San Francisco Giants – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-08-18T19:06:29Z WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Activate Hunter Strickland]]> 2018-08-18T16:56:09Z 2018-08-18T16:55:33Z SATURDAY: The club has announced the move, and transferred Pablo Sandoval to the 60-day DL to accomodate.

FRIDAY: The Giants are set to activate Hunter Strickland from the disabled list tomorrow, the team told reporters (Twitter link via Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group). His activation will serve as the corresponding move for placing rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez on the 10-day disabled list yesterday. Curiously, the Giants won’t make an additional move today and will instead play a man short in Friday’s contest against the Reds.

[Related: San Francisco Giants depth chart]

Strickland has been out since undergoing surgery to repair a fractured right hand back in mid-June. It was an embarrassing injury for the right-hander, who sustained the fracture when he punched a door out of frustration following a blown save. He’s on the 60-day disabled list, so the Giants will have to make a corresponding 40-man move in order to activate him.

Left-hander Will Smith has been serving as San Francisco’s closer in Strickland’s absence, and it’s not yet clear how manager Bruce Bochy will elect to manage his bullpen roles once Strickland is activated. Smith has pitched exceptionally well this year, working to a superlative 2.01 ERA with 12.5 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 0.45 HR/9 and a 40.7 percent ground-ball rate. Smith is also running up a career-best 16 percent swinging-strike rate and a 40.4 percent chase rate that checks in as the third-best mark among qualified relievers in 2018.

Strickland was enjoying a strong season himself prior to the injury. In 31 2/3 frames this year, he’s posted a 2.84 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 0.57 HR/9 and a 39.6 percent ground-ball rate. Those numbers are obviously a fair sight shy of Smith’s dominance, but deploying Strickland in the ninth inning could allow Bochy to utilize Smith in higher-leverage spots earlier in the game — particularly against tough left-handed bats. While Smith has dominated righties and lefties alike, he’s been utterly overpowering against same-handed battters. Through 57 plate appearances, lefties are hitting a comically feeble .161/.175/.196 against him.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Place Dereck Rodriguez On 10-Day DL]]> 2018-08-17T02:49:19Z 2018-08-17T02:34:09Z The Giants have announced that impressive young righty Dereck Rodriguez is headed to the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring strain, as Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group was among those to tweet. He’ll be replaced in the rotation by Casey Kelly for the time being.

Fortunately, it is said only to be a grade 1 strain for Rodriguez — the mildest form of the injury. It seems that the problem arose during the recent scuffle between the Giants and rival Dodgers, as Crowley and others note on Twitter.

Rodriguez has been among the most surprising players in baseball this year. Previously known only as the son of Hall-of-Famer Ivan Rodriguez, the 26-year-old has emerged as a quality rotation piece in San Francisco after joining the organization over the winter as a minor-league free agent who had never yet pitched in the big leagues.

It seems fair to say that Rodriguez has had a major role in keeping the Giants in shouting distance of a postseason spot. He has thrown 80 innings of 2.25 ERA ball, after all, making him a solid Rookie of the Year candidate — at least, that is, were this not a season that features two otherworldly young National League hitters.

Despite their immediate needs, the Giants will surely prioritize Rodriguez’s long-term health in bringing him back to action. While there’s no reason to think he’s at risk of a severe hamstring injury, lower-body injuries can potentially impact mechanics and lead to other concerns. While Rodriguez doesn’t carry peripherals that suggest he’ll continue to be a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher over the long haul, he looks to be a key piece for a Giants organization that is hoping to infuse some youth into its roster while staying competitive.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yasiel Puig Receives Two-Game Suspension]]> 2018-08-16T21:40:42Z 2018-08-16T21:11:07Z Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was slapped with a two-game suspension and a fine for his role in a recent dust-up with the Giants. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times had the news (Twitter links). The primary San Francisco protagonist, catcher Nick Hundley, received only financial punishment.

Officially, Puig was suspended for “fighting and inciting a bench-clearing incident.” Those interested in seeing the video and some of the reactions from those two players will want to click this link.

The incident arose when Hundley seemingly took issue with Puig’s reaction to fouling off a pitch. A verbal dispute quickly escalated into a push-punch to the chest protector by Puig. The bullpens emptied on cue. Ultimately, the Dodgers outfielder got another swipe at the still-masked Hundley, who was by then engaged in a sort of drive-block dance with Dodgers coach George Lombard, though no damage was done. Both players were ejected.

Needless to say, there’s certainly a deeper history between these two ballclubs. The heated on-field rivalry has perhaps helped fuel some animosity between members of the current rosters. Puig and Giants hurler Madison Bumgarner have had some memorable clashes, for instance.

At the end of the day, the news won’t likely cause many problems for the Dodgers. Puig can appeal, which might lead to a reduction and will certainly precipitate a delay of the suspension. That’ll at least give the club time to sort out its roster situation to account for his brief absence.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/14/18]]> 2018-08-14T04:10:06Z 2018-08-14T04:10:06Z There are quite a few minor moves to cover, with Baseball America’s Matt Eddy releasing several weeks’ worth of transactions. We’ll use this post to cover the most notable ones that haven’t yet featured on MLBTR:

  • The Angels released outfielder Ben Revere, who could perhaps be an interesting player to target for contending clubs that like the idea of adding a good defender and baserunning threat to their system. Revere, 30, hasn’t seen the majors this year after seven-straight seasons of action at the game’s highest level. He’s slashing .277/.319/.406 with a pair of steals through 166 plate appearances at Triple-A.
  • Ending a relationship that never seemed to work out, the Dodgers have cut loose infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena. Now 28, the former international signee hadn’t played much in the club’s system since he was suspended in May of 2016.
  • The Phillies have released a pair of former big leaguers: infielder Danny Espinosa and outfielder Adron Chambers. Espinosa’s always fickle bat has not yet recovered from a 2017 nosedive. In 240 Triple-A plate appearances with three organizations this year, he owns a .295/.239/.312 slash. Chambers, meanwhile, hasn’t seen the majors since 2013 and last played affiliated ball in 2015, but came back from an indy stint to produce a .278/.328/.437 batting line in 138 Triple-A plate appearances.
  • A host of players received their walking papers from the Diamondbacks. Righty Brian Ellington is among them; the flamethrower struggled badly with his command in limited minor-league action. Southpaw Anthony Vasquez was also released after after 85 2/3 innings of 5.04 ERA ball in the upper minors. The club also dropped several outfielders. Cesar Puello (.317/.426/.454) and Dan Robertson (.263/.361/.407) are both former big leaguers who were getting on base at Reno, but will now seek other opportunities.
  • The Giants released two notable players in righty Chris Heston and backstop Ryan Hanigan. Heston, 30, only made nine appearances in the minors this year owing to injury. Hanigan, who’s closing in on his 38th birthday, is still looking to crack the majors for the 12th-straight season but did not help his cause with a .175/.254/.193 batting line in 63 plate appearances at Triple-A.
  • The Cubs parted with Ryan Webb after he made just 11 appearances at the Rookie ball level. It is not immediately clear why the 32-year-old did not get a shot in the upper minors, or what’s next for him In eight seasons of MLB pitching, from 2009 through 2016, Webb owns a 3.43 ERA through 393 1/3 innings.
  • A variety of other former major-league relief pitchers were also on the move. Among them: The White Sox signed once-promising Braves reliever Mauricio Cabrera. Righty Dallas Beeler was released by the Royals. A trio of former MLB lefties are back in free agency after being cut free: Elvis Araujo (Orioles); Paco Rodriguez (Twins); and Dario Alvarez (Mariners).
  • Meanwhile, the Mariners parted with outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and the Nationals did the same with Alejandro De Aza. One-time Rule 5 pick Taylor Featherston landed with the Reds.
Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/10/18]]> 2018-08-11T04:02:32Z 2018-08-11T04:02:32Z Today’s minor league moves from around baseball, with the newest transactions at the top of the post…

  • The Diamondbacks outrighted infielder Deven Marrero to Triple-A, as per a team press release.  Marrero was designated for assignment earlier this week.  After being acquired by Arizona from the Red Sox back in March, Marrero appeared in 45 games for the D’Backs this season, hitting .167/.224/.205 over 85 PA.  Selected by Boston as the 24th overall pick of the 2012 draft, Marrero has been able to reach the big leagues by virtue of his excellent defense, though he has never been particularly strong at the plate even at the minor league level.
  • First baseman/outfielder Brock Stassi is joining the Giants organization after it purchased his contract from the New Britain Bees, Mike Ashmore of notes in a tweet. The 29-year-old Stassi cracked the majors last year with the Phillies for the first time, but didn’t hit enough to stick. He also struggled earlier this year at the Triple-A level with the Twins organization. Even as his younger brother, Astros catcher Max Stassi, has enjoyed a breakthrough MLB campaign, the elder Stassi found himself out of the affiliated ranks. Fortunately, he’s now back after destroying indy ball pitching to the tune of a .361/.458/.592 batting line.
Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Added To The 40-Man: Ortega, Stewart, Sobotka, Kelly]]> 2018-08-11T02:11:04Z 2018-08-11T02:11:04Z There has been a fair amount of roster movement today. We’ll use this post to keep tabs on the players moving onto MLB rosters:

  • After shipping out first baseman Justin Bour earlier today, the Marlins announced they would replace him by selecting the contract of outfielder Rafael Ortega. The 27-year-old Ortega got a solid shot with the Angels in 2016 but could not take advantage. He had a productive season last year with the plate at Triple-A and has been solid as well at the highest level of the minors in 2018, though he hasn’t sustained the power he showed in 2017. In the current season, he has slashed .275/.375/.404 with an impressive combination of 44 walks and 31 strikeouts over 328 plate appearances.
  • The Twins will select the contract of righty Kohl Stewart, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (via Twitter). Chosen fourth overall in the 2013 draft, Stewart is now slated for his MLB debut after being left unprotected from the Rule 5 draft last winter. Through 108 2/3 innings this season in the upper minors, he owns only a 4.47 ERA. But Stewart has seen a real boost in his K/BB numbers over past years. He’s carrying 8.4 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 along with a 57.3% groundball rate on the season.
  • As part of a series of pitching moves, the Braves purchased the contract of righty Chad Sobotka. He and lefty Chad Bell will join the active roster as the team has optioned down relievers Wes Parsons and Adam McCreery. Sobotka is a 25-year-old reliever who came to the Atlanta organizatino as a fourth-round pick in 2015. He had already climbed to Triple-A for the first time after dominating performances at High-A (2.21 ERA, 28:7 K/BB in 20 1/3 innings) and Double-A (2.89 ERA, 37:13 K/BB in 28 innings). He has been giving out too many free passes so far at the highest level of the minors (eight in 6 1/3 frames) but has still been getting strikeouts and keeping runs off the board.
  • The Giants announced that they selected the contract of righty Casey Kelly, bumping Johnny Cueto to the 60-day DL as he continues to rehab from Tommy John surgery. Kelly, a first-round pick way back in 2008, has seen brief MLB action in parts of three seasons. He owns only a 4.78 ERA in his 130 Triple-A innings this year, with 7.2 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9.
Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Bumgarner, Strasburg, Correa, Happ]]> 2018-08-10T12:37:51Z 2018-08-10T00:14:06Z Kerry Crowley of The Mercury News boldly calls Madison Bumgarner’s contract situation the Giants’ “elephant in the room”. Crowley wonders whether Bumgarner must be traded in order to spark a rebuild for the club, who failed to make any significant moves at the trade deadline and now sit at 57-58 on the season after struggling to the league’s worst record last year (tied with the Tigers, of course). Whether the club ultimately decides to “rebuild or remodel”, Bumgarner’s the only player on the roster whose contract might warrant teams forking over a significant prospect return; something an aging Giants team could certainly use. Crowley describes Bumgarner’s future as “uncertain” in the amidst a mediocre team with a gargantuan payroll.

More on a few interesting items from around MLB this evening…

  • The Nationals received some welcome news on Stephen Strasburg today, as the right-hander reportedly “felt good” after tossing a 42-pitch bullpen session. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, he’s likely to throw another one tomorrow and could potentially embark upon a rehab assignment soon thereafter. He’s been on the DL since June 26th with a cervical nerve impingement, but on the bright side he was cleared of any structural damage in his shoulder shortly thereafter.
  • The Astros appear to be even closer to getting a valuable asset back on the field, as Carlos Correa was spotted at Minute Maid Park today, with Christian Boutwell of among those eye witnesses. Though he was inactive for today’s game, the former Rookie of the Year shortstop believes he could be back on the field as soon as tomorrow. Correa’s having a down season by his standards, hitting .268/.352/.480 with a slightly-bloated 24.4% strikeout rate.
  • The Yankees, for their part, already got a notable player back from the DL. J.A. Happ was activated today, filling the roster spot left vacant after they optioned Chance Adams to Triple-A last night. Happ’s been on the DL with hand, foot and mouth disease for the past week plus, but will return to the rotation and attempt to provide the value the Bombers envisioned when they traded Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney in order to obtain him. Happ’s posted a 4.05 ERA through 21 starts
Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Ohtani, Samardzija, Urias, Bryant]]> 2018-08-08T02:40:27Z 2018-08-08T02:40:27Z Though a few notable players went on the disabled list earlier today, some even more notable names are making progress in their returns. Here are the details…

  • Shohei Ohtani is nearing a return to the mound, and his rehab seems to be going even better than expected (per Trent Rush of Angels Radio Network). The Angels double-threat reportedly threw from 120 feet “with aggression”. Ohtani, the club’s headliner offseason acquisition, is already back to doing damage at the plate, but the club would surely be glad to see him return with rest and rehab after suffering a grade 2 UCL sprain earlier this season; the alternative would of course be the feared Tommy John surgery which would keep him off the field until the beginning of the 2020 season.
  • It would appear that Giants hurler Jeff Samardzija is even closer to a return, as the 33-year-old threw 30 pitches off a bullpen mound on Monday (h/t Chris Haft of “Shark” has been trudging through an injury-plagued 2018 season that’s seen him make just ten starts and average fewer than five innings across them. His hideous 6.25 ERA would be a career-worst by far, and his 5.44 FIP doesn’t paint a much kinder picture. The 57-58 Giants will surely be hoping he can provide a boost to their rotation after they opted not to sell off any assets at the trade deadline in overly-optimistic hopes of contending for an NL Wild Card.
  • The outlook isn’t as optimistic for former wunderkind Julio Urias of the Dodgers. The 21-year-old lefty blew away the competition at every level of the minors en route to a 1.8 fWAR showing in his first taste of major-league action back in 2016, when he pitched to a 3.39 ERA in 77 innings. But he followed that up with a rough 2017 showing that saw him post a bloated 5.40 ERA and ultimately cede the season to an anterior capsule injury that required surgery. Now, according to Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs, Urias’ velocity is down to 88-91 MPH after sitting closer to the mid-90’s for the majority of his pro career. Longenhagen also reports that the youngster’s secondary pitches are less “crisp” than they were pre-injury, leading to questions about whether Urias will ever be the same pitcher again.
  • “I’m not going to get ahead of myself,” says Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant in reference to his latest attempt to return from a shoulder injury. In a video interview with Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribute, the former NL MVP details his patient approach to injury rehab (though it’s disappointing that the interview is largely inaudible). Bryant’s 2018 season has been marred by shoulder troubles, though he’s still managed an impressive .276/.380/.474 performance across 358 plate appearances while healthy. On the other hand, that’s not quite to the level of his career numbers (.286/.387/.519).
Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Nexen Heroes Sign Jerry Sands, Release Michael Choice]]> 2018-08-07T17:35:12Z 2018-08-07T17:35:12Z The Korea Baseball Organization’s Nexen Heroes have announced that they have signed former MLB outfielder Jerry Sands (h/t Dan Kurtz of, on Twitter). He’ll take the roster spot of fellow outfielder Michael Choice, another prior big leaguer, who was released.

Sands, 30, has seen action in five MLB seasons, producing a composite .238/.303/.367 batting line. He had spent the past two seasons with the Giants organization. In 371 plate appearances at the Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2018, Sands carries a .269/.361/.505 slash with 16 long balls.

As for Choice, a 28-year-old former first-round draft pick, he has struggled through three hundred career MLB plate appearances (.188/.253/.320) but turned in a big 2017 effort after moving to Nexen last year. Unfortunately, he hasn’t matched that productivity thus far in the present season, as he’s carrying a .258/.339/.458 batting line with 17 home runs.

Choice’s stat line may look fairly robust at first glance, but it’s not all that impressive for the notoriously hitter-friendly KBO. The standards are especially high for foreign players, as each team is capped at three apiece. There are quite a few significant performers listed on MyKBO’s foreign-player leaderboard. As Kurtz notes, today’s transaction occurs just before the mid-August deadline for KBO players to add foreign players to their roster who are eligible for postseason play.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Ronnie Freeman's Near-Debut]]> 2018-08-06T04:25:44Z 2018-08-06T04:25:44Z Ronnie Freeman came close to his first stint on a Major League roster today, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle details how the Giants minor leaguer was on hand this weekend in case Buster Posey had to be placed on the seven-day concussion DL.  Posey left Friday’s game after taking a foul ball off his catcher’s mask, but passed his tests and returned to the lineup today as a first baseman.  This left Freeman watching the Giants play from the comforts of the clubhouse, as he wasn’t officially allowed to the join the team in the dugout since he was never selected for the roster.  Freeman, a fifth-rounder in the 2012 draft, had spent his entire pro career in the Diamondbacks’ organization before signing with the Giants last spring, and he’ll have to wait at least a bit longer before he makes his proper big league debut.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Pablo Sandoval To Undergo Hamstring Surgery]]> 2018-08-03T00:19:06Z 2018-08-03T00:19:06Z Pablo Sandoval’s season for the Giants is over, as he’ll require surgery to repair a “significant” tear in his hamstring, manager Bruce Bochy told reporters (Twitter links via USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic). An MRI taken this morning revealed the extent of the injury.

Sandoval, 31, hasn’t approached his peak levels with the Giants in 2018, but he’s had a modest rebound all the same. Through 252 plate appearances, the Panda has posted a .248/.310/.417 with nine homers, 10 doubles and a triple. He’s logged time at first base, third base and even second base with San Francisco this year — albeit just seven innings at the latter of those positions. Though he’ll likely never return to the .292/.345/.464 (124 OPS+) form he showed from 2009-14, Sandoval’s 2018 production came out just narrowly south of league average after adjusting for park and league (97 OPS+, 97 wRC+).

The Giants will have the same decision to make on Sandoval that they did at the end of the 2017 season, as he’s technically still under contract for the 2019 season — the final guaranteed year of the ill-fated five-year, $95MM deal he signed prior to the 2015 campaign. Of course, San Francisco can keep him around for only the league minimum in 2019, with the Red Sox on the hook for the remainder of the $23MM he’s owed next year ($18MM salary plus the $5MM buyout on a 2020 club option).

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Johnny Cueto To Undergo Tommy John Surgery]]> 2018-08-02T00:50:39Z 2018-08-02T00:10:01Z The Giants announced to reporters Wednesday evening that right-hander Johnny Cueto will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow (Twitter link via Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area). The procedure will end his 2018 season and cost him the majority of the 2019 campaign as well.

Cueto spent two months on the disabled list earlier this season due to an elbow strain but was able to return to the mound in early July. However, after working to a sub-1.00 ERA through the season’s first month, he allowed 16 runs in 21 innings before landing back on the disabled list. Manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged recently that Tommy John surgery was a definite possibility for Cueto, and today’s announcement confirms as much.

The loss of Cueto is a massive blow to the Giants’ 2018 hopes. They’re currently five games out of the lead in the NL West and 4.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot in the National League, though the loss of Cueto and ongoing injury issues with Jeff Samardzija will present them with even more of an uphill battle in their efforts to return to the top of the division.

Cueto, 33 in February, is in the third season of a six-year, $132MM contract after forgoing an opt-out clause after the deal’s second season. While he turned in a brilliant first season in San Francisco back in 2016, his 2017 was marred by injuries, and both the 2018 and 2019 seasons will now fall under that same category. He’ll hope for a return late in the 2019 campaign, though it’s possible that Cueto won’t be able to return to the Giants’ rotation until after his 35th birthday. He’s owed just under $75MM through the end of the 2021 season (including a $5MM buyout of a $22MM option for the 2022 season).

It’s not clear whether the worst-case outcome on Cueto’s elbow will motivate the Giants to subtract any veteran pieces over the course of the month. San Francisco’s front office has been candid about its desire to try to remain competitive on a yearly basis. Certainly, they’d have plenty of pieces who could be attractive to contending clubs if they fall any further out of the race. While the Giants aren’t going to be embarking on any type of full-scale tear down, shorter-term veterans like Sam Dyson, Will Smith, Nick Hundley and Derek Holland could draw interest from teams that are more firmly in the playoff hunt. It’s far from clear, though, that the Giants would make any of those players available later this month.

Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[Matt Harvey Remaining With Reds]]> 2018-07-31T20:40:27Z 2018-07-31T18:00:03Z Matt Harvey will be staying with the Reds despite a flurry of trade discussions, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.  In my opinion, Harvey remains a candidate to be traded in August.

Earlier Updates:

  • The Giants have “entered the fray” for Harvey, tweets Jon Heyman of’s Mark Feinsand finds the Giants unlikely for Harvey, however.
  • Reds beat writer Bobby Nightengale Jr., reporting for the Cincinnati Enquirer, would be surprised if Harvey isn’t traded today.  Nightengale tweets that the Brewers and Braves have shown interest.  He’s backed up by his father, Bob Nightengale of USA Today, who says the Braves have been Harvey’s most aggressive suitor.  Nightengale Sr. also adds that the Chris Archer trade talks are slowing down the Harvey discussions, suggesting Harvey is a Plan B for some Archer suitors.
  • On the other hand, Jon Heyman of Fancred says Harvey is not likely for the Braves, while the Brewers and Cubs are “among the main teams in the mix.”  Similarly, David O’Brien of The Athletic hears the Braves are not in on Harvey.  Harvey wouldn’t seem to have an opening in the Cubs’ rotation, unless perhaps Yu Darvish’s injury issues persist and Mike Montgomery is moved back to the bullpen.  ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick hears the same interested parties as Heyman, regarding the Brewers and Cubs.
Steve Adams <![CDATA[Andrew McCutchen Drawing Trade Interest]]> 2018-07-31T16:21:50Z 2018-07-31T16:07:14Z 11:07am: Mark Feinsand of tweets that the Yankees’ interest in McCutchen is “soft.” They’re expected to add an outfielder today, he adds, but it doesn’t appear that McCutchen is high on the list of targets at this time.

Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale tweets that the Giants do not expect to move McCutchen at all today.

8:22am: The Yankees, Phillies and Indians are all showing “varying levels of interest” in Giants outfielder Andrew McCutchen, per’s Jon Morosi, who writes that San Francisco is more open to moving potential free agents than it was earlier this summer. On the other hand, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic tweets that while the Giants may indeed consider a move involving McCutchen, he doesn’t believe the team would seriously consider doing so until next month in a potential waiver deal. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle strikes a similar tone, tweeting that Giants are actually still looking at adding to their outfield or rotation in an effort to improve the team’s 2018 chances.

The Giants, of course, have slipped in the NL West standings this month, though they’re still just five and a half games back of the division lead. The reported possibility of surgery for right-hander Johnny Cueto doesn’t do any favors for the team’s hopes of climbing back up the standings, but GM Bobby Evans and president Brian Sabean have never been overly inclined to send their team into “sell” mode in the past.

It’s not hard to see why any of the teams listed by Morosi would at least have interest in McCutchen, though the Yankees’ need may be too short-term in nature for a player like McCutchen. New York has reportedly been seeking an extra outfield bat with Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier on the shelf, but McCutchen would be a costly addition (financially speaking) and crowd the team’s outfield mix in fairly notable fashion if and when Judge is ready to return next month.

Cleveland and Philadelphia, meanwhile, both showed some interest in Adam Jones but have come to learn that he’s unlikely to waive his 10-and-5 no-trade protection. As such, both have been tied to other bats on the market in recent days. The Indians, in particular, are said to be focusing on an upgrade in center field, though McCutchen is clearly better-suited for corner outfield work at this stage of his career.

McCutchen, 31, is earning $14.75MM this year in his final season before reaching free agency for the first time in his career. He’s enjoyed a solid season at the plate, though his offensive output hasn’t been anywhere near his peak levels, when he was the 2013 NL MVP and widely considered to be among the game’s best all-around players. In 454 plate appearances with San Francisco, McCutchen is hitting .258/.352/.407 with 10 homers, 24 doubles and a pair of triples — still above the league average (especially considering his cavernous home park) but no longer at elite levels.

For the Giants, there’d be some financial incentive in moving McCutchen, as shedding the remainder of his salary (roughly $4.84MM) would help to ensure that they remain south of the $197MM luxury tax threshold. But, doing so would also thin their outfield mix and serve as a gut-punch in the clubhouse. Ultimately, it doesn’t seem likely that the Giants will opt to deal McCutchen prior to the non-waiver deadline, though the interest in him and the potential for a move down the line are of at least some note.

Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[Red Sox Deadline Day Bullpen Rumors]]> 2018-07-31T15:00:16Z 2018-07-31T14:58:28Z Having added Nate Eovaldi and Ian Kinsler in the last week, the Red Sox could still acquire a reliever in advance of this afternoon’s trade deadline.  Expect an active day of reliever trades, even after a flurry yesterday that saw Keone Kela, Adam Warren, Zach Duke, and Roberto Osuna change teams.  The latest Red Sox bullpen rumors:

  • The Red Sox asked the Giants about lefties Tony Watson and Will Smith, tweets Sean McAdam of, but San Francisco is unsure about selling off those controllable assets.  Though the Giants’ playoff chances appear remote, they are five games out in the Wild Card chase, close enough to stand pat.  Watson, 33, inked a two-year, $9MM free agent deal with the Giants in February, which also includes a player option for 2020.  He’s in the midst of his finest season in several years.  Smith, 29, has emerged as the Giants’ closer and has been dominant since returning from March 2017 Tommy John surgery.  He’ll be arbitration eligible one last time for the 2019 season before reaching free agency.
  • Boston has also been linked to Marlins sidearmer Brad Ziegler, most recently by Jon Heyman of Fancred this morning.  Ziegler seems likely to be dealt today; catch up on his rumor mill here.