Before Yu Darvish agreed to join the Cubs on a six-year, $126MM contract Saturday, the Dodgers joined them with a willingness to offer six years, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag (Twitter link). However, the value of Los Angeles’ proposal was worth less (closer to $100MM) and contingent on the team jettisoning money via trade, Heyman adds. Unsurprisingly, LA couldn’t find a taker for at least a portion of its worst contract – outfielder Matt Kemp’s two years and $43.5MM – which helped lead to Darvish’s exit in free agency.
More from baseball’s West divisions:
- Rangers slugger Joey Gallo logged significant time at first base, third base and left field in 2017, a breakout year in which he offset a paltry .209 batting average with 41 home runs and an .870 OPS/123 wRC+ across 532 plate appearances. Now, with third baseman Adrian Beltre healthy and enough left field options on hand, the Rangers are planning on using Gallo at first full-time, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News relays. “When you are playing multiple positions, it does take a toll,” manager Jeff Banister said. “This will keep him fresh, allow him to settle in, to work on things and focus on the offensive side.”
- In a separate piece, Grant writes that he doesn’t expect the Rangers to re-sign free agent center fielder Carlos Gomez. The 32-year-old met with Rangers brass last month, but it seems they’re content to go with younger options – including fellow center Delino DeShields, 25. Gomez, who signed with Texas in late 2016 after a disastrous run with rival Houston, accrued 556 PAs as a Ranger over the previous two seasons, hitting a more-than-respectable .262/.345/.481 with 3.5 fWAR.
- The Giants’ Hunter Pence has taken his switch from right to left field in stride, which the team’s management appreciates, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The soon-to-be 35-year-old Pence has never played left during his 1,489-game career as an outfielder, but he’ll head there this year as a result of the Giants’ acquisition of Andrew McCutchen. Pence is embracing the move, which Shea notes was difficult for ex-Giant Angel Pagan when they had him shift from center to left two years ago. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to have a whole new perspective,” Pence said. “It’s kind of refreshing on the mind. It’s an exciting challenge that I anticipate.”
- Gorkys Hernandez, one of Pence’s outfield mates, underwent surgery on a broken hamate bone in his left hand after last season, broadcaster Marvin Benard revealed Saturday (Twitter link via Shea). Hernandez played with the injury for at least some of 2017, when he batted a meek .255/.327/.326 with no home runs and a .071 ISO over 348 PAs. The out-of-options 30-year-old will compete to retain his spot on the Giants this spring.