Here’s some bad news for the defending World Series champions.
According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Brian Wilson underwent an MRI this morning which revealed a “mild” strain of his left oblique muscle. Wilson told the training staff that he suffered the injury during his most recent outing on Thursday night.
While Giants manager Bruce Bochy wouldn’t definitively say that the bearded one is in doubt for Opening Day, he acknowledged that there’s some concern due to the nature of the injury.
“There’s concern, sure,” Bochy said. “Sometimes these things take longer than others. On Monday we’ll have a better idea, and then I can tell you how much concern, but sure there’s concern when it’s an oblique.
“We still have some time here. He was at a pretty good place before he injured it, how he was throwing. It’s a setback. Hopefully Monday we’ll find it it’s not too long of a setback. I know how tough and strong he is. He isn’t overly concerned.
Remember, Wilson was sidelined for the first week or so of exhibition action due to a back injury, so while relievers don’t need many appearances to get ready for the season, he needs to get some work.
Bochy told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that it’s “premature” to name a replacement for Wilson, but you’d have to figure that Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and possibly Javier Lopez would be in the mix.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.