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.
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.