Giants

Giants place Hunter Strickland on paternity list

Giants place Hunter Strickland on paternity list

Programming note: Giants-Padres coverage starts today at 2:30pm with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

SAN DIEGO -- Hunter Strickland was placed on the paternity list Friday and will miss the series against the San Diego Padres. Strickland and his wife, Shelley, are expecting their first child, a daughter they plan to name Kinsey Rae.

To fill Strickland's spot in the bullpen, the Giants recalled left-hander Steven Okert from Triple-A Sacramento. Okert had a big spring, but was optioned because the Giants wanted to keep both Neil Ramirez and Cory Gearrin. He gives the Giants a second lefty in the bullpen, at least temporarily.

Strickland got five outs Thursday before flying back to the Bay Area to meet his wife. He is expected to return to the team Monday. 

Marlins acquiring Julian Fernandez frees up Giants roster spot

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Marlins acquiring Julian Fernandez frees up Giants roster spot

SAN FRANCISCO -- Julian Fernandez didn't want to succumb to Tommy John surgery this spring, but a couple of veteran teammates pulled him aside and helped him come to grips with the fact that it was the only way forward with his career. If that career is to include time in the big leagues, it won't be with the Giants. 

Fernandez was claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins, clearing a 40-man roster spot for the Giants, who need to add players Tuesday to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. That draft is where the Giants found Fernandez, who regularly throws triple-digits but remains extremely raw and has not pitched above A-ball. The Giants took Fernandez out of the Rockies' system at the Winter Meetings last December and he nearly made their Opening Day roster out of necessity; they would have had to put him on the roster to keep him. 

Instead, after a shaky spring, Fernandez needed elbow reconstructive surgery. He missed the entire season, but the Giants thought enough of his arm to keep him on the 60-day DL. It was a bonanza for Fernandez, who earned a big league salary and got a year's worth of service time as he rehabbed. 
 

If the Mariners are selling, both the A's and Giants should be calling

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If the Mariners are selling, both the A's and Giants should be calling

The MLB hot stove is alive and well, now that we’ve had some significant action. The Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees made waves on Monday for a deal that will put ace James Paxton in pinstripes for the 2019 season.

[RELATED: A's and Giants poised to feel ripple effects of James Paxton trade]

As it turns out, that stove may just be warming up, particularly as it relates to Seattle. There are reports abound that the Mariners are entering a full-on rebuild, with their focus now on competing during the 2021 season.

Prior to sending Paxton to New York, Seattle traded catcher Mike Zunino to the Tampa Bay Rays. That’s two big pieces of their 2018 roster now elsewhere, and if the Mariners follow through with this rebuilding plan, there may be more moves coming soon.

Rumors coming out of the GM Meetings insisted that even in the event of a rebuild, Seattle would prefer to hang onto their young, valuable contributors like closer Edwin Diaz, outfielder Mitch Haniger and starting pitcher Marco Gonzales. That message was reiterated by Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto following the trade of Paxton on Monday:

However, if the Mariners are dead set on a full-blown sell-off, some uncomfortable moves may need to be made. So, would any of Diaz, Haniger or Gonzales make sense for the Giants or A's? Let's go one at a time.

EDWIN DIAZ

With 57 saves in 2018, Diaz saved at least 14 more games than any other pitcher in baseball last season, posting a 1.96 ERA with 124 strikeouts in 73.1 innings.

How he fits with the A's: Blake Treinein ranked third in the AL in 2018 with 38 saves, sporting a 0.78 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 80.1 innings. His job is safe. Diaz to the A's isn't happening.

[RELATED: Treinen misses out on AL Reliever of the Year to Diaz]

How he fits with the Giants: San Francisco blew 30 saves last season, more than any other MLB team. Mark Melancon is still owed $38 million over the next two seasons. Diaz comes significantly cheaper and is one of the best bang-for-your-buck closers in the game, but it's unlikely the Giants would be able to offer the kind of prospects in return needed to get a deal done.

MITCH HANIGER

Haniger broke out in a big way for the Mariners last season, batting .285 and accounting for 26 home runs and 93 RBIs. The 27-year-old right fielder is a Bay Area native, having graduated from San Jose's Archbishop Mitty High School. Could a return home be in store?

How he fits with the A's: They're not taking Khris Davis' bat out of the lineup. Stephen Piscotty is under contract for the next five seasons. Ramon Laureano burst on the scene in August. Still, Haniger made only $560,200 last season, and his .366 OBP ranked 10th in the AL. Factoring in his age, position and skillset, he'd fit right in with Oakland, and they might have the combination of prospects and cheap veterans that Seattle would find acceptable in return. That said, here's assuming the Mariners would rather not trade Haniger within the division.

How he fits with the Giants: Come on down!

Seriously. The Giants desperately need an infusion of youth and power into their outfield, and with Hunter Pence now departed, right field is wide open for the taking. He hits for power, average and to all fields. So, yes, Haniger would make a ton of sense for the Giants. The question, again, is whether or not they possess the assets to make a deal.

MARCO GONZALES

Gonzales went 13-9 with a 4.00 ERA in 166.2 innings for the Mariners last season. He was 12-5 with a 3.37 ERA through the end of July, but the 26-year-old lefty withered down the stretch, losing four of his final five decisions.

How he fits with the A’s: Oakland had only three players pitch at least 100 innings for them last year. Sean Manaea led the way with 160.2, and he’s expected to miss all of the 2019 season after undergoing surgery on his throwing shoulder in September. Jharel Cotton, A.J. Puk, Daniel Gossett and Kendall Graveman are all coming off Tommy John surgery. Jesus Luzardo had a tremendous season in the minors, but may need more seasoning. Mark Fiers, Frankie Montas, Andrew Triggs, Paul Blackburn and Aaron Brooks remain under contract, but that’s the extent of the A’s starting pitching options currently on the roster.

That’s a lot of quantity, but how much quality remains to be seen. Gonzales is due to make $900,000 in 2019 and $1 million in 2020, with three more years of team control beyond that. Financially, it would certainly be feasible, but it’s possible the additional cost (in terms of assets going the other way) may be prohibitive to the A’s. It’s also worth mentioning Gonzales underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016.

How he fits with the Giants: Johnny Cueto (33) is due to make $21 million each of the next three seasons. Jeff Samardzija (34) will make $19.8 million in each of the next two. Madison Bumgarner is entering the final year of his contract, and if the Giants do end up re-signing him, it certainly won’t be for cheap.

Suffice to say, San Francisco could really use an affordable, dependable lefty in their starting rotation. Dereck Rodriguez came out of nowhere to be the bright spot of an otherwise forgettable season in 2018 and figures to be a staple in the rotation moving forward, but he needs help. Gonzales would check a lot of boxes for San Francisco, but again, they might not have what the Mariners would be looking for in exchange.

Of course, the A’s and Giants wouldn’t be limited to those three players in a potential trade with the Mariners. Seattle won 89 games in 2018, so it’s not as if their cupboards are bare. Perhaps a player like shortstop Jean Segura, who batted .304 with 10 home runs and 20 steals last season, could be a fit for either team, although a position change would almost certainly have to be involved on someone’s part. 

The fact of the matter is, the A’s and Giants are facing significantly different realities right now. Oakland is building off a surprisingly successful 2018 campaign, fully capable of fielding a competitive team in 2019 and beyond. San Francisco, on the other hand, has considerably more question marks moving forward.

Despite those differences, however, both teams should be looking to improve whenever and wherever possible. If Seattle is truly intent on expediting a rebuild, both Bay Area teams have the potential to take advantage.