Brennan Boesch diagnosed with second-degree thumb sprain

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Brennan Boesch’s thumb injury is more serious than the Tigers initially hoped, as he was diagnosed with a second-degree sprain that will keep him out of the lineup for at least a few days.

Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Boesch saw a hand specialist yesterday, getting an MRI exam and X-rays, but he’ll need the swelling to go down before he can grip a bat with his non-throwing hand.

Boesch described himself as “cautiously optimistic” about avoiding the disabled list and getting back into the lineup by early next week, but in the meantime Ryan Raburn played left field in his absence yesterday.

Even before the injury Boesch was in a second-half slump for the second time in two seasons, although his dropoff after the All-Star break hasn’t been as extreme as the rookie version.

The Giants are interested in Evan Longoria

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.

Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.

Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.

If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.