Results tagged ‘ Giants ’

Report: Cuban INF Olivera impresses at showcase

When it comes to Cuban infielders, much of the attention has focused on 19-year-old Yoan Moncada, who is expected to sign with a team by the end of the month.

Another Cuban, Hector Olivera, can’t match Moncada’s young age or sky-high potential. But the 29-year-old second baseman is generating plenty of interest in his own right.

Olivera played a showcase game in front of hundreds of scouts in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, with Baseball America’s Ben Badler tweeting that the Dodgers, Giants, A’s and Padres were among the teams with a “notable presence” at the event. Olivera did not let them down, reaching base in all five of his plate appearances, including two doubles.

This was the third showcase for the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Olivera, who has played second and third while displaying power and above-average speed, according to Badler. He has a strong track record in Cuba, where he hit .316/.412/.474 with seven homers in 73 games during the 2013-14 season, after missing the previous year. Olivera is expected to be declared a free agent by Major League Baseball sometime soon and figures to have plenty of suitors when he does.

– Andrew Simon

Moncada working out for Padres, mixed reports on interest

Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada is reportedly working out for the Padres on Monday, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

While Passan adds that San Diego “plans to be aggressive” in pursuing Moncada, a source tells MLB.com’s Corey Brock that the Padres might be done with their offseason spending spree after signing James Shields to a four-year, $75 million deal on Monday.

As for Moncada, the five-tool infielder is also believed to be receiving serious interest from at least 10 other teams — a list that includes the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, A’s, Giants, Rangers, Cubs, Tigers, Phillies, and Cardinals. The Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers have all been mentioned as potential frontrunners to land Moncada at various times this offseason.

Though naturally a shortstop, the 19-year-old phenom can also play second or third base. Along with bolstering the rotation by signing Shields on Monday, the Padres have already added Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton to their outfield corps this offseason.

While Moncada would just be the latest blockbuster move for the Padres this offseason, it’s unclear at this point whether or not the club is willing to spend big on yet another player after signing Shields.

– Paul Casella

Moncada hoping to sign somewhere soon

Now that he’s officially been declared a free agent, top Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez that he hopes to “sign with a team soon.”

The 19-year-old Moncada has already held private workouts for the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Rangers, Rays, Tigers and Brewers. Other teams could also make a push to sign Moncada now that he’s actually allowed to sign a deal.

“My goal is to sign with a team soon, start training with them, and make it to the Major Leagues as fast as I can with whichever team that might be,” Moncada said in Spanish to MLB.com in his first interview since arriving in the United States in late November. “I know I’m going to do the best I can for as long as I can in this sport.”

Naturally a shortstop, Moncada can also play second or third base. The Yankees and Red Sox have long been mentioned as the potential favorites to sign Moncada, but the Dodgers have also been floated as one of the most likely landing spots.

– Paul Casella

Vogelsong reportedly agrees to deal with Giants

Veteran right-hander Ryan Vogelsong has agreed to return to the Giants on a one-year deal, pending a physical, according to multiple reports.

The 37-year-old Vogelsong had been linked closely to numerous clubs in recent weeks, including reportedly visiting Houston to meet with the Astros earlier this week. Instead, Vogelsong will return to San Francisco, providing the Giants with some depth to their starting rotation.

Vogelsong, who went 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA last season, rejoins a pitching staff that already includes five other starters in Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum.  That said, Cain (right elbow and right ankle surgery) and Hudson (right ankle surgery) each have injury concerns, though both are expected to be ready by Opening Day.

Lincecum, meanwhile, has struggled for the majority of the past three seasons and finished last year in the bullpen. Peavy also has his share of question marks after struggling with the Red Sox to begin last season then racking up a 6.19 ERA in four postseason starts with the Giants.

Though it’s unclear at this point exactly how the Giants’ starting rotation will shake out come Opening Day, Vogelsong’s presence certainly provides some much-needed insurance.

– Paul Casella

Vogelsong returning to Giants?

The Giants and free-agent starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong are working towards a one-year deal, tweets Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Vogelsong has been linked to a number of clubs this offseason, and was in Houston earlier this week. But a deal with the Astros never happened and MLB.com’s Chris Haft reported Wednesday that a return to the Giants was possible for the right-hander.

Vogelsong, 37, would add depth and stability to the Giants rotation. He was 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA with the club in 2014, while his 32 starts were second only to Madison Bumgarner. Since joining San Francisco in 2011, Vogelsong has a 3.74 ERA and 39-35 record.

While it appears Vogelsong could be headed for a return to the Giants, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted Thursday morning that the Astros had not been told they were out of the running to land the pitcher.

–Austin Laymance

Nori Aoki to the Giants

The Giants and outfielder Nori Aoki have agreed to terms on a one-year contract for 2015, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The deal is worth $4 million plus performance bonuses, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Aoki also has a $700,000 buyout for 2016, reports Heyman.

Aoki, 33, appeared in 132 games for the American League-champion Royals last season and had a .285/.349/.360 slash line. He spent the first two years of his Major League career with the Brewers.

Aoki projects to start alongside Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence in the Giants’ outfield in 2015.

– Austin Laymance

Gee trade could be on the horizon

The Mets expect to trade right-hander Dillon Gee within the next “7-10 days,” according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, though free agent James Shields’ final decision could impact that timetable.

The Mets have been actively shopping Gee for much of the offseason, with the Rockies, Padres and Giants believed to be the current frontrunners. That said, the Giants have also been linked to Shields, meaning they may want to let that situation play out before making a substantial offer to the Mets.

Gee has been one of the more popular starting pitchers mentioned in trade talks this offseason, along with the Phillies’ Cole Hamels. Gee and Hamels have often been mentioned as potential fallback options for pitching-needy teams that ultimately miss out on Shields, especially with Jon Lester having already signed with the Cubs last month.

– Paul Casella

Shields reportedly in line for nine-figure deal

Though the James Shields sweepstakes is yet to really heat up this winter, the free agent right-hander is expected to land a contract north of $100 million, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal actually adds that two Major League executives say that Shields already has a five-year, $110 million offer in hand from an unknown team.

The Red Sox, Giants, Marlins and Diamondbacks are all among the teams that have shown interest in Shields at various times this offseason, though no club has been linked to anything concrete regarding the veteran righty. In fact, Rosenthal goes on to say that the Marlins and D-backs have both backed off in their pursuit of Shields recently, while the Red Sox and Giants are also longshots when it comes to making a play for Shields.

As for other potential landing spots, Rosenthal mentions the Yankees, Tigers and Angels as three teams looking to upgrade their rotation — but adds that none of those three clubs have been linked to Shields thus far.

Another thing working against Shields’ market is the fact that he rejected a qualifying offer from the Royals earlier this offseason, meaning a potential suitor would need to surrender a draft pick in order to sign him. The $100 million price tag, combined with the need to forfeit a draft pick, seems to be a steep price for any team to pay for a 33-year-old pitcher that has logged 1,910 innings over his nine-year career — including 200-plus frames in eight straight seasons.

Despite coming off a rocky postseason with the Royals, Shields could still give any club a durable option at the top of its rotation. Along with his eight straight seasons of working at least 200 innings, Shields went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA this past season in helping the Royals reach the postseason for the first time since 1985.

– Paul Casella

Moncada could start workouts within two weeks

Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada is still awaiting clearance from the Office of Foreign Asset and Control (OFAC), but is widely expected to begin private workouts within the next two weeks according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

The 19-year-old is one of the game’s top international prospects right now and is expected to garner significant interest once he’s officially available. Though his market will continue to develop as teams make more offseason moves, the clubs that were represented at Moncada’s “batting showcase” earlier this year were the Braves, Red Sox, Yankees, Giants, Rays, Padres and Cubs.

Given his age, position and switch-hitting ability, Moncada doesn’t figure to be short on offers as the process continues. There are no clear frontrunners at this point, but it’s certainly a situation worth monitoring in the coming weeks.

– Paul Casella

Phillies considering Asdrubal Cabrera?

The Phillies could use another option at shortstop now that Jimmy Rollins has been traded to the Dodgers.

Asdrubal Cabrera appears to be a possibility for the Phillies, who would need to clear some payroll to sign the free agent, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Cabrera, 29, can play both shortstop and second base. He split last season between the Indians and Nationals, hitting a combined .307 with 14 home runs, 31 doubles and four triples. He was an All-Star in 2011-12 with Cleveland.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday that Freddy Galvis will have the first opportunity to replace Rollins in 2015. However, Amaro did not rule out the possibility of adding another option to the mix at short.

A number of teams have shown interest in Cabrera this offseason, including the A’s, Cardinals, Giants, Mets and Twins, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. It appears the Phillies are now in that group of potential suitors, too.

–Austin Laymance

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