Buster Posey’s numbers this season are significantly better when he starts at first base than when he starts at catcher, but that’s not enough for the Giants to move him out from behind home plate just yet, as CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly writes. Posey has posted a .961 OPS in 22 games as a first baseman and a .749 OPS in 88 games as a catcher.
Posey doesn’t seem interested in a move, either, as he was apparently in a squat in manager Bruce Bochy’s office when he was asked if he felt good enough to catch Friday night in Washington against the Nationals, a day after catching 14 innings at Wrigley Field.
Baggarly clarifies in the article that, even though the Giants could potentially lose third baseman Pablo Sandoval to free agency, Posey would only move to first base, not to third base. Bochy expounded:
“It’s easier on the body playing first base,” Bochy said. “There’s a lot of activity at first base and you can’t drift mentally, but it is easier. … It makes sense that he probably should hit a little bit more.”
As for third base, Bochy said, “His hands, his arm, everything would work. But it would take a lot of work.”
Posey, 27, enters tonight’s game against the Nationals with an OPS about 50 points below that of last year, slashing .284/.345/.438 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI. He is in the second year of a nine-year, $167 million extension signed with the Giants in March 2013.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.