I missed this last week, but apparently Brian Sabean said that he had planned on trading Bengie Molina all along:
Giants GM Brian Sabean revealed Wednesday that he knew from the moment he signed Molina that the club would trade him later in the summer . . . “That was the plan almost going all the way back to the winter meetings (in December). We were fortuitous that Bengie turned down the Mets and signed with us. But (if not), we would’ve signed another catcher and lined it up the same way, because Buster wasn’t ready.”
This did not sit well with Molina, who had this to say to the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday:
“That tells you what a person he is, I guess. He never tells me anything. I wish he would have told me before they signed me. I would not have signed.”
On the other hand, if you’re Bengie Molina — or especially if you’re Bengie Molina’s agent — how can you not assume that, given the presence of a phenom catcher in Posey, that Molina was not going to be trade bait prior to signing last winter? From the moment Molina hit free agency people assumed that he was a short-timer in San Francisco if he came back. People even wondered whether he wasn’t destined to be the backup right out of spring training. Given that he still had defensive value, it seemed inevitable that he would be shopped, barring injury. He’s a smart guy, so he had to know that too.
So, I feel ya, Bengie. I really do. Sabean is kind of a jerk. But in this case you don’t have a ton of room to be hurt.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.