Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract.
Mildly surprising that Hernandez had to settle for a minor league contract, but the free agent racket has become a tough one in recent years. As it is, he posted an ERA of 3.84 and struck out 80 batters in 72.2 innings while walking 32. That’s not amazing but he’s a useful bullpen piece in a game filled with teams who scramble for bullpen help in the middle of every season. Oh well.
Hernandez stands at least a moderate chance of making the Giants out of spring training.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.