Peter Magowan, Giants owner who kept team in San Francisco, dies at 76


Peter Magowan, Giants owner who kept team in San Francisco, dies at 76

Former Giants executive Peter Magowan died Sunday afternoon in hospice care, his wife Debby Magowan told the San Francisco Chronicle. He was 76 years old. 

Magowan, along with Larry Baer, led a group of local investors who purchsed the team from Bob Lurie in 1992. He was San Francisco's managing general partner until stepping down from the position in 2008. The Giants signed free-agent outfielder Barry Bonds to a record-setting contract in the first offseason under his group, and later built what is now known as Oracle Park using private funding.

“Peter was a rare combination in life of a close friend and mentor,” Baer, the Giants' President and CEO, told the Chronicle in a statement. “We carried on that relationship for three decades. When you really got to know Peter you saw that he had a heart of gold.”

Lurie first reached an agreement to sell the Giants to a group which wanted to move the team to Florida. Magowan and Baer's group stepped forward with a $100 million bid when the National League rejected Lurie's initial sale, and told him to find a group who would keep the team in the city by the Bay. 

Two years later, Magowan and the Giants announced plans to build a waterfront ballpark in downtown San Francisco. The Giants broke ground on the $350 million privately financed stadium in 1997, and it opened three years after that. 

During Magowan's tenure, Bonds became broke Mark McGwire's single-season home-run record, and Hank Aaron's all-time mark. Those accomplishments came at the height of baseball's "steroid era," and Bonds himself was linked to performance-enhancing drugs. The Mitchell Report, an investigation led by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, determined that the Giants willfully ignored Bonds and other players using steroids. He later told the Chronicle he regretted not doing more. 

Magowan had recently gone into hospice care, according to the Chronicle, and had previously had surgeries to treat prostate and liver cancer. The Giants were already set to honor Magowan with a place on their Wall of Fame on Feb. 9. 

Giants trade struggling catcher Erik Kratz to Rays days after DFA


Giants trade struggling catcher Erik Kratz to Rays days after DFA

Erik Kratz is no longer in the Giants organization. 

Three days after San Francisco designated the veteran catcher for assignment, the Giants traded the 38-year-old to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin first reported the news Thursday, and the Giants announced the news shortly thereafter. 

On Monday morning, the player to be named was announced as minor league pitcher Matt Seelinger. He'll report to Class A Augusta.

The Giants traded for Kratz in late March, wanting a veteran backup for Buster Posey while Stephen Vogt recovered from shoulder surgery. 26-year-old catcher Aramis Garcia still had minor-league options, so the front office looked for a more-polished stopgap.

But Kratz struggled in his short time wearing orange and black, slashing .125/.222/.281 in 36 plate appearances. He also made more errors (four) in 11 games behind the dish than he did in 61 with the Brewers (three) in 2018, and caught two out of nine runners stealing. 

[RELATED: Where Giants stand on competing, rebuilding after quarter of 2019 season]

The Kratz trade was not the only move the Giants made at the position Thursday. They also optioned Garcia to Triple-A Sacramento in anticipation that Posey will return to the lineup Friday after a stint on the seven-day concussion list. 

MLB power rankings 2019: Where every team stands after eight weeks


MLB power rankings 2019: Where every team stands after eight weeks

As the MLB season approaches the 50-game mark, it looks like we could be headed for a repeat of the 2017 World Series.

The Astros and Dodgers seem head and shoulders above the pack, but there’s plenty of intrigue right behind them. The Twins are done rebuilding and ready to compete, and they were the third team to 30 wins. The Yankees weathered their injuries and could be frightening over the summer. 

In the NL, the Cubs are inching towards the top. Ditto with the Red Sox in the AL. As division races really start to heat up, it’s time for our bi-weekly look around the Majors. As always, there’s an emphasis on former Giants.