The Giants were able to pluck free-agent All-Star closer Mark Melancon away from the Nationals.
Washington manager Dusty Baker isn't happy about it.
“I hate losing Melancon, because I’m going to tell you, he was very good, but we’ve still got a chance on landing some guys," Baker said on MLB Network Radio. "“I got input but I'm not putting in money and that's what real input it is, you know what I mean?
"And so my input was such that — we all wanted Melancon, but we don't have the budget or the packed stadium for 800 games in a row like the Giants do. They have more resources than we do. We’ve got a lower budget and everybody has a budget.”
Melancon's deal includes an opt-out after the second year, similar to the one given to Johnny Cueto a year ago. Melancon will get a $20 million signing bonus with $8 million deferred. He is due $4 million in salary in 2017 and $10 million in 2018, and if he opts out, he gets that money plus the full signing bonus, turning this into a two-year, $34 million pact.
If Melancon doesn’t opt out, he will make $14 million in each of his final two seasons. He also received a full no-trade clause.
“If we would have spent that on Melancon, we wouldn't have been able to spend anything on anybody else," Baker added. "But you've got to do what you can do inside the budget. If I had real input, I would have probably spent another $200 million.”
Before I start this post ...
I know ... "spring training stats don't matter." But Brandon Belt is hitting the you-know-what out of the ball right now in the Cactus League, and going 9-for-9 isn't something that should be ignored -- even during games that don't count.
Now that we got that out of the way ...
Baseball Reference is one of the few sites that has spring training stats, so shout out to them. And this is what Belt is working with as we head into Opening Day.
A .485/.553/.818 line with three home runs and six RBI in 13 games.
Not bad ... not bad at all.
And he seems to be having fun despite a small mishap cutting half of his eyebrow off prior to Photo Day, but who hasn't done that?
SAN FRANCISCO -- A few hours after an emotional goodbye at Oracle Park last season, Hunter Pence started working on his swing.
It paid off.
Pence will make the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day roster, according to TR Sullivan of MLB.com. He was in camp with his childhood team as a non-roster invitee and had a huge spring.
Pence, 35, is batting .356 in Cactus League play with three homers and five doubles, with an OPS over 1.000. He has six stolen bases in as many attempts.
Pence looked just about done last year while batting just .226 with four homers for the Giants. But he vowed to remake his swing in the offseason by working with renowned instructor Doug Latta in Los Angeles, and he took the unusual step of playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic as an established veteran.
That all led to a tryout with the Rangers, who valued what Pence could bring to their young spring clubhouse. He ended up adding right-handed pop, too, and he beat out several, including young prospect Willie Calhoun.
[RELATED: Pence's inspiring winter ball speech]
On Thursday morning, a few hours before the news became public, Pence tweeted out a short message: “It’s Thursday and I’m thankful.”