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.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.