Giants working on new deal for Ryan Vogelsong

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The Giants won’t be picking up Ryan Vogelsong’s $6.5 million club option for 2014, but they are talking about a deal with a lower price tag, sources told CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly.

Vogelsong, a big success in winning 27 games with a 3.04 ERA for the Giants between 2011 and ’12, slipped to 4-6 with a 5.73 ERA in 19 starts last season. He did improve somewhat after returning from a fractured hand, posting a 4.55 ERA in his final 10 starts. However, that came with just 27 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings.

If the Giants bring back Vogelsong, it could be for a guarantee in the $3 million range, with incentives that would push him back up to $6 million or so. He’ll get a $300,000 buyout when his option is declined, assuming that isn’t folded into a new contract that gets announced first.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.