Pittsburgh hasn’t done much this offseason, but apparently it hasn’t been for a lack of effort. It just turns out no one wants to play for the Pirates.
Edwin Jackson reportedly turned down a three-year, $30 million offer from the Pirates to take a one-year, $11 million from the Nationals and now Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review writes that “the Pirates inquired about Roy Oswalt and were willing to jump into the bidding, but were rebuffed.”
Without knowing what exactly the Pirates offered Oswalt it’s tough to say whether his turning them down was more about money or lack of interest, particularly since the market for Oswalt continues to be so difficult to read despite spring training being right around the corner. Whatever the case, the Pirates have tried to add an expensive veteran to the rotation and no one will take their money.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.