Giants

Could Cole trade open door for Giants to grab McCutchen?

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USATSI

Could Cole trade open door for Giants to grab McCutchen?

Editor's note: The Giants have reportedly agreed to a trade with the Pirates for Andrew McCutchen. Join Alex Pavlovic and Ray Ratto as they break down the trade at 1:30 p.m. on Facebook Live. 

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SAN FRANCISCO — Whenever a marquee free agent signs in the offseason, people around the league talk about the floodgates opening for other deals. For the Giants, the hope is that a weekend trade, not a signing, might be the trigger for increased movement. 

The Pittsburgh Pirates dealt right-hander Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros on Saturday, signaling that they are, in fact, ready to take a step back and trade their best players for prospects. The Giants and Pirates have remained in touch in recent weeks, with the front office hopeful that a Cole deal would motivate the Pirates to next trade Andrew McCutchen, per sources.  

Thus far, the teams have appeared to find little traction in talks. The Pirates originally went straight to the top of the Giants’ prospect list, and one person familiar with talks characterized recent discussions as complicated. It’s unclear if the Pirates have lowered their demands, but they generally were viewed as getting a subpar package for Cole, so it’s possible they’ve simply reached deal-making mode. 

While Cole drew interest from the best teams in the majors, McCutchen’s field would appear to be more limited. He is owed $14.75 million in the final year of his deal, and there are enough outfielders still on the market that teams don’t need to rush into a bidding war. The Giants view him as a strong fit for several reasons, including that salary that would only be on their books for one year. They prefer to stay under the $197 million tax line, and despite what some public estimates of their payroll might show, a source said the Giants could trade for McCutchen’s entire salary and still remain just under the tax. 

McCutchen is not quite the player he once was, but he bounced back last season to hit 28 homers and post a .849 OPS. Combined with Evan Longoria, he would give the Giants a couple of veteran right-handed contributors for a lineup that was last in the majors in homers in 2017 and has leaned too far to the left in recent seasons. 

McCutchen’s one-year deal would fit the win-now mode of a franchise that has just two guaranteed years remaining with Madison Bumgarner, and he would help fill the biggest remaining need for an aging roster. While McCutchen has slipped defensively in recent years, he likely would be asked to move to right field in San Francisco, with a superior defender — potentially an in-house choice like Gorkys Hernandez or Steven Duggar — patrolling center field and Hunter Pence sliding over to left. 

Bumgarner tosses eight shutout innings, drives in run in Giants' win over Padres

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USATSI

Bumgarner tosses eight shutout innings, drives in run in Giants' win over Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner pitched eight innings of three-hit ball for his first win of the season, Mark Melancon earned his first save in a year and the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 3-0 on Thursday night.

The Giants won for the fourth time in five games and sent the last-place Padres to their fifth straight loss.

Bumgarner (1-2) struck out eight and walked two in his best start since coming off the disabled list. He also drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly.

The ace left-hander outdueled Tyson Ross (5-5), who gave up one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out three and walked three.

Bumgarner began the season on the DL with a broken pinkie on his pitching hand sustained in his final spring training start when he was hit by a line drive. He was 0-2 with a 4.67 ERA in three previous outings since being reinstated.

Bumgarner's sacrifice fly scored Pablo Sandoval in the fifth. Sandoval singled leading off the inning and Joe Panik followed with a double.

It was the fourth time in his career Bumgarner made a scoreless start and had the game-winning RBI, tying Stephen Strasburg and Fernando Valenzuela for the most such games by any pitcher in the last 40 years, according to STATS

The Padres' best scoring chance came in the fifth, when Jose Pirela was thrown out at home trying to score from second on Manuel Margot's one-out double to deep right. Giants catcher Buster Posey tagged out Pirela after a perfect relay from Andrew McCutchen and Panik.

San Francisco added two insurance runs in the eighth, when Posey singled through a drawn-in infield after Alen Hanson's leadoff triple against reliever Phil Maton.

Melancon, who started the season on the DL with a right elbow flexor strain, pitched the ninth for his first save since June 20, 2017.

DROUGHT BUSTER:
Bumgarner was winless in six previous starts against the Padres. He was 0-4 with a 4.73 ERA during that stretch.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Padres: OF Wil Myers (left oblique strain) and Maton (right lat strain) were reinstated from the 10-day DL, and RHP Colin Rea (right shoulder strain) was activated from the 60-day DL. . OF Franchy Cordero (right elbow bone spur) was transferred to the 60-day DL and RHP Phil Hughes (right rhomboid strain) was placed on the 10-day DL. . OF Franmil Reyes was optioned to Triple-A El Paso. . RHP Bryan Mitchell (right elbow impingement) had an MRI on Wednesday that showed inflammation in the affected area but no ligament damage, manager Andy Green said. Mitchell is expected to start throwing in four or five days.

Giants: SS Brandon Crawford was reinstated from the paternity list and was in the starting lineup. . INF Kelby Tomlinson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. . RHP Hunter Strickland (broken right pinkie) will have more X-rays in two weeks to determine if two pins he had surgically inserted on Wednesday can be removed. The 29-year-old reliever was injured when he punched a door in frustration after a blown save against Miami on Monday. . RHP Johnny Cueto (right elbow inflammation) will throw 40 pitches in a rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday. . RHP Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder tightness) threw 73 pitches in his second rehab start with Sacramento.

UP NEXT:
LHP Clayton Richard (6-6, 4.31 ERA) will make his team-leading 16th start for the Padres. He's 5-2 with a 3.04 ERA over his last eight. Giants RHP Chris Stratton (8-4, 4.22) hasn't allowed a run over 13 2/3 innings in two career starts against San Diego.

Marlins pitcher Straily, manager Mattingly suspended for throwing at Buster Posey

Marlins pitcher Straily, manager Mattingly suspended for throwing at Buster Posey

NEW YORK — Miami pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended for five games for intentionally throwing a pitch at San Francisco’s Buster Posey while warnings were in place for both teams.

Major League Baseball also suspended Marlins manager Don Mattingly for one game Thursday and fined Straily and Mattingly undisclosed amounts.

On Tuesday night in the Marlins’ 6-3 loss in San Francisco, Straily and Mattingly were automatically ejected in the second inning after Straily hit Posey on the left arm with a pitch. Both sides had been warned by plate umpire Andy Fletcher the previous inning after Giants rookie starter Dereck Rodriguez beaned Lewis Brinson as tempers flared for the second straight game. Posey had homered in the first inning.