Off to a major league-worst 14-24 start, the Giants look like sellers in the making. The problem is that the veterans they could attempt to move are lacking in trade value, observes Buster Olney of ESPN. The best of the bunch is Johnny Cueto, but the offseason opt-out clause in the right-hander’s contract takes away some of his appeal. Then there’s righty Jeff Samardzija, who owns a 5.44 ERA in 46 1/3 innings (albeit with a 3.43 FIP) and is due upward of $60MM through 2020, as well as aging outfielders Hunter Pence and Denard Span. The 34-year-old Pence is making $18.5MM both this year and next, while Span, 33, is on a $9MM salary through 2018 and has a $4MM buyout for 2019.
More from the West divisions:
- The Dodgers will keep left-hander Alex Wood in their rotation when southpaw Rich Hill and righty Brandon McCarthy return from the disabled list next week, manager Dave Roberts told reporters Saturday (Twitter link via Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times). Wood opened the season in the bullpen, but the results have been too good to ignore since he moved to the rotation in late April. Across four starts and 22 innings, Wood has allowed four earned runs (all in his May 2 outing), with a whopping 34 strikeouts against four walks. Given that Wood, Hill, McCarthy and Clayton Kershaw are presumably on the cusp of occupying four-fifths of Los Angeles’ rotation, either Julio Urias or Hyun-Jin Ryu will end up as the odd man out.
- The Mariners’ top four starting pitchers, James Paxton, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Drew Smyly, are all on the disabled list, leading general manager Jerry Dipoto to tell Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune: “You always try to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, but this has set a new bar.” In the latest blow to Seattle’s starting depth, fill-in Ryan Weber left his season debut in the fourth inning of the club’s loss to Toronto on Saturday and is now on the DL with right shoulder tightness. While Dipoto has a reputation as a transaction-happy GM, having averaged one move every 15 hours, 45 minutes since the Mariners set their Opening Day roster (per Dutton, on Twitter), he doesn’t expect to bolster his rotation from outside the organization. “It’s a tough time of year to find external help,” he said. “Our most realistic and best options remain those in house.”
- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre continues progressing toward a May return, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Beltre, who hasn’t played this year because of a strained right calf, took batting practice and fielded ground balls on Saturday. Manager Jeff Banister called the workout “very positive” and added, “It was as good as he has felt through this entire process.” Upon his return, Beltre will take over for Joey Gallo at third base, though the power-hitting 24-year-old should still rack up plenty of at-bats at other positions, including the corner outfield and/or first base.