MLB rumors: Former Giant Mac Williamson signing Nationals contract

MLB rumors: Former Giant Mac Williamson signing Nationals contract

As the Giants move their bullpens to center field, the player most impacted by the previous location is getting a second shot in the big leagues. 

Mac Williamson signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals that will pay him $700,000 if he reaches the big leagues, according to USA Today. Williamson started last season with the Giants and made it back to the big leagues after getting designated for assignment, but he eventually ended up playing for the Samsung Lions in South Korea. 

Williamson was drafted by the Giants in 2012 and for years was one of their more exciting prospects. He made his debut in 2015 and spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues with the Giants, but never received more than 128 at-bats. Williamson's best run in the big leagues -- early in 2018 -- was halted when he tripped over the bullpen mound alongside the left-field line and suffered a concussion that lingered the rest of the season. 

Williamson was designated for assignment at the end of spring training last year but tore up Triple-A and earned another shot in the big leagues. He played 15 games for the Giants and 25 more for the Mariners before signing with Samsung in late July. 

Ironically, Williamson, now 29, is back in big league camp at a time when the Giants are eager to finally take a long look at younger outfielders. Their new coaching staff is designed to get the most out of players like Jaylin Davis and Chris Shaw, who have torn up Triple-A but haven't broken through in the big leagues yet. Davis, in particular, is expected to get a lot of playing time. 

[RELATED: Giants' focus on player development includes massive facilities upgrade]

Williamson was one of two Giants big leaguers to end up finishing last season in Asia. The other, Yangervis Solarte, has signed a minor league deal with the Braves, per USA Today. 

MLB rumors: Gerrit Cole, Yankees agree to nine-year, $324M contract

MLB rumors: Gerrit Cole, Yankees agree to nine-year, $324M contract

Well, so much for being the mystery team.

Whatever slim hopes the Giants had of signing free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole reportedly evaporated Tuesday night, as he and the Yankees have agreed to a nine-year contract according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

New York has long been seen as the favorites to land the highly-sought-after ace, and the reported $324 million given to Cole blows away the record for the largest average annual value of a pitcher's contract in MLB history, previously set Monday when Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract.

The Giants expected to add at least one starting pitcher at the Winter Meetings, and while that was accomplished by Tuesday's signing of right-hander Kevin Gausman to a one-year contract, it doesn't rule out another.

Clearly, though, it won't be Cole.

[RELATED: How Giants can take advantage of penny-pinching teams]

Considering the Dodgers were thought to be a legitimate contender for Cole's services, though, this definitely isn't the worst possible outcome for San Francisco.

MLB rumors: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals agree to seven-year, $245M contract

MLB rumors: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals agree to seven-year, $245M contract

The World Series MVP reportedly is staying home. 

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Monday that star free-agent pitcher Stephen Strasburg is returning to the Nationals. ESPN's Jeff Passan later reported the contract is worth $245 million over seven years. 

The massive contract is the largest in MLB history for a pitcher, and breaks the record for average annual value. The figures also are the same that the Yankees reportedly offered Gerrit Cole in recent days. Cole's deal with his future new team could now reach as high as $300 million. 

With one ace off the market, the race to sign longtime Giants hero Madison Bumgarner could speed up. 

Bumgarner reportedly wants to stay in San Francisco, but according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Giants have "shown no inclination to keep him." In recent days, the Cardinals, Twins and White Sox all have been linked to the left-hander. 

“Obviously, he has roots in other parts of the country that may be attractive to him,’’ Giants president of baseball operation Farhan Zaidi said during a recent Q&A at Oracle Park, via The Athletic. “It’s his decision. That’s the beauty of free agency for players. But we are going to be involved in that process.”

The Yankees and Dodgers also briefly were connected to Strasburg, and could shift their focus to Bumgarner, especially if they miss out on Cole. Both franchises are sick of falling short of a World Series ring, and seem primed to make a big move this offseason. 

Nightengale also reported Monday that teams are being told Bumgarner is looking for a deal worth at least $100 million over five years. That seems increasingly likely with Zack Wheeler joining the Phillies on a $118 million contract. 

[RELATED: What to watch for as Giants head to MLB Winter Meetings]

With Strasburg's reported contract and the giant wads of cash Cole is about to receive, Bumgarner could be seen as quite the discount for teams. Expect rumors to ramp up regarding MadBum at the Winter Meetings currently being held in San Diego.

Hang tight Giants fans, this could get emotional.