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Question of the Day
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - With his club falling further out of playoff contention by the day, Giants general manager Brian Sabean started making sweeping changes Wednesday.
Outfielder Aaron Rowand and infielder Miguel Tejada were designated for assignment by the defending World Series champions, who trail first-place Arizona by a season-high six games in the NL West race. The Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 to avoid a sweep and end a three-game losing streak, while the D-backs beat Colorado 4-2 at home on Wednesday night.
Arizona visits for a crucial three-game weekend series starting Friday night.
“We’re at a spot in the season where we have to do some damage control with the roster. A couple things played into it. In both cases, there was diminished playing time, diminished roles,” Sabean said. “If this stays ugly, we’ve got to turn the page, look at some other people and get ready for next year, and try to win and develop at the same time.”
Sabean worked to try to move both players to other clubs within the day so they could “continue their careers.” The Giants have 10 days to trade or release each player, but would have had to trade them to a contender before Thursday for them to be eligible for another team’s postseason roster. Still, San Francisco is absorbing more than $15 million in the combined contracts of Rowand and Tejada.
“I don’t expect anything. We’ll see what happens. We’ve got the whole day to work on it,” Sabean said.
The GM didn’t find any takers before the 9 p.m. local time deadline for trading either player for them to be playoff-eligible.
“Ownership was apprised throughout the process. That wasn’t a problem,” Sabean said. “He was given an opportunity. … Did it turn out the way we wanted to in the end? Obviously not. But it’s time for both parties to move on.”
The 34-year-old Rowand was batting .233 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 108 games. He was hitless in seven at-bats during the current homestand and was mired in a 1-for-24 (.042) slump dating to Aug. 13. He hasn’t drawn a walk since July 5.
The 37-year-old Tejada received a $6.5 million, one-year deal in December to join the Giants. He was batting .239 with four homers and 26 RBIs in 91 games. He was 4 for 20 since being activated from the 15-day disabled list Aug. 16 after missing 25 games with a lower abdominal strain.
“I think we knew eventually it was coming,” Mark DeRosa said of the shake-up. “We didn’t know who, or when it was coming. At some point something had to be done.”
A 15-year big league veteran, Tejada won the 2002 AL MVP across San Francisco Bay with the Oakland Athletics.
“I just thank them for the opportunity,” Tejada said in a brief phone interview. Asked if he saw the move coming, he said: “I don’t pay attention, I just try to play baseball.”
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