Giants provide full refund, and more, for Pence's historic bat

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Giants provide full refund, and more, for Pence's historic bat

Programming note: Tune in to Giants October Quest for complete wrap-around coverage of Game 2 today at 4 p.m. leading up to the first pitch, and again right after the final out, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rick Alagna's 400 find yielded a priceless experience.

Alagna, the software engineer from Pleasanton who bought Hunter Pence's historic "triple-double" broken bat when it was somehow mistakenly put up for sale in the team's Dugout Store, volunteered to return the bat to the team Wednesday.

In return, the Giants treated Alagna and his wife, Terri, to watch Game 1 of the World Series in a luxury suite -- and not just any suite.

"We have had the BEST giants games of our lives!!!!" Rick Alagna wrote in an email. "(CEO) Larry Baer gave us 2 tix to his suite & Orlando Cepeda & Gaylord Perry were there!!! So, I am pinching myself a bit & fooling myself into believing that maybe that bat DID bring some extra Mojo' to the team!!!"

The bat somehow made contact with the ball three times as it splintered apart, leading to a bizarre, bases-clearing double that loomed large in the Giants' Game 7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS -- the only Game 7 win of any kind in Giants history.

Now Pence has the relic, which he had named "Fryer," back in his possession. And the Alagnas have a freshly signed Pence bat, along with a promise to meet the right fielder at a later date.

Alagna was randomly selected among 10 fans who wanted the right to purchase the bat. He also beat 15-to-1 odds to win the right to purchase the "triple-double" baseball for 150. Alagna turned them both over, saying they were a matching set that deserved to stay together.

The Alagnas will be guests of the Giants again for Game 2 Thursday night.

Oh yeah, and one more thing: The Giants issued a full refund for 650.

Alagna might go and blow some of it on Lotto tickets.

All photos courtesy Rick Alagna

Giants sign veteran catcher Nick Hundley

Giants sign veteran catcher Nick Hundley

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants announced a one-year deal with catcher Nick Hundley on Tuesday, giving them a veteran backup behind Buster Posey. 

Hundley received a Major League deal worth about $2 million, putting him in pole position in the battle to be the second catcher. The 33-year-old has spent nine seasons in the big leagues, the majority of them with the Padres. He hit .260 with 10 homers last season with the Rockies. 

“His experience overall brings added value to our club,” general manager Bobby Evans said, noting that Hundley is very familiar with the NL West. “The attractive elements of his game and experience bring needed depth for us.” 

Hundley getting a Major League deal means he’s almost certainly ticketed for an opening day job, ousting incumbent Trevor Brown, who spent all of 2016 in the big leagues. Brown hit .237 with five homers in his first full big league season, but the Giants had quietly been looking for a more experienced option who could allow Brown — 25 years old and still relatively new to catching — to get additional seasoning in Triple-A. 

The Giants have not fully ruled out carrying three catchers. Brown, who was drafted as an infielder, occasionally takes ground balls at second and third, and there has been some discussion about a more varied role. 

“It is with some mixed feelings about how much to move him around off catching because catching is a very complex and difficult challenge,” Evans said. “When you move him around you don’t want to take away from what he’s doing behind the plate and at the same time you don’t want him to get hurt at another position. But (manager Bruce Bochy) and I have discussed the fact that we’ll look at him more at different positions this spring than we have in the past because we appreciate the value that he brings.”

The Giants have spent all offseason looking to add a third catcher to the mix, and if Brown is in Triple-A, they will have a third catcher on the 40-man roster who can be optioned back and forth. There will be veterans in camp on non-roster deals, including Tim Federowicz, but opt-out clauses may leave the depth chart short when the regular season arrives. 

In Hundley, the Giants have an option who should provide a little pop off the bench and lessen the drop off when Posey gets a day off. Evans said this move does not indicate that Posey will get additional rest or time at first base in 2017. He caught a career-high 122 games in 2016, winning his first Gold Glove Award. 

“The more we can keep Buster behind the plate and healthy, the stronger our team is,” Evans said. “The ideal is to keep him back there as much as possible and 120 (games) is a very fair target.”

Hundley, a native of the Northwest, is the second player signed to a big league deal this offseason, joining new closer Mark Melancon. The Giants do not expect to make another move of significance. To clear a 40-man roster spot, Ehire Adrianza was designated for assignment. If the Giants can’t line up a minor trade, Adrianza will return to the organization.

Dodgers trade top pitching prospect to Rays for 2B Forsythe

Dodgers trade top pitching prospect to Rays for 2B Forsythe

The Dodgers' months-long search for a second baseman is over.

Los Angeles has acquired infielder Logan Forsythe from the Rays, the team announced Monday afternoon.

The Dodgers are sending top pitching prospect Jose De Leon to Tampa Bay.

In 127 games for the Rays in 2016, the 30-year-old Forsythe hit .264/.333/.444 with 24 doubles, 20 home runs and 52 RBI.

Forsythe is set to make $7 million in 2017 and has a team option worth $8.5 million or a $1 million buyout for 2018.

De Leon, 24, made his major league debut for the Dodgers during the 2016 season. In four starts, he posted a 6.35 ERA while striking out 15 batters in 17 innings. In 16 startts for Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2016, De Leon registered a 2.61 ERA and struck out 111 batters in just 86.1 innings.

A native of Puerto Rico, De Leon was recently ranked as the Dodgers' No. 3 prospect Baseball America.

For most of the offseason, the Dodgers had been linked to Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, but the two sides couldn't come together on a deal.