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Report: Giants sign Tony Watson to two-year deal

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Update, 3:40 p.m. ET: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has more details on the terms of the agreement:

Free agent left-hander Tony Watson has reportedly agreed to terms with the Giants, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman announced late Friday night. While the deal has not been confirmed by the team, it’s believed to be a two-year agreement with incentives and a player option (with additional incentives) for a third year. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the deal guarantees Watson something “in the neighborhood of $7 million,” though the exact figure has yet to be disclosed. More importantly, the contract isn’t expected to push the Giants over the $197 million luxury tax threshold.

Watson, 32, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates in 2017 after being dealt to the Dodgers at the trade deadline. The lefty reliever earned a combined 3.38 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 in 66 2/3 innings with the two clubs. He also produced 10 saves with the Pirates after beginning the season in the closer role, though some midseason struggles led to his eventual demotion.

The Giants have been in sore need of healthy, productive relievers after a disastrous 2017 campaign, one in which highly-touted closer Mark Melancon succumbed to a lingering forearm strain and the bullpen stumbled to a 25th-best ranking in the league with a cumulative 4.34 ERA and 1.5 fWAR. Granted, Watson is several years removed from the lights-out, sub-2.00 ERA performance that merited All-Star billing back in 2014, but he still figures to be a valuable addition to a team hoping to contend again in 2018.

Ramón Laureano made an absolutely ridiculous play yesterday

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I talked about it in the recaps, but dear lord does Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano’s play in yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays deserve it’s own post.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak led off the second with a single Then Teoscar Hernández then came up and hit a long drive to center. In what, in and of itself, would’ve lead the highlight reels yesterday, Laureano ranged back to the wall and reached over to rob Hernández of a homer.

Laureano is known best for his arm, though, and that’s when he unleashed that hose, attempting to double off Smoak at first base all the way from the warning track. The throw was not on target — indeed, it sailed way past first base — but that was itself impressive as all get-out. As A’s pitcher Brett Anderson said after the game, he’s pretty sure the throw went farther than Hernández hit the ball in the first place. The arm strength on display there was simply phenomenal. But it was also lucky.

Lucky because the throw went so far into foul territory that it gave Smoak the courage to break for second base. Laureano was not the only one playing great defense on the play, though: A’s catcher Nick Hundley backed up the play, got Laureano’s errant throw and fired it down to second, nailing Smoak. And heck, Hundley’s throw was nothing to sneeze at either:

That did not go as an outfield assist for Lauerano, obviously, as his bad throw — which would’ve been an error had Smoak managed to advance, we must admit — broke that up. So, in the books it goes as an F7 and then a separate 2-4 putout. Still, it just shows Laueano’s incredible defensive abilities, both with the leather and with that cannon he has for an arm.

An arm that, this play not withstanding, gets him plenty of assists. Indeed, he has has five assists this season already and has 14 assists in just 70 games, which is a lot. To put it in perspective, it usually takes somewhere between 12-18 to lead the league in a full season with 20 being an outlier of sorts, only seen once every five years or so.

So, if you’re gonna hit it to center against the A’s, make sure you hit it all the way out. And if Laureano gets to it, for god’s sake, don’t run on him.