Jon Heyman tweets that Trevor Hoffman wants to pitch in 2011 if someone will give him a chance to close.
My first thought: what’s with him and Edgar Renteria? One ended 2011 on top, and the other ended 2011 well enough — 600th save! — to make everyone forget how much of a train wreck his year was, so why not just ride off into the sunset? The future is way more likely to hold an Apollo Creed/Ivan Drago beatdown for those guys than it is to hold a return to All-Star form.
My second thought — and it wasn’t my thought: Gleeman told me I was being too hard on Hoffman based on his second half numbers — is that things could theoretically work out for Hoffman. While all of those early-season blown saves caught our attention, his second half — a 2.66 ERA in 20.1 innings with 13 strikeouts, six walks and 15 hits — was decent work. Decent enough to be worth a middle relief job, I’d say. If we wants one and would be willing to take middle relief money, that is.
But as a closer? If Heyman is right and that’s Hoffman’s prerequisite for returning, we’ve likely seen the last of him, because I can’t think of a team that would take that chance.
The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.
Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.
Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.