This isn’t good news for the National League’s worst offense.
According to both ESPN Deportes and FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Giants are talking to Alex Gonzalez about becoming their new shortstop.
Gonzalez, who turns 35 in February, hit .241/.270/.372 with 15 homers, 56 RBI and a dreadful 126/22 K/BB ratio in 564 at-bats for the Braves last season. He remains an above average defender, with sure hands and excellent footwork making up for a lack of elite range. However, his history of dreadful OBPs weighs on his value, and the Giants last year finished last in the NL in both OBP and runs scored.
With Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins in free agency, there are a pair of shortstops available capable of providing a genuine lift to the San Francisco offense. The Giants, though, don’t seem prepared to spend what it would take to secure either. For that reason, they could conceivably again finish second in the majors in ERA and miss the postseason next year.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.