The Giants placed reliever Cory Gearrin on outright waivers last week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (video link). No one claimed Gearrin, however, and he remains a member of the Giants. The luxury-tax threshold helped influence the decision to waive Gearrin, per Rosenthal, who points out that San Francisco is $2MM-plus above the $197MM figure. Had someone taken Gearrin off the Giants’ hands, it would have saved the team upward of $1MM and helped give it more flexibility as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches. It’s no surprise the 32-year-old Gearrin went unclaimed, though, given that he has recorded a 5.11 ERA over 24 2/3 innings with unappealing walk, groundball and home run rates (4.74 BB/9, 34.2 GB percentage, 1.82 HR/9).
Now the latest from the AL West:
- The Angels haven’t capitalized on center fielder Mike Trout’s presence, evidenced by their zero playoff wins since he burst on the scene in 2012, leading Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times to wonder if he’d consider signing an extension with the team if it doesn’t become a major contender soon. Trout, who’s under control through 2020 on the six-year, $144.5MM deal he signed in 2014, isn’t sure about his future at this point. “I don’t know the answer,” he told Shaikin. “I want to get to the playoffs. That’s my mindset. I can’t predict the future. So I just take it one game at a time now and see what happens.” The Trout-led Angels (37-28) are firmly in the playoff hunt this year, but in spite of their impressive record, they’re still 3.5 games out in both the AL West and the wild-card race. While Shaikin opines that the Angels could use some outside help around the trade deadline to help snap their three-year playoff drought, general manager Billy Eppler offered: “It’s tough to get that starting pitcher. It’s tough to get that everyday bat, or impact bat. Those are harder to acquire.” On the other hand, Eppler noted that the trade market’s typically “flush with relievers whose contracts are expiring at the end of the year.”
- The Rangers announced that they’ve placed right-hander Doug Fister on the disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, and recalled infielder Hanser Alberto from Triple-A. It’s the second DL stint of the year for Fister, who’s dealing with a right knee strain. He previously missed time in April with a right hip strain. Thanks in part to his injury issues, it hasn’t been a particularly good season for the 34-year-old Fister, whom the Rangers added on a $4MM guarantee in free agency. Despite a 50.4 percent groundball mark and a low walk rate (2.59 per nine), Fister has logged 4.50 ERA/5.19 FIP over 66 innings and 12 starts. Given that Texas won’t be in contention around the deadline, the team could market the veteran if he’s healthy, though it seems unlikely he’ll have much of any value.
- The Astros have placed reliever Joe Smith on the DL and recalled lefty Reymin Guduan from Triple-A, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic tweets. Smith’s battling “elbow discomfort,” which obviously isn’t the most reassuring ailment for a pitcher. Like Fister, Smith inked a free-agent contract over the winter and has endured a down season. The recipient of a two-year, $15MM pact, the normally solid Smith has put up a 5.49 ERA in 19 2/3 innings, but he has managed quality strikeout, walk and grounder rates (9.15 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 49.0 GB percentage).