Bum wheel hurting Giles in fight for bench job

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After just one week of spring training Brian Giles told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that his oft-injured right knee hasn’t responded as well he’d like:

Not as much as I’d like at this point. It’s just okay. Obviously, I’ll give it a few more days. It’s not where I want it to be. I’ll see if it gets better with more conditioning and how that changes it.

As a general rule of thumb 39-year-old players with chronic injuries that are still hurting after an offseason to rest tend not to get a whole lot healthier with “a few more days.”
Giles was already competing with 36-year-old Doug Mientkiewicz to be a left-handed bench bat for the Dodgers and now 38-year-old Garret Anderson has joined the elderly mix after signing a minor-league deal yesterday. Giles and Anderson are obviously bigger names than Mientkiewicz (although not literally, because few are literally bigger names than “Mienkiewicz”), but at this point they’re also no sure thing to be any better offensively and offer significantly less defensive ability or versatility.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.