UPDATE II: So much for that. Giants general manager Brian Sabean confirmed to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that they did not submit a bid for Nakajima.
UPDATE: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that the report of the Giants submitting a bid on Nakajima is inaccurate.
10:37 AM: According to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Giants “appear to have submitted” a bid on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima.
We learned over the weekend that Nakajima drew a bid from at least one MLB team and that the Seibu Lions intend to accept the highest bid regardless of the amount. If the bid is indeed accepted, the winning team will be granted a 30-day exclusive negotiating window to agree on a contract.
Nakajima, 29, is a .302 career hitter in Japan and has surpassed at least 16 home runs and 15 stolen bases in each of the last four seasons. He batted .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs, 100 RBI and 21 stolen bases this past season.
Brandon Crawford currently projects as the Giants’ starting shortstop next season, though they have been connected to free agents Alex Gonzalez and Jerry Hairston, Jr. in recent days. They were not involved in talks for Jose Reyes and landing Jimmy Rollins is considered a longshot.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.