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Report: Giants sign Tony Watson to two-year deal


Update, 3:40 p.m. ET: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has more details on the terms of the agreement:

Free agent left-hander Tony Watson has reportedly agreed to terms with the Giants, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman announced late Friday night. While the deal has not been confirmed by the team, it’s believed to be a two-year agreement with incentives and a player option (with additional incentives) for a third year. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the deal guarantees Watson something “in the neighborhood of $7 million,” though the exact figure has yet to be disclosed. More importantly, the contract isn’t expected to push the Giants over the $197 million luxury tax threshold.

Watson, 32, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates in 2017 after being dealt to the Dodgers at the trade deadline. The lefty reliever earned a combined 3.38 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 in 66 2/3 innings with the two clubs. He also produced 10 saves with the Pirates after beginning the season in the closer role, though some midseason struggles led to his eventual demotion.

The Giants have been in sore need of healthy, productive relievers after a disastrous 2017 campaign, one in which highly-touted closer Mark Melancon succumbed to a lingering forearm strain and the bullpen stumbled to a 25th-best ranking in the league with a cumulative 4.34 ERA and 1.5 fWAR. Granted, Watson is several years removed from the lights-out, sub-2.00 ERA performance that merited All-Star billing back in 2014, but he still figures to be a valuable addition to a team hoping to contend again in 2018.

Indians release Mike Napoli

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The Cleveland Indians have released Mike Napoli.

This is not terribly surprising as he was seen as a depth move to begin with. Injury insurance for Yonder Alonso at first base and Edwin Encarnacion at DH, neither of whom are injured at the moment. Napoli was on a minor league contract and the Indians made it clear that, if he can’t find a major league job elsewhere, he’s welcome to come back and cool his heels in Columbus in the event he’s needed later.

Which may be what happens if he wants to keep playing because, after a season in which he hit .193/.285/.428, and a spring in which he hit .218/.310/.431, there aren’t likely to be a ton of takers.