As Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports, the Red Sox went to arbitration with reliever Fernando Abad on Monday. Abad asked for $2.7 million while the Red Sox countered at $2 million. The lefty earned $1.3 million in 2016.
This marks the first time the Red Sox have gone to arbitration with one of their players in 15 years, as Silverman notes. Back in 2002, the club went to a hearing with pitcher Rolando Arrojo and the arbitrator ultimately sided with the Red Sox. Historically, teams tend to come out ahead.
Abad, 31, started the 2016 season with the Twins but was traded to the Red Sox ahead of the trade deadline on August 1. Between both teams, he posted a 3.66 ERA with a 41/22 K/BB ratio in 46 2/3 innings. Abad can become a free agent after the 2017 season.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.