Matt Cain is the Giants’ No. 5 starter

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Giants’ right-hander Matt Cain has been selected as the fifth and final starter for the club’s 2017 rotation, according to MLB.com’s Chris Haft. The news comes as little surprise, despite the emergence of lefty rotation candidate Ty Blach this spring.

Blach made a convincing case for the No. 5 spot, giving up no more than two runs in all but one of his Cactus League outings and finishing the spring with a 4.22 ERA over 21 1/3 innings in camp. Cain, by comparison, labored through 25 1/3 innings with a 7.82 ERA, striking out 19 batters while allowing 23 runs. Those numbers come on the heels of one of Cain’s more disappointing runs with the Giants; in 2016, the veteran right-hander produced exactly 0.0 fWAR, lasting 89 1/3 innings with a 5.64 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 as he split duties between the rotation and bullpen.

Still, Cain is due $20 million in 2017 as he rounds out a five-year contract extension with the Giants. That, Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle says, is likely a significant factor that helped shape the back end of manager Bruce Bochy’s rotation, though things could change quickly if Cain struggles out of the gate. Blach, meanwhile, will wait in the bullpen, where Bochy estimates he’ll see some long relief opportunities and potential spot starts as the season wears on.

Guardians trade OF Will Benson to Reds for OF Justin Boyd

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians traded outfielder Will Benson to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for outfielder Justin Boyd.

The defending AL Central champions also will get a player to be named from the Reds in the swap.

Cincinnati drafted Boyd in the second round last year out of Oregon State. He led the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average and 24 steals in 2022. The 21-year-old batted .203 in 73 at-bats for Class-A Daytona.

The 6-foot-5 Benson spent 28 games with the Guardians last season, batting .182 with three RBIs in 28 games. The 24-year-old struggled at the plate, striking out 19 times in just 55 at-bats.

Benson was once considered one of Cleveland’s top outfield prospects, but has since been surpassed by Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Will Brennan.