs have already started discussing trades involving Samardzija and Jason Hammel with at least two teams.  Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times cited the Braves, Blue Jays, and Mariners as clubs that have interest in bolstering their pitching through a deal with Chicago.  Seattle is viewed as the most likely landing spot for Hammel at present.

Samardzija, who is eligible for free agency following the 2015 season, currently has a 2.77 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 91 innings.  It has been long expected that the Cubs would dangle the 29-year-old and the future-minded club should find a ripe market this summer.  The Red Sox could be a suitable trade partner given their strong pitching and catching depth in the minors and Theo Epstein’s familiarity with their system.  The Orioles, meanwhile, have top-tier pitching prospects such as Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Hunter Harvey, and Eduardo Rodriguez that they can use to entice Theo & Co.

While some of the Samardzija suitors are playing catchup, the Giants are enjoying a 6.5 game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West and the top record in baseball.  Adding the Cubs ace to their rotation would further bolster their already strong pitching.  The Giants have a team ERA of 3.22, the third best in the majors.


West Notes: Giants, Cahill, Jackson

The Giants didn’t have a particularly flashy offseason, but GM Brian Sabean’s moves have helped the team post the best record in baseball so far, writes ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Hunter Pence, signed to a five-year deal near the end of last season, has hit .296/.368/.464 so far, and Michael Morse, who Sabean signed to a one-year deal, has also been a key part of the Giants’ offense. Tim Hudson, signed to a two-year deal, has posted a 1.81 ERA. Here are more notes from the National League.

  • Two and a half years later, the Diamondbacks‘ trade for Trevor Cahill looks like a poor one, and AZCentral.com’s Nick Piecoro investigates what went wrong. One problem, Piecoro says, is that Cahill’s mechanics are inconsistent, which means he sometimes has trouble throwing strikes. The Diamondbacks demoted Cahill to Class A+ Visalia this week after he posted a 5.66 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 41 1/3 innings this season. Jarrod Parker, the key piece the Diamondbacks traded to the Athletics for Cahill, recently had Tommy John surgery, but Piecoro points out that at least Parker isn’t signed to a long-term contract. Cahill is guaranteed $12MM next season.
  • The parameters of Alex Jackson‘s upcoming negotiations with the Mariners are now relatively clear, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune writes. Jackson, the sixth overall pick, has a bonus pool allotment of around $3.58MM. The Mariners, meanwhile, have about $3.89MM remaining in their bonus pool.  They can spend up to around $4.22MM before they’re penalized with the loss of future draft picks. Jackson is advised by Scott Boras.

Yankees Acquire David Huff, Designate Wade LeBlanc For Assignment

6:11pm: The Yankees officially announced both moves, noting that the team sent cash considerations to the Giants in exchange for Huff.

5:52pm: The Yankees have acquired left-hander David Huff from the Giants and designated fellow lefty Wade LeBlanc for assignment in order to create roster space, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal (on Twitter). Huff had been designated for assignment by the Giants last week. He will be with the Yankees for tonight’s game.

This will mark Huff’s second stint with New York, as he finished the 2013 campaign in Yankee pinstripes. Huff posted a 4.67 ERA with a 26-to-8 K/BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings for the Yanks last season and found himself traded to San Francisco in exchange for cash considerations in late January. With the Giants, Huff pitched to a disappointing 6.30 ERA with 11 strikeouts and six walks in 20 innings. He did manage a career-best 50.7 percent ground-ball rate in his 20 innings with San Fran, in part due to the introduction of a cut-fastball into his repertoire.

LeBlanc pitched just an inning for the Yankees, allowing two runs in his lone appearance. He’s allowed six runs in 7 1/3 innings this season between the Angels and Yankees, and he has a career 4.56 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 35.4 percent ground-ball rate in 424 1/3 innings between the Padres, Marlins, Angels, Yankees and Astros.


Rosenthal’s Latest: Wieters, Scherzer, Rollins, Delmon

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has been plenty busy over the past few days, digging up rumors from all around the league. Here are some highlights from his latest work…

  • Two sources tell Rosenthal that Matt Wieters‘ throwing program is going poorly and surgery is looking more likely (Twitter links). A third source, however, cautions that it’s too soon to make that judgment, adding that Wieters has good days and also bad days at this time.
  • In this weekend’s Full Count video, he notes that while many were shocked by Max Scherzer‘s decision to turn down $144MM in an attempt to secure more on next year’s free agent market, Scherzer has an insurance policy on his right arm that Scherzer says “takes the injury risk out of it.” While the policy likely doesn’t cover the full amount of that offer, it sounds to be a substantial amount. Rosenthal adds that Jon Lester has a similar policy, though not for nearly as much money as Scherzer’s policy.
  • Some friends of Jimmy Rollins feel that he’ll be willing to waive his 10-and-5 rights to approve a trade once he passes Mike Schmidt for the franchise lead in hits. Others feel he and his wife, a Philadelphia native, prefer to stay no matter what. Of course, Rollins’ $11MM vesting option damages his trade value as well, as he will easily reach the required plate appearances if he stays healthy.
  • The Giants are looking to upgrade at second base this summer. While they could use a starting pitcher, they aren’t likely to make an addition that would turn Tim Lincecum into a $17MM bullpen arm. The Athletics, on the other hand, could use a starting pitching upgrade and have the necessary catching depth to make a move.
  • The Orioles are willing to move Delmon Young, who is batting .286/.318/.369 and has lost most of his plate appearances to Steve Pearce. While Young isn’t the hitter than Kendrys Morales is, Rosenthal lists him as a low-cost alternative to teams that missed out on Morales; Young is set to earn about $600K over the rest of the season.

(more…)


Giants Designate David Huff For Assignment

The Giants have designated lefty David Huff for assignment, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). The move was made to clear roster space for the return of Matt Cain from the DL.

Huff, 29, came to San Francisco from the Yankees after he lost his roster spot to Masahiro Tanaka. Through 20 innings this season, Huff has scuffled to a 6.30 ERA. He has posted 5.0 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 on the year, both of which are worse than the marks he put up in each of the last two seasons.

The former first-round pick came up as a starter with the Indians, but shifted primarily to the bullpen last year. He has been solid against same-handed hitters thus far in 2014, allowing just a .659 OPS, but righties have hit a blistering .354/.415/.479 against him.