Giants sign Ryan Theriot to one-year, $1.25 million contract

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Ryan Theriot has agreed to a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Giants that includes $750,000 in potential incentives, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Theriot has been a starter for most of the past five seasons, but his performance ceased warranting regular playing time several years ago.

He hit just .271 with a .321 on-base percentage and .342 slugging percentage in 132 games last season–which was actually better than his 2010 production–and at age 32 is a sub par defender at shortstop.

Of course, Heyman called Theriot “a good veteran shortstop option” because … well, that’s what he does.

Theriot figures to compete with 25-year-old Brandon Crawford for the starting job in spring training and Crawford is a weak enough hitter that Theriot might actually have a chance to win the gig. And if not he’ll settle for a utility man role. If nothing else Giants fans should be used to this after they signed Miguel Tejada to be their starting shortstop last winter.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.