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Report: J.P. Ricciardi joining Giants in senior advisor role

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Former GM J.P. Ricciardi will join the Giants in a senior advisor role, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. He’ll work under new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, whom the Giants hired from the Dodgers earlier this offseason.

Ricciardi, 59, was the GM of the Blue Jays from November 2001 through October 2009. Ricciardi was also in the Athletics’ front office during the Moneyball days. He briefly worked on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” before joining the Mets’ front office as a special assistant in November 2010.

The Giants will likely have more front office hirings to come before spring training begins in February. Given his experience, Ricciardi should be useful to Zaidi.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.