Athletics manager Bob Melvin told the media that utilityman Nick Punto will go on the 15-day disabled list after straining his right hamstring in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Royals, per MLB.com’s Jane Lee. Punto appeared to suffer the injury rounding third on Jed Lowrie’s RBI single. Eric Sogard came in to run for Punto and later scored on Josh Donaldson’s bases-loaded walk.
Punto, 36, hasn’t done much at the plate for the Athletics this season, mustering a measly .203/.299/.277 slash line in 202 plate appearances. However, he has served at a number of positions and played by most accounts above-average defense.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.
Which is kind of weird, really.
Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.
Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.
But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.