The San Francisco Giants picked up the 2019 club options for left-hander Madison Bumgarner and infielder Pablo Sandoval on Monday.
Bumgarner, 29, was 6-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 21 starts in 2018. He missed the first two months with a broken bone in his pitching hand, but finished with the fourth-lowest home ERA (1.63) in the majors.
A four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion with the Giants, Bumgarner is a relative bargain at $12 million next season. He has a 110-83 career record with a 3.03 ERA and 1,591 strikeouts.
Sandoval, 32, appeared in 92 games and batted .248 with nine homers and 40 RBIs this season. He saw action at first, second and third base before being placed on the disabled list on July 30 with a strained right hamstring.
—Paul Goldschmidt is set to return to the Arizona Diamondbacks after the National League West club announced it has exercised a team option on the first baseman for 2019.
The option is worth $14.5 million, according to MLB.com reporter Steve Gilbert.
Goldschmidt, 31, has been a valuable member of the D-backs as a six-time All-Star selection and a regular contender for NL Most Valuable Player, finishing three times among the top three in votes, twice as runner-up. He’ll be the ninth-highest-paid first baseman in the majors next season, along with Matt Carpenter, according to Spotrac.
—Washington Nationals left-handed closer Sean Doolittle will be back for at least another season after the NL East club announced that it exercised its $6 million option on his contract for 2019.
Selected to the NL All-Star team in 2018, Doolittle has another team option on his deal, at $6.5 million, for 2020.
One of the league’s best relievers in 2018, Doolittle converted 25 of 26 save chances in 43 games while compiling a 3-3 record with a 1.60 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 45 innings. He was out for more than two months because of a fractured toe.
—The Chicago White Sox declined to pick up right-hander James Shields’ $16 million option for 2019, instead exercising a $2 million buyout that makes him a free agent.
Shields, who turns 37 in December, was 7-16 with a 4.53 ERA in 34 games in 2018 and tied for third in the American League with 204 2/3 innings pitched.
Shields started 76 games in three seasons with the White Sox and compiled a 16-35 record with a 5.31 ERA. He was an All-Star and placed third in the Cy Young Award voting in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Rays, when he went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA, 11 complete games, four shutouts and 225 strikeouts.
—Outfielder Bryce Harper is not on the New York Yankees’ free agent wish list and infielder Manny Machado is a “maybe,” according to reports from SNY.
The Yankees are packed with outfielders, with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks set to return. Harper, in seven seasons with the Washington Nationals, has a .279 career batting average to go with 184 home runs, 521 RBIs, six All-Star selections and an NL Most Valuable Player award.
The network also reported that the Yankees are not expected to aggressively pursue Machado but will monitor his free agency and could step in.
—A surprise 97-win season and a playoff berth has led to extensions for Oakland Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst and manager Bob Melvin, the team announced.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Forst received a four-year extension through the 2023 campaign, while Melvin had two years tacked on through the 2021 campaign.
The length of Beane’s extension wasn’t immediately known.
—The St. Louis Cardinals hired Jeff Albert as their hitting coach and Stubby Clapp as their first base coach for the 2019 season.
That completes the coaching staff for manager Mike Shildt, who took over the position in July after the firing of Mike Matheny.
Albert spent the past six seasons in the Houston organization, serving as the Astros’ assistant hitting coach in 2018, the organization’s minor-league hitting coordinator from 2014-17, and as a roving hitting instructor in 2013. Clapp was the manager at Triple-A Memphis for the past two seasons.
—Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw is undecided about remaining with the team as the clock ticks on his three-day window to opt out of his existing contract.
Kershaw, the losing pitcher in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday, said after the game he will take the next three days to discuss his future with the Dodgers and his family and “go from there.”
“I haven’t made the decision yet. We have three days to talk, between us and the Dodgers, see what happens,” Kershaw said.
—Field Level Media