Giants

Guillermo Mota: 'I didn't read the label'

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Guillermo Mota: 'I didn't read the label'

HOUSTON Guillermo Mota is one more positive drug test froma lifetime ban. So youd better believe hes going to read labels as carefullyas a vegan with food allergies on Weight Watchers.

I have to be really careful now, said Mota, who wasactivated Tuesday after serving a 100-game ban as a second-time offender of theleagues drug testing procedure.

Giants officials, along with Major League Baseball officialswho heard his appeal, believed Mota was truthful when he said his positive testin May for clenbuterol, a stimulant, came after he took his daughtersprescription cough syrup to treat a case of bronchitis.

That is chief among the reasons why Mota is back, just a fewweeks after the Giants were rocked by Melky Cabreras 50-game suspension for usingtestosterone.

BAGGARLY: Giants see Mota, Melky through different lens

Everybody makes mistakes, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.I do. You do. Unfortunately we all do. I taught my kids and I teach theplayers: when you make a mistake or a bad decision, there are going to beconsequences and he suffered those. A 100-game suspension is a pretty goodpenalty for a man who took some cough syrup for bronchitis. Hes negligent,sure, but this is something he didnt realize.

There was no question of bringing him up. I mean, what doyou do? Condemn the man for that? I wouldnt do it. We dont endorse these guystaking these PEDs. We also want to be known as an organization that cares aboutthe person as a whole, not just the player.

Mota acknowledged that his first suspension, in 2006 withthe Mets, was for steroids. He said he learned his lesson, which is why heexpected the Giants to bring him back after he served his 100-game suspension.

I wasnt suspended for steroids. I wasnt taking asteroid, Mota said. I didnt read the label. Its like .001 milligrams, adrop in the bottle. Its crazy, but I paid the price.

I dont think I did anything to not come back. What I didwas a mistake to not read the label, but its in the past. We move on from it.

RATTO: Mota is back because Giants need his fastball

Even though league officials believed Motas story, they couldnot decide the appeal in his favor. (The appeal was held in Los Angeles on June 13 -- the day Matt Cain threw his perfect game, by the way.)

They have a rule and a rule is a rule, he said.

The rules are no different for Cabrera, who lied to club andleague officials when he tested positive for testosterone in July. An associatehired by Cabreras agent even purchased a web site and invented a product in aneffort to defraud the league.

Did Mota think that Cabreras embarrassment would impact theGiants willingness to bring him back?

I dont want to talk about Melky now, Mota said. I wantto talk about the Giants and myself. Im here to help the team. Im not here tohurt the team.

His teammates certainly were glad to have the affableveteran back among them. He walked in the clubhouse to a series of hugs andback slaps.

Thats why Im back here, because of the way I am, Motasaid. I think Im a good person.

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One other pregame note: Aubrey Huff is on the trip and will be activated when rosters expand on Saturday, Bochy said. Huff, who is testing his knee by running bases, will be used off the bench. Bochy wouldn't rule out first base, but it appears he will end his Giants tenure as a pinch hitter.

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No word yet on whether Jeremy Affeldt and his wife had their third child yet. But Affeldt must return Aug. 31 from paternity leave -- meaning the Giants still face a roster crunch one day before the rosters expand.

What the Giants’ farm system lost in trade for Andrew McCutchen

What the Giants’ farm system lost in trade for Andrew McCutchen

San Francisco’s second splash of its offseason reloading plan came to life Monday with the acquisition of outfielder Andrew McCutchen in a trade with the Pirates.

In trading for the five-time All-Star, the Giants held on to top prospects Heliot Ramos, Chris Shaw and Tyler Beede. The win-now move bolstered the Giants’ outfield — one that needed the most help in all of baseball — while the Pirates again have a potential big piece in their outfield with Bryan Reynolds headed to Pittsburgh. 

While the farm system took a win in keeping its biggest names, let’s look at what the Giants’ future lost with the addition of McCutchen. 

Bryan Reynolds, 22, OF
The Giants clearly have their own prospect rankings. Baseball America (5) and MLB Pipeline (4) ranked Reynolds ahead of Steven Duggar, who is the Giants’ No. 8 prospect by Baseball America and No. 6 by MLB Pipeline, after the 2017 season. Duggar is expected to compete for the Giants’ starting job in center field unless they make another big move like signing Lorenzo Cain. 

There’s a reason Reynolds is ranked so high though. The Giants’ top pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, is a switch-hitter who is primarily a center fielder, but like Duggar, he played all three outfield positions in 2017. 

"I think it's too early to dictate if he'll be in a corner or center," Nestor Rojas, Reynolds’ manager for the San Jose Giants, said to me in July. "He's really good and he has the tools to play center field. He's got speed and he's got range. He can do really well in all three." 

Reynolds slashed .312/.364/.462 with 10 home runs at Advanced Single-A this past season. He was the Giants' lone representative at the Futures Game and named San Jose Giants MVP. Even if he never unlocks his power, Reynolds is expected to be a solid big leaguer one day with well-rounded overall tools. 

[READ: How Reynolds went from undrafted to Giants' top 2016 pick]

Kyle Crick, 25, RHP
Crick was expected to be a future ace when the Giants took him No. 49 overall as a high school pitcher back in 2011. Control issues hampered him mightily. 

Down in the minors, Crick flashed dominance on the hill at times with a fastball that reaches the upper 90s. Still, command won the battle and the Giants turned Crick into a reliever. The move may have saved his career. 

As the Sacramento River Cats’ closer in Triple-A last season, Crick recorded six saves with a 2.76 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched. Crick earned his call-up to San Francisco and was solid for the Giants. He put together a 3.06 ERA in 30 games out of the bullpen, giving a glimpse of what he can be in the future. 

Crick has always been full of potential. Now as a reliever, he’s starting to turn it into results at the highest level. The Pirates may have a future shut-down arm in the ‘pen, but in the Giants’ reload, there are plenty of in-house options that can do the job he was expected to do in 2018.

What they're saying: McCutchen, Giants and Pirates react to trade

What they're saying: McCutchen, Giants and Pirates react to trade

For nine seasons, Andrew McCutchen was the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But now, he's headed to a star-studded Giants roster.

Here's how McCutchen, his former Pirates teammates and his new Giants teammates reacted to news of the big trade on Monday.

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