Posted on: August 12, 2010 6:24 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 7:07 pm

Burrell comes up big -- again

Pat Burrell
Brian Sabean needs to send Pat Burrell a really nice Christmas present this year. And vice-versa.

Burrell is making the Giants' general manager look like a genius for pulling him off the scrap heap when he was released by the Rays in May. And with his new start in San Francisco, the 33-year-old outfielder is resurrecting his career.

Look at what Burrell has done in just the past week:

Last Friday: Game-winning, 11th-inning sacrifice fly

Monday: Game-winning, 11th-inning sacrifice fly

Wednesday: Go-ahead, eighth-inning solo homer

Thursday: Tiebreaking grand slam in the fifth inning (pictured, Burrell at right)

The Giants gave back all four of the runs from the grand slam and Andres Torres turned out to be the hero with a walkoff hit, but it looked like it was going to be four consecutive Giants wins in which Burrell had provided the definitive hit. Even with the bullpen breakdown Thursday, that's officially ridiculous.

Burrell's career looked to be on the ropes when the Rays, who signed him to a two-year, $16 million deal in 2009 after Burrell spent his first nine years in Philadelphia, cut him loose. Burrell batted .221 in his first full season in the American League and was at a miserable .202/.292/.333 when the Rays gave up on him May 15.

Sabean, desperate for a power hitter, snapped him up and signed him to a minor-league deal, and he was called up to the majors on June 4. Back in the National League, all he's done since is bat (entering Thursday) .293/.385/.520 with an OPS+ of 136.

And obviously he's shown he can come through in the clutch. That's something the Giants are happy to have as they chase the Padres in the NL West.

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 11, 2010 7:46 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 8:35 pm

Giants add Fontenot

The Giants have traded for Cubs infielder Mike Fontenot for minor-leaguer Evan Crawford.

San Francisco put shortstop Edgar Renteria on the disabled list right before the team announced the trade. Renteria has a right biceps strain and hopes to be back for the pennant race, he told the San Francisco Chornicle 's John Shea .

Fontenot has played second base, third base and shortstop for the Cubs this season. He's hitting .284/.332/.402 with a home run and 20 RBI. Renteria was hitting .278/.342/.364 with two home runs and 21 RBI.

The Cubs are in San Francisco to play the Giants, so Fontenot -- who had a two-run, pinch-hit double in Tuesday night's Cub victory -- will be able to join his new team rather quickly.

UPDATE: The Cubs will call up infielder Darwin Barney on Thursday. The Cubs head to St. Louis after tonight's game in San Francisco.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 10, 2010 4:38 pm

Dodgers interested in Guillen

Jose Guillen It looks like Jose Guillen's next move will be west as the Dodgers have interest in the former Royal outfielder, ESPN's Enrique Rojas tweets .

The Giants have also been rumored to have some interest in Guillen.

Guillen was designated for assignment by the Royals last Thursday. Kansas City has five more days to trade or release him. He is owed approximately $3.93 million for the rest of the season and is a free agent after the season.

The 34-year old outfielder led the Royals with 16 home runs and 62 RBI (and had a .255/.314/.429 slashline) when he was DFA'd, but the Royals decided to actually follow through with their youth movement and allow young players to play, including first baseman Kila Ka'aihue, who was one of the minor leagues' best hitters. Ka'aihue has played in seven games so far and has two hits in 20 at-bats since being called up.

Putting Ka'aihue in the lineup has had one other effect, moving Billy Butler from first base to designated hitter. Butler, 24, is the team's best offensive player (.311/.381/.463 with 10 home runs and 55 RBI), but isn't much of a defensive player. He has a career -5.8 UZR at first in his career. However, much like another first baseman for a 60-loss team , Butler doesn't want to be a DH.

"I'll keep doing early work at first base, keep working hard," Butler told the Kansas City Star 's Bob Dutton . "I'm going to do whatever it takes to be a first baseman. That's the way it is. I'm never going to accept being a DH."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: August 9, 2010 6:44 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 4:02 pm

This week in free stuff: Aug. 9-15

A look at this week in promotional giveaways from around baseball:

Tuesday, Aug. 10
Las Vegas 51s (Pacific Coast League) -- Rita Rudner bobblehead. I don't even know what to say about this one. I'm not sure I'd make the effort to get to the ballgame for this one.

Wednesday, Aug. 11
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (International League) -- Hambone mini bobblehead. I'm all for mascot races, especially when they feature pork. Lehigh Valley's features a hot dog, bacon and a side of ham. Everyone's doing them and I don't think it's a bad thing.
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Eastern League) -- Nutzy bobblehead. Mascot bobbleheads always go for more on eBay, and I think Nutzy the Flying Squirrel will be out of my price range, sadly.
Lancaster JetHawks (California League) -- Hawkette bobblehead. Another mascot, but not one I'll be searching for on eBay.
Lowell Spinners (New York-Penn League) -- Lou Merloni bobblehead. The Spinners are honoring a local legend.

Thursday, Aug. 12
Erie SeaWolves (Eastern Leagie) -- Al E. Gator bobblehead. It must be the week of the
Vancouver Canadians (Northwest League) -- wearable blanket

Friday, Aug. 13
Tampa Bay Rays -- t-shirt. Come for the T-shirt, stay for the Village People postage concert.
Atlanta Braves --  t-shirt
New York Mets -- Johan Santana koozie
Washington Nationals -- beer and pItcher cup set. Nats try to one-up their NL East foes by going all classy with an actual cup for beer drinking.
Trenton Thunder (Eastern League) -- travel mugs.
Springfield Cardinals (Texas League) -- floppy cap.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (California League) -- Torii Hunter bobblehead. That bobblehead may accidentally bobble and hit the umpire and get a bobble suspension.
Lynchburg Hillcats (Carolina League) -- Phil Vassar bobblehead. I had to Google him. He's apparently a country music artist. Go figure.
Boise Hawks (Northwest League) -- playground ball. No pegging.

Saturday, Aug. 14
Cincinnati Reds -- garden gnome. Let's just say my wife has been bugging me about this one for a while. She loves garden gnomes. I don't get it either. That said, I've seen one and it's pretty cool.
Chicago White Sox -- Miller Lite Beer vendor bobblehead. Now that's an MVP.
Kansas City Royals  -- 1980 A.L. Champion coaster set. I was hoping for a U.L. Washington toothpick holder.
Minnesota Twins -- mini Target Field
New York Mets -- green cap. You know, because Aug. 14 is St. Declan's Day. He was St. Patrick's younger brother.
San Francisco Giants -- Bruce Bochy bobblehead. The rare bobblehead that is in its proper proportion.
Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Coast League) -- Parker bobblehead. Another mascot.
Oklahoma City RedHawks (Pacific Coast League) -- RedHawks skateboard. This is one of the cooler promo items of the year, several teams have done them. However, I worried about some people when the Reds had a skateboard deck giveaway and someone dropped one from the upper deck. Luckily it didn't hit anybody.
Jacksonville Suns (Southern League) -- Logan Morrison bobblehead.
Arkansas Travelers (Texas) -- pillow cases. Somehow, I don't think my wife would let me use these.
Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League) -- Judy Johnson book, "Judy Johnson Delaware's Invisible Hero." Really cool to educate fans about a former Negro Leaguer.
Lake County Captains (Midwest League) -- fleece blanket
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- superhero cape. A really cool giveaway for kids.
Boise Hawks (Northwest League) -- Tyler Colvin bobblehead. The Hawks apparently knew Colvin would have a good rookie season.

Sunday, Aug. 15
New York Mets -- metal lunchbox
Tampa Bay Rays -- Matt Garza bobblehead
Cleveland Indians -- Mustard (hot dog) plush doll
Cincinnati Reds -- kids chest protector backpack
Washington Nationals -- back-to-school supply kit
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Eastern League) -- metal lunchbox. Again, I gotta give the Flying Suqirrels the nod. The Mets have Jose Reyes, the Flying Suqirrels have Nutzy. Advantage Nutzy.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: August 7, 2010 5:18 pm

Signs that Taiwan opener could happen

San Jose Mercury News reporter Andrew Baggarly says via Twitter that the Giants were in a meeting Saturday afternoon to discuss a potential season-opening series against Arizona next season in Taiwan. He said that the players were briefed on local laws and that while nothing has been announced, "it sure sounds like the Taiwan opener is going to happen."

People close to the situation described the situation as less than likely a couple of weeks ago. There are several obstacles, including issues relating to the Diamondbacks' new spring training facility in Scootsdale, Ariz. The D-backs would have to open spring training early -- which could be an issue with a tight construction schedule -- and would have to depart early, costing the facility some home games late in spring training, when crowds are usually largest.

The Dodgers played exhibition games in Taiwan last spring, but this would be the first time regular-season games were played there.

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 6, 2010 4:55 pm

Giants didn't claim Dunn

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Giants were not the team that put in a waiver claim on Nationals outfielder Adam Dunn. As he says, that's not too shocking since 12 other National League teams would have had to pass first.

Schulman speculates that the Dodgers put in the claim to block teams ahead of them in the wild-card race from getting him. It probably doesn't matter anyway -- it's highly unlikely Dunn is going anywhere.

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 5, 2010 7:12 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2010 7:33 pm

Giants interested in Guillen, Dunn

Jose Guillen Don't expect Jose Guillen to be unemployed too long -- the Giants are discussing the outfielder, the San Jose Mercury News ' Andrew Baggarly writes .

Guillen was designated for assignment by the Royals earlier today and the team has 10 days to trade, waive or release Guillen, who is owed more than $3 million for the rest of the season.

Guillen can play the outfield and has played 22 games in right field this season, but is bothered by his knees and would be best used as a designated hitter.

Baggerly speculates the Giants could "play the hot hand between Guillen and Pat Burrell, and keep the other guy as a right-handed power bat off the bench."

Guillen was hitting .255/.314/.429 with 16 home runs and 62 RBI.

Another interesting note from Baggerly, Giants general manager Brian Sabean hinted the team would put a claim on Adam Dunn, but Baggerly doesn't seem to think the Giants were able to get him -- perhaps the Rockies tried to block Dunn from going to the Giants or Padres.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:33 pm

Report: Dunn claimed on waivers

Adam Dunn The Adam Dunn trade rumors will die soon, because according to Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi , an unidentified team has claimed Dunn on trade waivers.

The news means Dunn is less likely to leave Washington -- at least until the offseason.

Because he's been claimed -- and it's unlikely he cleared waivers in the National League -- the Nationals have until Monday to work out a deal for Dunn. Based on what the Nationals were asking for at the trade deadline, it's unlikely a team will be able to meet that price. And because of what Mike Rizzo has been asking for Dunn, it's a near-certainty the Nationals wouldn't just let him go for the cost of his remaining salary (roughly $4 million).

The Nationals want to keep Dunn -- at least through the end of the season -- so it makes it more likely a National League team is just blocking a trade to a contender. A team like the Rockies or Dodgers -- who are 6 1/2 and 7 games out of first in the NL West, respectively -- could have claimed Dunn to block the Giants or Padres from getting the extra bat, with little chance of having to spent the $4 million left on Dunn's salary.

Since National League teams have first crack at waivers, it's unlikely Dunn was claimed by a National League team. Hell, the Diamondbacks could have claimed him just to see White Sox GM Kenny Williams go crazy on MLB Network's "The Club."

The Nationals will likely hold on to Dunn, gamble that he won't accept arbitration and either re-sign him or get the compensation picks.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com