Giants unlikely to make a “big splash” for a hitter

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The Giants held a conference call this afternoon to discuss the contract extensions for GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy. Asked about their offseason agenda by John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Sabean said he doesn’t plan on making a “big splash” to upgrade the team’s lackluster offense.

While it’s not a surprise to learn that they won’t be in the mix for top-tier hitters like Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder or Jose Reyes, Sabean even downplayed the team’s chances of signing Jimmy Rollins or Carlos Beltran. When asked specifically about Beltran, Sabean said, “Whether it’s (Beltran) or anybody else, we have a very definitive game plan on each conversation on what we think is a reasonable length.”

Beltran, who turns 35 in April, batted .323/.369/.551 with seven homers and a .920 OPS over 179 plate appearances with San Francisco after being acquired from the Mets in a mid-season trade. While the Giants are still interested in bringing him back, the major concern is that he could receive a longer contract from an American League club, as they would have the option of using him as a designated hitter down the road.

For now, Sabean is committed to allocating resources to the pitching staff, which he considers the organization’s “gold standard.” With that in mind, assistant GM Bobby Evans said he has already spoken with the agents for Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, describing it as “an exchange of ideas and some conversations about numbers.” Cain is set to become a free agent after the 2012 season while Lincecum is under team control though 2013.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.