Injuries have derailed Kyle Blanks’ career, causing the 6-foot-6 slugger to go from 22-year-old top prospect to 26-year-old question mark, but the first baseman/outfielder will remain with the Padres for another season.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Blanks has agreed to a one-year, $605,000 contract that allows him to avoid arbitration with the Padres following a year in which he missed all but a handful of games due to shoulder surgery.
When healthy enough to play Blanks has never stopped putting up huge numbers in the minors and had an impressive big-league debut in 2009, but since then he’s hit just .202 in 92 games for the Padres while missing big chunks of time following elbow and shoulder surgeries.
There was some speculation that he could be non-tendered, but the one-year deal allows the Padres to stick with him for a modest price.
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.