The Giants are still plenty upset about the late-May collision at home plate that caused an early end to catcher Buster Posey‘s 2011 season.
Earlier this week, Giants manager Bruce Bochy reached out to Joe Torre, who now serves as Major League Baseball’s vice president of baseball operations, and lobbied for a rule change.
Now Giants general manager Brian Sabean is targeting Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins, who inflicted the damage on Posey last Tuesday.
According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, Sabean told Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert on the San Francisco-based KNBR this afternoon that Cousins was “malicious” in launching himself at Posey. And it gets much harsher:
“If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy. He chose to be a hero in my mind, and if that’s his flash of fame, that’s as good as it’s going to get, pal. We’ll have a long memory. Believe me, we’ve talked to (Mike) Matheny about how this game works. You can’t be that out-and-out overly aggressive. I’ll put it as politically as I can state it: There’s no love lost and there shouldn’t be.”
It’s fine for Sabean to be upset about the situation and to defend one of his young stars, but calling out a player on another team and rooting for that player to have a short career is certainly crossing the line.
UPDATE: Cousins’ agent, Matt Sosnick, has now responded to Sabean’s comments. “I’d say Brian’s opinion is in the vast minority in baseball,” he told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.