The Giants have a lot of decisions ahead

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Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that the Giants are going to take all of the time available to them — all the way to the midnight deadline tomorrow night — to decide what to do with Edgar Renteria’s option.  It’s a $10 million option with a $500,000 buyout.  I was of the impression that Renteria had already all but decided to retire, but apparently not. Or, apparently not without first collecting half a million in free money after the Giants decline the buyout.

Which they will do, right? Because World Series heroics aside, they don’t honestly think that Renteria is an everyday shortstop anymore, do they? Let alone one worth $10 million?  If they do, maybe I don’t have to trash my “Brian Sabean doesn’t know what he’s doing” template after all.  It’s Ctrl-X-7 on my keyboard if you’re curious, and it’s worn the hell out.

In other Giants news, they’d love to bring Juan Uribe back, but they figure he’s going to get multi-year deals elsewhere and may not compete. They’re also thinking hard about what to do about Pat Burrell. They like him, Baggarly reports, but they saw his limitations — and likely future — in brilliant technicolor during the World Series. If a reasonable deal could be done great, but he’s past the point of giving big money to. Baggarly is also told by anonymous Giants sources that they’d “entertain the idea” of going after Carl Crawford for left field, but I don’t think that’s exactly shocking. I entertain all kinds of unlikely scenarios during the day, but they rarely come to fruition. And, unlike the Giants, I don’t even have Barry Zito’s salary obligations preventing me from doing what I really want to do.

Whatever happens, this is going to be an interesting winter for the World Champs.  Will they realize that, in a lot of ways, they were a lightning-in-a-bottle team and try to continue to build on that great core of pitching and that stud catcher?  Or will they believe that Burrell, Renteria and guys like that know how to win and go back to their old vet-heavy days?

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.

Dodgers can clinch NL West on Friday

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The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.

Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.

The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.