The Marlins got Carlos Lee from the Astros because he didn’t want to go to a contender in Los Angeles. Now they’re stuck with him because he didn’t want to join the Yankees, two sources told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark.
Lee presumably would have been picked up by the Yankees in lieu of Casey McGehee, who was acquired from the Pirates for Chad Qualls just before the trade deadline. McGehee offers extra versatility by virtue of being able to play third base, whereas Lee would have given the Yankees a more consistent bat as a first base and DH option while they try to cover for their injuries.
It will be interesting to see if the Marlins just go ahead and release Lee at some point. The Astros are already on the hook for most of his salary, so there’s little financial incentive for keeping him. Of course, with Gaby Sanchez gone and Logan Morrison on the disabled list, the Marlins still have use for the warm body at the moment.
Lee has hit .271/.388/.343 with one homer and 12 RBI in 21 games since joining the Marlins last month. Overall, he’s at .284/.348/.396 with six homers and 41 RBI in 328 at-bats for the year.
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.