UPDATE, 7:41 PM: According to Mychael Urban of CSN Bay Area, this one is done. If Suppan manages to find a spot on the Giants’ Opening Day roster, he will earn a $1 million salary.
2:16 PM: From Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News comes word that the Giants are nearing agreement on a minor league contract with veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan.
The deal will also come with an invitation to spring training, where Suppan will attempt to land a spot in the Giants’ bullpen as a long reliever. If that doesn’t work out, he’ll probably begin the year at Triple-A Fresno and serve as rotation depth.
Suppan, 36, posted a 5.06 ERA and 1.65 WHIP across 101.1 innings for the Brewers and Cardinals last season, fanning only 51 batters while walking 37. It was the final chapter of a ridiculous four-year, $42 million contract that he signed with Milwaukee in December of 2006.
His fastball velocity is poor and he shouldn’t be trusted as a regular member of any starting rotation, but Suppan is capable of eating some innings for San Francisco in the event of an emergency.
The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.
It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.
Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.