World Series - San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers - Game 4

Buster Posey passes concussion tests after scary foul tip

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SAN FRANCISCO –- The Giants might be reeling after losing three late leads and getting swept by the Colorado Rockies, but at least Buster Posey is clear of mind.

Posey came out of Sunday’s eventual 8-7 loss in the fourth inning after he took a particularly hard foul tip off the mask. Posey had a headache in the dugout, so Giants manager Bruce Bochy sent up Hector Sanchez to bat in the bottom of the inning.

But Posey said the headache didn’t last long, he passed all the concussion tests and he expected to fly with the team when they leave for Chicago on Monday.

“I feel fine,” Posey said. “It stung me a little bit but everything feels normal. They’ll check in with me later tonight and tomorrow morning, just to make sure nothing has changed.”

Posey was checked by head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner after Rockies catcher Mike McKenry fouled back a pitch from Madison Bumgarner that caught Posey flush on his hockey-style mask. Posey finished the half-inning.

[RELATED: Instant Replay: Giants melt down late, swept by Rockies]

“He thought he could continue but once he got onto the dugout, he was getting a headache,” Bochy said. “You hear that and you can’t let him go back out there.”

Said Bumgarner: “You could see paint flying everywhere, chips or something. It was pretty solid. He usually doesn’t act like nothing is bothering him unless it’s really bothering him.”

Posey took a hard foul off the mask earlier in the week against the Washington Nationals; there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and also published studies that have demonstrated repeated shots to the head usually have a cumulative effect.

[RELATED: Posey jarred by foul tip, leaves Sunday’s game early]

“As a competitor you want to stay out there,” Posey said. “But when it comes to your head feeling weird, and taking a couple hard ones, three or four in the last couple days, it was the right move.”

Posey said he hasn’t been diagnosed with a concussion other than one time at Single-A San Jose when he was hit by a pitch and missed time on the disabled list. Even then, he said he didn’t experience any significant symptoms.

The Giants don’t have a third catcher on the 40-man roster, so they’d have to do a bit of juggling if they needed to purchase the contract of Guillermo Quiroz from Triple-A Fresno. It appears that won’t be necessary.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

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Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.