San Francisco Giants Rumors

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

Matt Cain To Undergo Elbow Surgery, Miss Rest Of Season

MONDAY: Cain has decided to undergo surgery and will miss the rest of the season, tweets Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News.

FRIDAY: Several medical officials have recommend that Cain undergo surgery, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters (including MLB.com’s Chris Haft) that “if you’re putting odds on it, odds are going to be that he will not pitch” again in 2014.  Cain did some flat-ground throwing from 60 feet today and he’ll see how his arm responds to that workout before deciding whether to go under the knife immediately and begin the minimum three-month recovery period.

THURSDAY: Cain and the Giants are weighing whether the righty will undergo a procedure on his right elbow to clean up bone chips and other debris, reports Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Tommy John surgery is not on the table, says Baggarly.

If Cain has the procedure now, he would likely be out for the rest of the year, but would be expected to be ready for a standard ramp-up to the 2015 season.

TUESDAY: Giants starter Matt Cain is set for a visit with Dr. James Andrews regarding his ongoing difficulties with inflammation in his right elbow, CSN Bay Area analyst (and former big leaguer) Shawn Estes tells 95.7 The Game (Twitter link). Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com confirmed the report via Twitter.

Certainly, the club will hope that good news comes out of the consultation, but the necessity of the visit presumably only adds to the team’s reported desire to add a starter at the trade deadline. Cain is owed $67.5MM after this season, including a buyout of a $21MM club option for 2017. He owns a cumulative 4.06 ERA over 274 2/3 innings dating to the start of 2013.


Minor Moves: Gwynn, Abreu, Noonan, Joseph, Tekotte

Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:

  • The Rays have released Erik Bedard and Juan Carlos Oviedo, according to MiLB.com. The Rays had designated both pitchers for assignment earlier in the week.
  • The Phillies have announced that they’ve re-signed OF Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor league deal. He will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Gwynn hit .163/.281/.204 in 119 plate appearances for the Phillies this season. They released him last week.
  • Instead of electing free agency, infielder Tony Abreu has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A by Giants, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Abreu was designated for assignment Tuesday after appearing in only four games. The 29-year-old owns a .280/.329/.428 slash line in 259 plate appearances this season for Triple-A Fresno.
  • The Giants announced infielder Nick Noonan has cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Triple-A Fresno. The 25-year-old was designated for assignment July 25. Noonan, the 32nd overall selection in the 2007 draft, made his MLB debut last season slashing .219/.261/.238 in 111 plate appearances, but has struggled this year with a .239/.281/.302 line in 340 plate appearances between Triple-A Fresno and Class-A Advanced San Jose. 
  • The Marlins tweeted left-hander Donnie Joseph has been outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans. The 26-year-old was designated for assignment Thursday after the Marlins acquired Jarred Cosart from the Astros. Joseph was picked up from the Royals for cash considerations June 30 and has spent his entire time in the Marlin organization at Triple-A posting an 11.05 ERA, 6.1 K/9, and 9.8 BB/9 in six relief outings covering 7 1/3 innings.
  • The Diamondbacks have acquired outfielder Blake Tekotte from the White Sox for cash, per the MLB.com transactions page. Tekotte, who made 36 plate appearances for the White Sox in 2013 good for a slash of .226/.306/.355, will report to Triple-A Reno. The 27-year-old posted a .251/.324/.438 line in 318 plate appearances for the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate.
  • The Padres have released right-hander Billy Buckner from their Triple-A affiliate, according to the Pacific Coast League’s transactions page. The 30-year-old made one spot start for the Padres on May 24 allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. In 15 appearances (14 starts) for Triple-A El Paso, Buckner has posted a 5.80 ERA, 6.2 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings.
  • Also from the PCL transactions page, the Angels have released catcher Luis Martinez from their Triple-A affiliate. The 29-year-old, whose last MLB action was with the Rangers in 2012, hit .262/.329/.403 in 212 plate appearances for Salt Lake this season.
  • Martinez didn’t stay unemployed very long as he was signed by the A’s and assigned to Triple-A Sacramento. The roster causality is catcher Luis Exposito, despite producing at a .303/.410/.394 clip since Oakland signed him June 26 after being released by the Tigers.
  • Ten players find themselves in DFA limbo, as tracked by MLBTR’s DFA Tracker: Dan Uggla and Tyler Colvin (Giants), Jeff Francis and Brian Roberts (Yankees), Josh Wall and Dean Anna (Pirates), Ryan Feierabend (Rangers), David Carpenter (Angels), Nick Christiani (Reds), and Pedro Hernandez (Rockies).

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


Released: Gonzales, Cavazos-Galvez, Roberts, Tejada

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Blue Jays released right-handed pitcher Tyler Gonzales, tweets Matt Eddy of Baseball America. The 2012 supplemental first rounder did not pitch this season. He never advanced past the GCL where he posted a 9.24 ERA in 25.1 innings.
  • The Dodgers released Triple-A right fielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez, according to Eddy (via Twitter). The former 12th round pick, now 27 years old, has seen his power decline in recent seasons. He spent most of the 2014 season in Double-A, where he posted a tepid .227/.261/.330 line.
  • The Twins released injury prone left fielder Nate Roberts from their High-A roster (also Eddy on Twitter). Roberts was taken as a fifth rounder in the 2010 draft and combined to hit .305/.434/.460 over 945 professional plate appearances. Unfortunately, injuries have derailed his career.

Earlier

  • Former MVP Miguel Tejada has been released by the Marlins, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel. The longtime MLB veteran had a comeback bid derailed by a shoulder injury, but plans to play winter ball and weigh another attempt.
  • The Reds have released pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith, according to the International League transactions page. According to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter), Rowland-Smith opted out of his deal. The veteran lefty has not managed to find his form this year, and owns a 4.66 ERA in 29 Triple-A innings for the Reds and Blue Jays. He also spent time with the Diamondbacks at the MLB level, allowing four earned runs in 7 1/3 innings.
  • The Giants have released lefty Jose De Paula, according to the MLB transactions page. He had recently been designated for assignment. The 26-year-old has a 4.21 ERA over 51 1/3 frames in his first attempt at the Triple-A level, backed by 7.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.

Brad Johnson contributed to this post.



July Trade Recap: NL West

We’re on to our last installment of this year’s July trade recaps. You can read the rest here: AL WestAL CentralNL CentralAL East and NL East.

Diamondbacks

Dodgers

Giants

Padres

Rockies

Synopsis

The buyers didn’t do much buying, and only two of the sellers did much selling. All said, the division supplied five players to the Yankees alone, moving out salary while bringing back relatively little in terms of talent. Ultimately, the sharp division of contenders and non may have contributed to the outflow of talent, with the cellar-dwellers perhaps hesitant to further enrich the bigger-budget clubs at the top.

We’ll start in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers were rumored to be in on several high-profile players, including David Price of the Rays. But GM Ned Colletti warned that he was disinterested in allowing a raid of the team’s top farmhands, and followed through on that by essentially standing pat at the deadline. The minor deal for Barney notwithstanding, the Dodgers will take their roster as it came … unless, of course, an August trade is in the offing. A move of some kind for a starter still seems likely, with Dan Haren continuing to scuffle and Paul Maholm out for the year. It’s been a rollercoaster of rumors for the club’s three costly veteran outfielders, and a deal for one of them remains a possibility as well.

The Giants have had leaks spring up all over the roster, and managed to plug one by adding Peavy. With Matt Cain seemingly destined to miss the rest of the year, another starter moved from “want” to “need.” But that’s more a patch than an upgrade. And left unremedied, thus far, is San Francisco’s gaping hole at second. The club has cycled through several veteran options, and will now give a try to some younger players, but still seems in need of an August addition of some kind at the keystone.

For San Diego and Arizona, the playbook was fairly similar: move off some future salary and add some prospect depth in return. It would probably be a stretch to say that either club added impact talent, but certainly both picked up players with value who should have a future role at the major league level.

The Padres decided not to move two possible trade pieces in Joaquin Benoit and Ian Kennedy — in part, perhaps, due to the fact that the team is still working to hire its new general manager — but both players are under control going forward. It was largely a fond farewell for Street, who pitched well, delivered a nice return, and had a replacement to take over. The same could not be said of Headley, who the team (rightly or wrongly) failed to cash in on each of the last two years before dealing him for a pittance. San Diego will take solace in the fact that he was not inked to an extension at the height of his value.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, dealt away a player who likewise seems emblematic of a missed opportunity. Prado, the key piece of the Justin Upton deal, was expected to be an anchor in Arizona. Instead, he never hit his stride and was packed off for a decent but flawed prospect. McCarthy, too, never provided what had been hoped for. While some have questioned the return for Parra, it is far from clear that more should have been expected; his poor performance and rising salary make him a possible non-tender. It remains to be seen whether the D’backs will find a taker for Aaron Hill (San Francisco?), but he would deliver only some salary relief. The club seems somewhat curiously unwilling to part with its remaining bullpen pieces, though several would figure to bring a decent return.

And in Colorado … well, the Rockies did nothing. Owner Dick Monfort said at various times that he wanted to retain pending free agents like Michael Cuddyer and Jorge De La Rosa, and continue to employ players with one more year of non-guaranteed control, such as Brett Anderson, LaTroy Hawkins, and Drew Stubbs. Of course, there are few indications — beyond a BABIP-fueled early start to the year — that the club’s current mix is particularly likely to result in true contention. Bringing back the above-mentioned players will likely account for all of the team’s payroll space, if it does not require salary to be shed elsewhere. And failing to move any names from an already-crowded roster (especially among position players, outfielders in particular) will reduce team’s flexibility. The focus has always been on whether the Rockies will ultimately move stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez – speculation seems to go with whichever happens to be healthy — but perhaps the real issue lies with the organization’s seeming inability to conceive of bold, well-thought-out action in any particular direction. It could be an interesting winter for the Rockies, if the team decides to re-analyze its approach to building a roster and decisively pursue a new course.


NL West Links: Miller, Sabean, Rockies

Here’s the latest from around the NL West…

  • The Dodgers were the runner-up for Andrew Miller, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets.  This seems to run counter to an item from earlier today when Ken Rosenthal reported that it was the Brewers and Tigers who were the other finalists to obtain Miller from the Red Sox.  The Orioles, of course, were the ones who actually landed the left-hander.
  • Giants GM Brian Sabean didn’t make any last moves before the deadline and felt good about keeping his team’s prospects, Sabean told reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle).  The Giants felt it didn’t make sense to meet the high asking prices of some teams, though Sabean said he was pleased that a number of clubs were interested in his pitching prospects.
  • Sabean said he was “homing in on two” second basemen in possible deals, though a source says that these weren’t necessarily Asdrubal Cabrera or Emilio Bonifacio, two middle infielders who changed teams yesterday.
  • The Rockies also had a quiet deadline day, which assistant GM Bill Geivett told reporters (including Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post) was due to a lack of offers that would’ve helped Colorado reload for next year.  I think the big thing was — our posture — is probably one that we would entertain a deal as far as making us better in 2015.  Although we were active and had some talks, we really weren’t moved to the point where we had anything that would significantly affect us next season,” Geivett said.
  • Jorge De La Rosa and Brett Anderson drew some trade interest, and though De La Rosa is a free agent and Anderson has a $12MM club option to be exercised, it seems as if the Rockies have an interest in retaining both.  If we didn’t feel like they would potentially be part of our future, we would have traded them,” Geivett said.
  • In other NL West news from earlier today, Matt Cain seems likely to undergo elbow surgery and the Giants designated Dan Uggla and Tyler Colvin for assignment.

Outrighted: Scott Elbert, Jason Lane, Tony Abreu

Let’s take a look at the day’s minor moves:

  • Scott Elbert of the Dodgers has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, tweets Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. The lefty was designated for assignment on Tuesday. He has been trying to work back to form after not throwing a big league pitch over the last two seasons. Elbert had the right to refuse the assignment, but will stay with the organization, tweets Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
  • The Padres have outrighted lefty Jason Lane, according to the MLB transactions page. Lane had an outstanding first big league start, but will serve as depth at Triple-A if he accepts his assignment.
  • Tony Abreu has also been outrighted by the Giants, per the PCL transactions page. The second baseman received only four plate appearances during his brief call-up. He will have the option of electing free agency.

Latest On Alex Rios

2:43pm: Nothing is close for the Rangers with Rios or anyone else, tweets Yahoo’s Jeff Passan.

12:24pm: The Rangers and Giants are in “ongoing” trade discussions for Rios, tweets FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.

11:29am: The Mariners want Rios, tweets Rosenthal, but the Rangers are “closer elsewhere” in trade talks.

THURSDAY, 11:08am: The Royals, Giants and Mariners are all in the mix for Rios, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. To a lesser degree, he adds, the Reds and Indians are in the mix. The Yankees aren’t heavily involved at this time, says Heyman.

WEDNESDAY, 2:03pm: Trade talks for Rios are “gaining traction” in several places, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

8:04am: The Rangers are willing to eat some of the remaining salary on Alex Rios‘ deal, but talks could still go down to the wire, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Rosenthal hears that interest from several Rios suitors — including the Indians, Giants, Reds and Royals — has waned of late.

At least four teams were said to be in on Rios over the weekend, but there’s been little chatter regarding the right fielder since that time. The 33-year-old is batting a strong .305/.334/.430 this season, but his power has declined in 2014. Rios has just four homers on the season after belting 18 last year and 25 in 2012. He’s owed roughly $4.23MM of his $12.5MM salary for the remainder of the 2014 season, plus a $1MM buyout on a $13.5MM option for the 2015 campaign.

The Rangers have already dealt Jason Frasor to the Royals and Joakim Soria to the Tigers, and given Rios’ contractual situation, he’s a logical trade chip as well. However, the Rangers seem unwilling to listen to offers on Adrian Beltre and Yu Darvish — both of whom they’re hoping will contribute to a contending club in 2015 once their roster is back to full health.


Cubs Moving Closer To Bonifacio Trade

TODAY, 12:04am: Also in on Bonifacio as of this morning were the Pirates, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

11:13am: There is plenty of action on Bonifacio, who is being pursued currently by the Orioles, Giants, and Mariners, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.

Bonifacio is a backup option for the Mariners, along with Chris Denorfia, tweets Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. Seattle prefers to add Alex Rios or Ben Zobrist.

YESTERDAY, 8:12pm: It does not appear that the Giants are going to acquire Bonifacio, according to a tweet from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

6:42pm: The Royals are not yet close to adding Bonifacio, tweets Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

5:48pm: The O’s are not in on Bonifacio, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, who hears that the versatile fielder could be returning to Kansas City. Needless to say, that would be an interesting turn of events: Bonifacio finished well last year with Kansas City, was tendered a contract, agreed to a salary to avoid arbitration, and was then released before the start of the season.

5:14pm: At present, the Giants, Orioles, and Reds are all in play for Bonifacio, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

4:50pm: Bonifacio has been told to be prepared for a deal today, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

4:42pm: Bonifacio is indeed not in the lineup, with manager Rick Renteria saying it was “prudent” to hold him out, according to Rogers (Twitter link).

2:50pm: The Cubs are getting close to trading Bonifacio, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. Levine tweets that Bonifacio is not in tonight’s lineup, which could obviously signal that a deal is nigh. Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that the Giants have been scouting Bonifacio all week, but the asking price for the impending free agent is said to be high.

2:32pm: The Orioles are Giants are considering Cubs utility man Emilio Bonifacio as a trade option, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney.  Bruce Levine of 670 The Score adds the Royals, Mariners, and Reds as three more potential suitors (All Twitter links).

Bonifacio, 29, is hitting .279/.318/.373 in 298 plate appearances for the Cubs.  The switch-hitter is raking against lefties in this year’s limited sample.  He’s mainly played center field and second base for the Cubs.  Bonifacio is eligible for free agency after the season.


John Lackey Rumors: Thursday

Yesterday we learned there’s a “very good chance” that the Red Sox will trade right-hander John Lackey in advance of this afternoon’s non-waiver trade deadline. The Royals, Indians, and Dodgers have been linked to the right-hander, while the Angels and Brewers are reportedly not pursuing him. The Marlins were also linked to Lackey, though reports on the likelihood of that deal vary from “zero chance” to the two sides still discussing potential deals. Here’s the latest Lackey buzz as the deadline looms…

Earlier Updates

  • The Pirates were known to have interest in Jon Lester before he was traded to Oakland, but prior to that trade today Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe said the Bucs were in on Lackey as well.  Cafardo also weighed in on previous interest from San Francisco, writing, “The Giants, who acquired [Jake] Peavy last weekend, were also in the hunt for another arm, and Lackey was also mentioned.”

Dan Runzler Released To Pursue Opportunity In Japan

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Giants have released lefty Dan Runzler to allow him to sign with Japan’s Orix Buffaloes, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on Twitter. He’ll be signed through the end of the year, with a 2015 option, per a tweet from Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News. Runzler, 29, has 72 1/3 MLB innings and a 3.86 career ERA on his resume, but has pitched exclusively at the Triple-A level over the past two years. In 2014, he owns a 3.30 ERA over 46 1/3 frames.