While the club isn’t commenting on the situation, CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly says all indications are that the Giants won’t bring Melky Cabrera back should they advance in the postseason.
According to Baggarly, Cabrera recently reached out to Giants officials to find out when and if he should report to the club’s minor league complex to prepare for the postseason. Cabrera’s 50-game PED suspension will include the first five games of the postseason, but he’d be eligible to return afterwards, presumably for the NLCS and World Series if the Giants advance.
As is, it sounds like the Giants would rather go it without him, even though they’ve yet to come up with a regular left fielder in his absence. It’s also worth noting that they’re currently using Guillermo Mota out of the pen even though he served a 100-game PED suspension as a repeat offender this year.
If he’s given the chance to face some live pitching in the couple of weeks leading to a potential NLCS, one presumes Cabrera would be an upgrade for the Giants. The free-agent-to-be hit .346/.390/.516 in 459 at-bats prior to his suspension and he seems set to claim the NL batting title unless Andrew McCutchen heats back up.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.