Brewers boost pitching with Pomeranz, Black from Giants
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Big left-hander Madison Bumgarner is staying put with the San Francisco Giants, who instead determined their bullpen depth provided them the best place to make trades before Wednesday’s deadline.
Milwaukee acquired left-hander Drew Pomeranz and righty Ray Black from San Francisco for infield prospect Mauricio Dubon.
“We are pleased to add a veteran presence in Drew Pomeranz and a high-velocity arm in Ray Black to the organization,” Brewers president of baseball operations and general manager David Stearns said.
Until the Giants recently began winning, there had been thoughts Bumgarner — the 2014 World Series MVP — would surely be on the trading block, but the free-agent-to-be isn’t going anywhere for now as San Francisco (54-53) tries to contend in manager Bruce Bochy’s final season before retirement.
Bumgarner refused to get wrapped up in the speculation about whether he would be gone, calling it “just noise.” The Giants exercised his $12 million contract option for this year, the last in a $35.56 million, six-year deal he signed in April 2012 that included $12 million club options for both 2018 and ’19.
“He is a huge tone-setter for our clubhouse,” said Farhan Zaidi, Giants president of baseball operations. “He’s a tone-setter for the organization. I kind of made light of it, some of the comments he made about the trade deadline — I wish I could have made those comments. I think he allowed the clubhouse to maintain its focus. We’ve obviously played well this entire month despite the fact there’s been a lot out there about what we might do. And even between the lines and the competitor he is and just the way he sets up the rest of the pitching staff, Boch knowing that he can get an extended outing out of him every fifth day I think has created a lot of latitude in how he has been able to manage the rest of the ’pen.”
The Giants dealt reliever Sam Dyson to Minnesota, former closer Mark Melancon to Atlanta and minor league lefty Jacob Lopez to the Rays for outfielder Joseph McCarthy.
“I would say this is in some ways an endorsement of the depth of some of the guys we have right behind the group that has done so well for us at the major league level,” Zaidi said. “I’ve alluded to that in my comments over the last few weeks that trading from an area of organizational depth to address other needs is something that we’ll probably be looking at. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of demand for our relievers. It would have been difficult to make some of these deals without the feeling of confidence we have in the guys who are going to be coming up right behind them who have been pitching so well in Double-A and Triple-A this year.”
Also on Wednesday, San Francisco obtained second baseman Scooter Gennett from the Reds for a player to be named. Cincinnati will send $2.15 million to the Giants to cover much of the $3,153,226 left on Gennett’s $9,775,000 salary. Gennett is expected to join the team Friday in Colorado.
The Brewers were looking to add pitching depth, given uncertainty over left-hander Gio Gonzalez after he left his start last Friday against the Cubs with tightness in his pitching shoulder. Gonzalez was cleared and is expected to start Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.
Pomeranz can work as a starter or reliever but will initially pitch out of the bullpen.
“This season has eroded our depth, this last week especially. We feel like we’ve replenished that today with the guys we got,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “For the next two months we feel like we got strength in numbers.”
On Monday, Milwaukee traded for right-hander Jordan Lyles to boost the rotation. Lyles traveled to the Bay Area on Tuesday and was set to start Wednesday night’s interleague game at Oakland. The Brewers lost the series opener 3-2 in 10 innings.
Lyles was a reliever for the NL Central champion Brewers late last year, going 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 appearances. He had a 9.58 ERA in eight starts since the end of May, leaving him 5-7 overall with a 5.36 ERA.
Pomeranz provides Counsell with options. The lefty is 2-9 with a 5.68 ERA in 21 appearances with 17 starts this season, having moved to the bullpen and made four scoreless relief outings most recently.
“Pomeranz is a really good fit for our bullpen,” Counsell said. “It’s something I feel like really complements our other guys well. It’s a good fit as far as left-handed, he does have length that he can provide. There are innings that we need that and could use that.”
Dubon, who made his major league debut July 7 at Pittsburgh and played twice for the Brewers, batted .297 with 16 home runs and 47 RBIs in 98 games for Triple-A San Antonio.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum and AP Sports Writer Joe Kay contributed to this report.