Hanson (concussion) confident he’ll be ready for season

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Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson has been sidelined since Monday morning due to a mild (Grade 1) concussion that he suffered after blowing a tire and banging his head in a one-car accident.

But the 25-year-old is confident he’ll be able to play catch-up once he is cleared to return to action.

Here’s Hanson discussing his condition Saturday with a group of reporters, including beat writer David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“It’ll only be a week off,” said Hanson. “I was throwing 50-pitch bullpens before I came down here [to spring training], so I don’t’ think a week off is going to set me back too much. After I start throwing for a couple of days, I think I’ll be back where I would have been last week. Most of the time at the end of spring training, that last week is kind of extra anyways. So I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I feel like I’ll be ready.”

Hanson registered a stellar 3.60 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 22 starts last season, fanning 142 batters and walking only 46 across 130 innings. He missed a large chunk of the second half due to shoulder issues.

The Giants are interested in Evan Longoria

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.

Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.

Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.

If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.