UPDATE: Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the Nationals will receive prospect outfielder Erik Komatsu from the Brewers. Komatsu is batting .294/.393/.416 with six homers, 40 RBI, 13 stolen bases and an .809 OPS over 379 plate appearances with Double-A Huntsville this season. The 23-year-old has an impressive 163/161 K/BB ratio in the minors. He was ranked as the organization’s No. 14 prospect coming into the season by Baseball America.
11:42 AM: ESPN’s Chris Singleton reports that the Brewers have acquired utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Nationals. No word who the Brewers will sent to Washington in the deal.
Hairston, 35, is batting .268/.342/.385 with four homers, 24 RBI and a .727 OPS over 238 plate appearances this season.
The Brewers lost Rickie Weeks to an ankle injury earlier this week and Casey McGehee has struggled all season at third base, so Hairston could be a solution at either position. Yuniesky Betancourt has swung the bat better lately, but he’s, well, Yuniesky Betancourt. Hairston could also play center field in a pinch, providing a backup to Nyjer Morgan following Carlos Gomez’s broken collarbone. The Brewers acquired Felipe Lopez from the Rays on Thursday, who offers similar flexibility for their infield.
The Nationals optioned Roger Bernadina to Triple-A Syracuse yesterday, so barring a trade before tomorrow’s deadline, it appears they are going to roll with Rick Ankiel in center field on a regular basis.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.