UPDATE: ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that Giles will earn $500,000 if he lands on the big league roster. The contract also contains another $200,000 worth of performance-based bonuses.
9:18am: According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers have signed outfielder Brian Giles to a minor league contract.
Included in the deal is an invitation to spring training, though it’s no sure bet that Giles will crack the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. The club already has outfielders Jason Repko, Xavier Paul and Reed Johnson headed to spring camp and Giles might just be the least valuable of the bunch. The 39-year-old left-handed swinger batted just .191/.277/.271 in 225 at-bats with the Padres last year. He was limited to 61 games due to a knee contusion and remains a major injury risk heading into the 2010 season.
Oh, and if you’re keeping score at home, Giles is also a poor defensive outfielder.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.