In what should come as a surprise to no one, the Giants weren’t able to trade Aaron Rowand or Miguel Tejada after designating both for assignment. The pair were placed on release waivers Thursday, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman reports.
Both players figure to become free agents Monday, allowing them to sign with teams. There may not be any demand for Tejada at all, but Rowand is sure to get several calls. That’s partly because Rowand will merely have to be paid the minimum next year, with the Giants on the hook for the remaining $11.6 million of his $12 million salary.
There’s already been some speculation that the Phillies will bring Rowand back. They could use a true backup center fielder, and Rowand has warm memories from his time in Philly. However, Rowand might be able to find a bigger role. The Phillies already have a fine fourth outfielder for this year and next in John Mayberry Jr., and Rowand would really only be useful to the team when Shane Victorino is hurt.
Of course, neither player will be eligible for the postseason this season. The Giants saw to that when they waited as long as they did to cut bait.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.