Freddy Sanchez to try to avoid surgery on bum shoulder

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Sticking with the Giants, the San Jose Mercury-News is saying that, rather than opt to have surgery on his dislocated shoulder, Freddy Sanchez is going to try to go the rehab route.

This is really a play for this season, because surgery would end it and rehab has at least a shot at getting him back in uniform.  Over the long haul, though, he’s expected to need surgery due to the damage he did to it.

This is one of those deals where, if the Giants weren’t contenders, or if Sanchez was some hot up-and-coming dude, you’d probably want to do surgery now, but if there’s a chance that Sanchez can be back to provide depth and a potentially useful bat in a playoff push or in the playoffs themselves, the Giants owe to themselves to give it a crack.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.