Last week Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he was “totally shocked” and “broken-hearted” that Jose Valverde hasn’t found a new team. And, being the jerk that I am, I noted that if Leyland was truly “broken-hearted” he’d probably try to convince general manager Dave Dombrowski to re-sign Valverde considering the price tag certainly can’t be much at this point.
But that won’t be happening, as Lynn Henning of the Detroit News writes:
Tigers have been busy endorsing Jose Valverde in every fashion but one: They haven’t for a moment considered signing him.
This is like breaking up with someone, telling all your friends to date them because they’re really wonderful, and then changing the subject when asked: “Wait, why did you break up with them if they’re so great?”
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.