Padres won't exercise $8.5 million option on Chris Young

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General manager Jed Hoyer said yesterday that the Padres will not exercise their $8.5 million option on Chris Young for next year, which isn’t surprising after he missed nearly the entire season with shoulder problems.
Young had a 1.49 ERA in three September starts after sitting out five months, but his 10/8 K/BB ratio in 14 innings wasn’t nearly as encouraging and his fastball velocity was down to just 84 miles per hour.
Hoyer did praise Young for battling to make it back before the end of the season and told Corey Brock of MLB.com that the Padres would be open to re-signing him at a lesser salary. “I was really impressed with the way he came back,” Hoyer said. “He came back, pushed through and made big starts for us.”
Young will surely have multiple teams interested in him as a free agent, but seems likely to receive primarily incentive-laden offers and keeping Petco Park as your home ballpark is always a good idea for a pitcher trying to recoup lost value.

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.