Giants bring back Travis Ishikawa

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First baseman Travis Ishikawa opted for free agency after being dropped by the Pirates earlier this week and now he’s found a new home, signing a minor-league deal with the Giants.

Ishikawa is returning to his original team. He was drafted by the Giants in 2002 and spent a decade in the organization, logging a bunch of time in the minors and a total of 665 plate appearances spread over brief stints in the majors.

Brandon Belt is entrenched as the Giants’ starting first baseman now and light-hitting, defensive-minded first basemen aren’t particularly great bench options, but Ishikawa could find his way back to San Francisco at some point this season.

Indians designate Carlos Gonzalez for assignment

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The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.

A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.

If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.