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Giants trade reliever Melancon to Braves for 2 pitchers

July 31, 2019
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Mark Melancon works against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Denver. The Giants won 11-8 to sweep the four-game series. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Mark Melancon works against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Denver. The Giants won 11-8 to sweep the four-game series. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mark Melancon had a short time to make a decision to waive his no-trade clause, so he checked with his wife and she gave the green light.

The San Francisco Giants traded their former closer to the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves for right-handed reliever Daniel Winkler and a minor league pitcher amid a flurry of moves Wednesday before the trade deadline.

“She’s running the show here,” Melancon said after his bags were packed in the visiting clubhouse in Philadelphia. “After we talked and realized it’s Atlanta, a really good situation over there, we decided it’s OK. It’s a winning team. They got a lot of young talent, a lot of upside there. ”

The Braves have more bullpen help, too, getting All-Star reliever Shane Greene from Detroit in addition to Melancon.

The Giants also sent left-hander Drew Pomeranz and righty Ray Black to Milwaukee for infield prospect Mauricio Dubon and obtained second baseman Scooter Gennett from the Reds for a player to be named. Cincinnati will send cash to the Giants to cover part of Gennett’s $9,775,000 salary.

In addition, San Francisco sent right-handed reliever Sam Dyson to the Twins and kept 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner.

“These days are always wild,” Melancon said. “Usually always comes down to the last minute. I was surprised.”

Melancon signed a $62 million, four-year contract with San Francisco in December 2016 but didn’t emerge as the dominant closer he had been in part because of injuries. He had just 15 saves in his two-plus seasons with the Giants. The 34-year-old right-hander is 4-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 43 appearances and 46 1/3 innings this season.

Melancon summed up his time in San Francisco as “disappointing.”

“Physically, my arm, I went through things that were unexpected but I like to think I produced as much as I could,” he said. “This year has been fun and exciting. This last push has been really fun. Would’ve been neat to stick it out and see where this goes. I would’ve enjoyed the ride just as much but this is a new opportunity for me. It’s hard to be in two places in one time and that’s where I feel I’m at right now. I’m excited and grateful to everyone in this organization, a first-class organization, a model organization.”

When the Giants acquired him, Melancon had saved at least 30 games in three straight seasons, recording a majors-best 51 in 2015. He went 47 for 51 in save opportunities in 75 relief appearances last season with Pittsburgh and Washington.

The Giants will be short-handed in the bullpen for Wednesday night’s game against Philadelphia.

“You have to make adjustments when you lose guys in your bullpen,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “The roles will be different, how we define them, who pitches, that’s what we are talking about now.”

Bumgarner said he wasn’t approached to waive his no-trade clause.

“Nothing changed for me. I never expected to be somewhere else until that happened,” Bumgarner said. “I just have a job to do and I’m going to do it. We’re going to miss a few guys we got rid of. That’s going to be tough.”

Bochy, who plans to retire after this season, was happy Bumgarner will be on the team for his final game. They won World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

“He means so much to me,” Bochy said. “To have him here the rest of my tenure here, it’s pretty cool. It makes me feel really good to have him beside me.”

Winkler is 3-1 with a 4.98 ERA in 27 appearances this season. The Giants also received Class A pitcher Tristan Beck.

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AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this report.

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