Thanks to Darren Ford’s ankle sprain, it sounds like the Giants will soon have a roster spot open up. However, manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday that a move involving Brandon Belt isn’t likely.
“To be honest, Belt is more of a longshot,” Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle. “What we’re looking for is more of a bench type player and more depth, a pinch-hitter.”
Belt, who struggled as the Giants’ first baseman while Cody Ross was on the DL last month, is batting .351/.484/.546 with four homers and 21 RBI in 30 games for Triple-A Fresno. He’s dominated righties to the tune of a .394/.531/.606 line.
With the Giants struggling to score runs, bringing up Belt and using him as a platoon left fielder would make sense. However, the Giants don’t want to go that route yet. They’re certainly a far better defensive team with Nate Schierholtz in right and Ross in left, an alignment they’ve been using more frequently lately.
Besides, even though they’re dead last in the NL in runs scored, the Giants are sitting in first place in the NL West with a 27-20 record. And their road to returning to the playoffs appeared to get a little smoother with Tuesday’s news that the Rockies’ Jorge De La Rosa would need Tommy John surgery.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.