As expected the Giants have decided against adding Melky Cabrera to the roster for the World Series and will stick with the same group they used in the NLDS and NLCS.
Cabrera’s exclusion was all but given considering the team’s comments about the situation for the past several weeks, but there was some speculation that San Francisco might add a third catcher in Eli Whiteside.
Cabrera was eligible to return from his 50-game steroid suspension for the NLCS, but the Giants stuck with Gregor Blanco as their starting left fielder. Blanco is never going to equal Cabrera’s lofty .346 batting average during the regular season, but he has gotten on base at a .364 clip during the playoffs.
Still, it’s hard to think that the Giants wouldn’t be better off with Cabrera on the roster, if only as a bench bat.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.