UPDATE: Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the deal is official.
10:00 AM: According to Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com, the Giants and outfielder Andres Torres are close to agreeing to a one-year contract. A deal could be finalized by as soon as today.
A league source tells Urban that Torres’ contract will be “in the $2.1 million range.” Torres filed for $2.6 million and was offered $1.8 million when arbitration figured were exchanged on Tuesday, so this contract should come very close to the midpoint of $2.2 million.
Torres, who turns 33 next week, was one of the best all-around players for the World Champion Giants last season, batting .268/.343/.479 with 16 home runs, 63 RBI and 26 stolen bases while playing excellent outfield defense.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.