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Dodgers option Julio Urias to Triple-A Oklahoma City

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Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday, per a team announcement. The move follows a rough stretch for the 20-year-old southpaw, who shoulders a 5.40 ERA after giving up 13 combined runs across his last two starts with the Dodgers. A corresponding move was made to recall right-handed reliever Josh Ravin from Triple-A, who should give the club some bullpen depth in Urias’ absence.

Urias took his second consecutive loss of the season on Saturday, distributing seven runs and three walks over just 2 1/3 innings. He faced 17 batters and struck out none, the only appearance in his brief major league career in which he failed to log a single strikeout.

Team manager Dave Roberts pinned the blame on Urias’ location issues, noting that the only consistent thing about the lefty appears to be his inconsistency on the mound. That might be a little harsh, but there’s no denying that the results just aren’t there right now. Over five starts and 23 1/3 innings, Urias paired his 5.40 ERA with an abysmal 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 and has yet to complete an outing without walking at least one batter. While neither Roberts nor Urias has pinpointed a specific weak spot with his mechanics, something has to change if the left-hander is going to stick in the Dodgers’ rotation going forward.

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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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.