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Giants will exercise Matt Moore’s option for 2018

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Giants’ GM Bobby Evans confirmed that the club has plans to pick up Matt Moore‘s $9 option for 2018, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. It hasn’t been Moore’s finest season — a league-high 5.39 ERA will testify to that, among other markers — but Shaikin points out that the Giants aren’t positioning themselves for a rebuild anytime soon. They still plan to compete with the same veteran core in 2018, and as long as Moore can handle the 150+ inning workload without breaking down, he has a place on the pitching staff for the foreseeable future.

Moore, 28, appeared to have some difficulty transitioning to his first full season in the National League. His 14 losses and 100 earned runs are career-worst marks, and while his 5.39 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.7 SO/9 aren’t personal lows, they don’t inspire a lot of confidence, either. (Granted, none of the Giants’ starters carry a sub-4.00 ERA except for Madison Bumgarner, who only started seeing regular starts in the second half after missing significant time with a shoulder injury.)

Even taking Moore’s recent struggles into account, it’s not all bad news for the Giants going forward. Without the onus to rebuild, they’re not about to start jettisoning pitching depth, especially when other relatively young, relatively healthy, relatively productive arms on the market come at a much steeper price. If Moore tanks in 2018, the club has a $1 million buyout on his contract, and if he surges back to 2013-like peaks, it’ll only cost $10 million to retain him for another season.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

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Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.