Posted on: August 20, 2010 5:07 pm

Report: Giants win claim on Ross

Cody Ross How many outfielders do the Giants need, anyways?

Sources tell FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal that the Giants won the claim on Marlins outfielder Cody Ross. The Marlins now have until Monday to trade Ross to the Giants, allow him to go without any compensation other than the Giants assuming the balance of Ross' deal or pulling Ross back off waivers.

Ross has a little over $1 million left on his deal and while a quality player, the Marlins may elect to let him go to create room for Triple-A outfielder Cameron Maybin and save some money in the process now that Florida is essentially out of the postseason race.

Rosenthal says the Braves and Phillies did not win claims for Ross.

The Giants already have a set outfield of Pat Burrell, Andres Torres and Jose Guillen, with Aaron Rowand seeing significant time as well. Ross would be yet another right-handed hitter, with only Torres a switch-hitter. Nate Schierholz is left-handed, but doesn't really make an impact with the bat -- his game is on defense.

Ross could play against lefties, which would give the Giants quite the platoon-heavy outfield but any little bit would help. Ross is hitting lefties at a .275/.312/.500 clip and has long vastly outproduced his production against righties when facing left-handed pitching. Ross' career OPS is .937 while righties check in at .721 over 600 games.

Even though Ross could help San Francisco, it's likely the Giants put in the claim to block the Padres from acquiring Ross. The Padres lost center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. for the season and so are on the market for an outfielder, and Ross would have been an excellent fit.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 19, 2010 8:22 pm

Pirates land top Mexican prospect

It's been a big week for the Pirates and young pitchers. They signed talented draft picks Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie earlier in the week, and Thursday they announced that they have closed the deal on 16-year-old Mexican prospect Luis Heredia.

Heredia was hot property during the international signing season, with the Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Rangers, Mariners and Blue Jays reportedly joining the Pirates in pursuing the right-hander. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates paid $2.6 million for Heredia, by far the most they have ever paid for an international prospect. Veracruz, the teen's team in Mexico, gets to keep 75 percent of that money.

Heredia is 6-feet-6 and already reportedly has a 92-93 mph fastball.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: August 17, 2010 1:29 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 3:47 pm

Bobby Thomson dies at 86

Bobby Thomson -- the man behind the most famous home run in baseball history -- has died.

The New York Daily News reports Thomson died peacefully Monday night at his home in Savannah, Ga.

Thomson, who played parts of 15 seasons for five teams, was 86.

A career .270/.332/.462 hitter and three-time All-Star, Thomson will always be known for his walk-off home run for the New York Giants in the third game of the 1951 three-game playoff against the Brooklyn Dodgers for the National League pennant.

The Giants trailed the Dodgers by 13 1/2 games as late as August 11 before winning 16 consecutive games and finishing 37-7 through the rest of the season, forcing the playoff. Thomson also delivered the deciding blow in the first game, a two-run homer off of Ralph Branca in a 3-1 Giants win.

He would face Branca again in Game 3, giving the Giants a 5-4 victory with his three-run home run, capping a four-run ninth. It is known now as the "shot heard 'round the world" and for the radio call of Ross Hodges, who famously screamed, "the Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant."

 The Giants would lose to the Yankees in six games in the World Series.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 17, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 2:25 pm

Moms love Pat Burrell

Pat Burrell For a while, what most people knew about Pat Burrell was that he hated the nickname "Pat the Bat." He is infinitely more likable today because of two stories I read as the Giants and Burrell return to Philadelphia.

The first is from his Giants teammate Aubrey Huff from back when the two were at the University of Miami. The San Jose Mercury News ' Andrew Baggarly has this story :
"After two weeks at Miami, I wanted to go home," Huff said. "So my mom flies out, trying to convince me to stay. I was living with two seniors and they ragged me, too. I just didn't understand all this baseball ragging nonsense. She's in my room one night and I'm sitting on my bed and she's telling me to give it another two weeks.

"Anyway, there's a knock on the door, and before I can even get off the bed, Pat comes barging in with a six-pack in his hand, dripping wet, buck naked.

"So I jumped up and shut the door. Coming from Texas, these things didn't happen. I said, 'See what I'm dealing with here, Mom?'

"She just started laughing and said, 'Actually, Aubrey, that's pretty darn funny.
Burrell then gave his side of the story:

"Yeah, that's pretty much how it happened," he said. "I was looking for the shampoo. There wasn't any in the shower. Obviously, I didn't know his mom was in there."

Long pause.

"I don't know how the six-pack got in my hands."

Huff's mother wasn't available for comment, apparently, to add light on how Burrell got his nickname.

The second story comes from MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, with this story from Aug. 6 when Burrell's sacrifice fly beat gave the Giants a victory over the Braves in the 11th inning.
In fact, shortly after Burrell's sacrifice fly won the game in Atlanta, Phillies director of team travel and clubhouse services Frank Coppenbarger heard his phone buzzing next to his bed. Coppenbarger woke up and checked his phone to find a text message from Burrell:

"You're welcome."
Burrell was released by the Rays in June and has had a resurgence since, hitting .285/.378/.527 with 10 homers and 30 RBI for the Giants in 56 games. In 24 games with the Rays, he hit .202/.292/.333 with two home runs and 13 RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 17, 2010 12:00 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 1:37 am

Signing deadline update

Bryce Harper
As of exactly midnight ET, 11 first-round picks have not been reported as signed (although many of them have been and it just hasn't gotten out yet). Overall No. 1 Bryce Harper (pictured) was expected to sign.

Amazingly, the Dodgers have just signed Zack Lee ($5.25 million), which seemed impossible a few days ago.

Here are the reported first-round deals reported to have closed on Monday:

No. 2 Jameson Taillon, Pirates -- $6.5 million

No. 5 Drew Pomeranz, Indians -- $2.65 million

No. 12 Yasmani Grandal, Reds -- around $3 million

No. 18 Kaleb Cowart, Angels -- $2.3 million

No. 24 Gary Brown, Giants -- $1.3 million

No. 28 Zach Lee, Dodgers -- $5.25 million

More as it becomes available.

UPDATE: In the 15 minutes since the deadline, the following signings have been reported through various outlets:

1. Bryce Harper (Nationals) -- $6.25 million bonus, $9.9 million total value
3. Manny Machado (Orioles) -- $5.25 million
7. Matt Harvey (Mets) -- $2.5 million
11. Deck McGuire (Blue Jays) -- $2 million
23. Christian Yelich (Marlins) – $1.7 million
25. Zack Cox (Cardinals) -- $3.2 million
26. Kyle Parker (Rockies) -- $1.4 million

Also, looks like the Padres did not reach agreement with high school pitcher Karsten Whitson (No. 9), who will play at Florida.

UPDATE: With the confirmation of No. 17 Josh Sale ($1.62 million) reaching agreement, all first-rounders appear to be accounted for. Everybody signed except for No. 6 Barret Loux (Diamondbacks passed on him after the results of a physical), No. 14 Dylan Covey (who decided to go to college after a Brewers physical revealed he has Type 1 diabetes) and Whitson.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 15, 2010 7:41 pm

Utley may return Tuesday

Chase Utley I usually scoff when I hear athletes talk about being fast healers -- they all say it and the doctors are usually right. Chase Utley may be different.

The Phillies second baseman could be back as soon as Tuesday from his broken thumb -- 10 days before the original prognosis. Of course, this is a snail's pace compared to 2008 when he had offseason hip surgery and wasn't supposed to return until May, but instead was there opening day.

Utley, who may be related to Wolverine, has played the last two games with Class A Clearwater and is expected to play both ends of a doubleheader Monday before returning to Philly for the start of a series against the Giants.

In two games, Utley is 1 for 6, including a triple in Saturday's game.

"My thumb feels good," Utley told the Phialdelphia Inquirer' s Bob Putnam. "It's not bothering me at all. I don't what the plans will be after that. I'll have to discuss that with Charlie [Manuel] and [Ruben] Amaro and go from there."

Utley will fly back to Philadelphia after Monday's games, playing second in the first one and being used as a designated hitter in the second. He will then be evaluated by team doctors.

When Utley initially broke his thumb, the scheduled return date was Aug. 26. Utley had only been cleared to swing a bat on Wednesday.

"I'm not that surprised that I've been able to come back so quickly," Utley said. "I've just been pretty fortunate that everything has gone well with my thumb so far."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 13, 2010 9:20 am
Edited on: August 13, 2010 1:14 pm

Giants acquire Guillen

Jose Guillen Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes is reporting that Jose Guillen is on the verge of becoming a San Francisco Giant and could be in uniform in time for Friday's big showdown against the Padres.

Guillen was designated for assignment last Thursday, ensuring that he will not have spent three full years with one team. San Francisco will be his 10th organization despite a career line of .270/.322/.441 with 211 home runs over 14 seasons. He has come close to three full seasons twice -- the Royals and his original team of the Pirates before being traded to Tampa Bay halfway through his third season. Part of the reason he's bounced around so much -- with four organizations being a year or less -- is because of his disruptive personality, of which some people have said is the worst in the game just behind Milton Bradley.

Ah, but Guillen still has some pop left in his bat, which the Giants could use. He certainly won't be a savior as he is essentially relegated to DH duties these days. Too bad San Francisco is in the NL.

Guillen has a total of $12 million coming to him for 2010, and the Royals will certainly be picking up a major portion of the deal.

UPDATE: The deal is official, and Mychael Urban of CSN reports that Guillen will start in right, with Aubrey Huff moving to first base. The move will bench first baseman Travis Ishikawa, who outproducing Guillen with the bat. Guillen and Pat Burrell in left will form one of the worst outfield defenses in baseball.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 12, 2010 11:48 pm

NL West showdown looms

Jonathan Sanchez
The weekend's marquee matchup will take place amid the cool breezes wafting off McCovey Cove, when the Padres visit the Giants with first place in the National League West on the line.

The Giants are 2 1/2 games back -- and would be in first place already if they had played even .500 ball against San Diego this season. The Padres are 7-1 against the Giants, including a sweep at AT&T Park in May. But the Giants have won nine of 11 home series since then.

Giants lefty Jonathan Sanchez (pictured) has given the series a little extra spice with his guarantee last Sunday that San Francisco would sweep the Padres and go on to win the division.

"We're going to play San Diego, and we're going to beat them three times," Sanchez said. "If we get to first place, we're not going to look back."

The statement didn't sit well (in either clubhouse, actually), but Sanchez will have the chance to back it up Friday when he throws the first pitch of the series.

"All of us say things we might have said a little differently," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We have tremendous respect for the San Diego club and what it's accomplished. We've got to go out there and play a good club. I don't think he meant to say it the way he said it. They've been tough on us."

Padres manager Bud Black wouldn't provide any bulletin board material Thursday when asked about the Sanchez guarantee.

"That's why we'll fly up there and see what happens," Black said.

The Giants enter the series with two wins in a row after a narrow escape in Chicago on Thursday. The Padres have won four straight.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
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