Here’s the latest from both Bay Area teams…
- The Giants appear to be one of three finalists for Ben Zobrist’s services but they may be at a disadvantage on two fronts, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News writes. The Mets and Nationals are located closer to Zobrist’s home in Tennessee, and they have openings at Zobrist’s preferred position of second base. With Joe Panik already locked into the keystone, the Giants were looking at Zobrist as a left fielder.
- Also from Baggarly’s piece, he notes that while the Giants were indeed interested in Joakim Soria, they were far from a “finalist” for his services. The bullpen is not an area of major concern for San Francisco and they were simply doing due diligence on Soria due to good evaluations. Soria ended up agreeing to a deal with the Royals yesterday.
- Giants GM Bobby Evans told reporters (including Baggarly) that the team wasn’t ruling out bringing Yusmeiro Petit or Hector Sanchez back after the two were non-tendered last week. Petit’s non-tender was a bit of a surprise given his very solid work in three seasons as a swingman with the Giants, but Evans explained that “there could be a scenario where we sign a second starter and that could move Chris Heston into a long man role. We don’t know that yet. So to tender Yusmeiro at that point would have been predetermining who our long man is and we weren’t quite ready to do that.”
- The Athletics need to move fast if they intend to sign Sonny Gray to an extension, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. This winter may be the last chance the A’s have to lock Gray up beyond their remaining four years of control while his price tag is still manageable. That said, “manageable” will still be a huge commitment for the low-payroll Athletics, though trading him or letting him walk in free agency would also come at a cost to the team’s hopes to contend. Extending Gray is “the most important thing they could possibly do if they’re in it to win it,” an AL scout tells Slusser. “If you’re building for the long run, that’s what they have to do. You’ve got to try to develop and keep top-end starters, and if you can’t develop it, you have to hit a home run in a trade. At his age? Yeah, you need to sign Sonny Gray through at least two years of free agency, maybe even three.” Oakland management has reiterated several times over that it has no plans to trade Gray, despite interest from several teams.
- From Gray’s perspective, he tells Slusser that he “wouldn’t mind staying in Oakland a long time….I’ve talked about it with my agent, and I’d definitely be comfortable staying there. And if I don’t, there’s nothing wrong with that, either. If I get to the point where I’m in that position, it’s kind of a win-win situation.”
- The A’s didn’t have much interest in Trevor Cahill before he signed with the Cubs, CSNBayArea.com’s Joe Stiglich reports.