Here’s a pretty minor deal on a slow Saturday. Initially reported by Oscar Prieto Rojas and confirmed by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, the Athletics have acquired Guillermo Moscoso from the Rangers for minor league right-hander Ryan Kelly.
Moscoso was designated for assignment by the Rangers earlier this week in order to make room for Adrian Beltre on the 40-man roster. The 27-year-old right-hander spent most of last season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, posting a 5.18 ERA and 107/49 K/BB ratio over 22 starts and one relief appearance. He has a 4.30 ERA over 11 major league relief appearances, including one game with the Rangers last May.
Kelly, 23, was just acquired from the Pirates in a trade for utilityman Corey Wimberly last month. The 23-year-old right-hander has a 4.74 over parts of four seasons in the minor leagues, but has never pitched above the Single-A level. However, he has posted impressive peripherals since making a move to the bullpen in 2009.
In order to make room for Moscoso on the 40-man roster, the Athletics have designated Philip Humber for assignment. The former 2004 first-round pick was claimed off waivers from the Royals in December after posting a 4.15 ERA and 16/7 K/BB ratio over 21 2/3 innings last season.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.