While Boston gets linked to every conceivable free agent out there, Sean McAdam of CSNNewEngland.com notes that it’s quite possible that the Red Sox’ next first baseman is already on the roster:
General manager Ben Cherington said at last week’s GM meetings that Jerry Sands could be a platoon option at first base.
Sands was the player to be named later in the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers last season. He only has 251 plate appearances under his belt, but he certainly does have a pronounced platoon split. Against righties, he hits .204/.301/.289. Against lefties: .316/.372/.532.
There’s a chance he still may figure it out against righties too — he’s a career .289/.376/.562 hitter in over 2000 minor league appearances overall — but even if he turns out to be a AAAA player as a full time guy, he could have some value in a platoon role.
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.