Report: Rich Harden staying in Chicago

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To the surprise of absolutely no one, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that Rich Harden will remain with the Cubs because the Twins failed to work out a trade after claiming him off waivers.
Harden is an impending free agent, so assuming the Cubs offer him arbitration and he declines they’ll receive draft-pick compensation if he leaves. In other words, they had little reason to trade him unless the Twins were willing to part with multiple solid prospects.
Levine notes that Aaron Heilman will also remain with the Cubs after the Giants were unable to work something out following their waiver claim. Unlike Harden, Heilman remains under the Cubs’ control as an arbitration-eligible player next season and is eligible for free agency in 2011.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.