Ryan Howard was benched today and it looks like he’ll be a platoon player for a good while. After the game reporters tried to talk to him about it. Howard wasn’t too talkative:
“Talk to him,” he said after the game, referring to Sandberg. “Bye. Talk to the manager.”
He’s an athlete so he’s obviously competitive and it’d probably be more surprising if he did want to expound on not being allowed to play as much as he’d like. But you do have to wonder if this is creating any bad blood between Howard and Sandberg. Or Sandberg and his overwhelmingly veteran team.
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.
It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.
Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.
Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.