Bad news for one of the Giants’ top prospects, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that outfielder Mac Williamson will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow tomorrow.
Williamson has been bothered by the elbow injury all spring. The 23-year-old was originally expected to begin the season with Double-A Richmond, but the Giants sent him back to High-A San Jose so he could serve exclusively as a designated hitter. However, he couldn’t play through the discomfort any longer. Position players often return from Tommy John surgery more quickly than pitchers, but the surgery is expected to end his season.
Williamson was a third-round pick in 2012 and batted .292/.375/.504 with 25 home runs and 10 stolen bases over 136 games last season in High-A. Baseball America ranked him as the Giants’ No. 5 prospect over the winter.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.