Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik is widely regarded as one of the smartest and most forward-thinking front office executives in all of baseball. Things didn’t work out in 2010, when the M’s finished with a hideous 61-101 record, but the man they call “Jack Z” is again earning his reputation this winter.
According to Shannon Drayer of Seattle’s 710 ESPN, the Mariners have dealt infielder Jose Lopez to the Rockies for minor league pitcher Chaz Roe.
Roe posted an ugly 5.98 ERA and 1.67 WHIP this year at the Triple-A level and is far from a top prospect, but the M’s had planned on non-tendering Lopez before Thursday night’s deadline and it’s absolutely incredible that Jack Z was able to find a trade partner with just hours to go.
Lopez is likely to see regular action at second base next season in Colorado. He hit just .239/.270/.339 over 593 at-bats in 2010, but he does have a decent power stroke and should be able to let that shine at Coors Field. Granted, he will cut into the development of young Colorado two-bagger Eric Young Jr.
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.