Pablo Sandoval’s redemption story is temporarily on hold.
Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Pablo Sandoval has a fractured hamate bone in his hand. The report has been confirmed by Buster Olney of ESPN.com. The injury typically requires surgery and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that Sandoval will likely be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.
Sandoval worked his butt off to lose nearly 40 pounds during the offseason and it looks like the hard work paid off, as he was batting .313/.374/.530 with five homers and 14 RBI over his first 91 plate appearances this season. While this isn’t a season-ending injury, it will be interesting to see whether his power suffers upon his return.
While the injury is a tough blow, Giants trainer Dave Groeschner told the Associated Press that Sandoval plans to use the time off to get in even better shape.
“The one positive he’s trying to take out of it is that he still wants to lose a few more pounds. And he’s like, ‘That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to work out.’ He can work out his legs. He can still run,” Groeschner said. “He’s motivated to do that. So this is an opportunity to work on that part. He’s going to have plenty of time, so that’s what we’re going to push.”
If today’s lineup is any indication, the Giants will likely move ahead with Miguel Tejada at third base and Mike Fontenot at shortstop. Emmanuel Burriss, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno earlier this week, will likely share time with Fontenot.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.