Hunter Pence has everyone talking. No, not because he suddenly ran out into a desolate back road at night, causing a driver to have to swerve out of the way and nearly have a heart attack. It’s because his torn hamstring is creating an outfield need for the Giants that may be filled by someone like Ryan Braun, if one “minimal” conversation on the matter is enough to stoke your interest. It’s interesting enough to Braun, who allows the Giants on his list of six teams to which he wouldn’t block a trade (a bunch of west coast teams and the Marlins).
On the Brewers’ end, everybody knows they’re ready to start plucking apart their team - including top assets like Braun or catcher Jonathan Lucroy - but Ken Rosenthal reported on the angle they are taking.
Owner Mark Attanasio does not view Braun as a salary dump; he values premium talent more than financial savings, sources say.
Another reason this idea is full of fart noises, Rosenthal says, is that the Giants probably don’t have the prospects the Brewers want, and San Francisco is looking to plug some money elsewhere after this season (relief pitching) and spending on Braun subtracts from that. But erasing Braun and Lucroy’s names from the roster will bisect the motivated Brewers’ budget, down to $32.5 million in 2017.
Braun himself is a thing, too. The six-time all-star is hitting .313/.374/.532. He’s knocked 25 home runs and stolen 24 bases. There’s no not seeing his value, but then again, there’s the thing you immediately link to Ryan Braun when he comes up - the thing that, should he test positive for it again, will remove him from baseball for 162 games.
However, that may be worth the risk to anyone who has seen the numbers put up by the Giants’ current corner outfield solution.
- Jarrett Parker: .189 BA, .680 OPS in 53 AB
- Gregor Blanco: .233 BA, .637 OPS in 133 AB
- Mac Williamson: .167 BA, .494 OPS in 30 AB
So, you could see why they’d have even a “minimal” conversation on getting an over .300 hitter in there somewhere.