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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Giants make offer for Stanton, who's plan B?

So as I'm sure those of you who've been paying close attention to the Giancarlo Stanton trade sweepstakes as they've caught fire for essentially the last week and the whole Winter Meetings. However, as we stand heading into Saturday Morning, the newly crowned NL MVP is still in Miami with about 4-5 teams with real, shots at landing the big slugger'

One of those teams, obviously, is the San Francisco Giants, who officially made a trade offer to Miami on Thursday. According to CBS Sports, the Giants are the first team to make an official offer to Miami for the MVP, which shows you just how interested they are in acquiring the right-fielder.. As far as I've read, the handful of teams besides the Giants, who Stanton would waive his no-trade clause for are the Yankees, Cardinals, Dodgers and Boston Red Sox. All those teams certainly have the means to get a deal done, so it really comes down to who's going to eat most of that contract and which team offers the best package on top of that. Stanton said he did prefer to go to a perennial contender, which all those teams essentially are making them the most likely group of five to land Stanton if he is indeed dealt like expected. Now, if the Giants are going to indeed bring the big guy aboard, they're either going to have to clear payroll by dealing a big contract of their own or risk taking on a mighty large luxury tax from the MLB for excessive payroll.

They were talking a lot about Stanton on KNBR for the brief periods I was tuned into the station today, and offered a few scenarios in which the Giants could bring the slugger aboard without having to add that crazy of an amount of payroll, although it still would significantly increase. That is a scenario in which they deal one of their own big contracts, but not to the Marlins, who are obviously trying to shed payroll, but possibly to another team in a three-way deal, or have another deal in the works to fall into place immediately after a potential Stanton trade. The two names being most discussed are pitcher Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto, as both are slotted to earn upwards of about $20M for the next four and five seasons, respectively, although Cueto's deal has him closer to $25M per. Now, obviously, in a thin starting pitching market after Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta. Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb will also hit the market as probably the next two best after Darvish and Arrieta which means they're going to get overpaid so teams looking for a potential ace or #2 like Cueto and /or a rock-solid mid-rotation guy like Shark, then the Giants could realistically find a taker for one of the two if they choose to go that route.

A potential three-way deal could possibly done, in theory, especially if the Giants are intending on dumping off payroll in the event of a Stanton deal. They could deal one of their high-priced starters to a team like the Cubbies or Cardinals then have one of those teams send some prospects Miami's way, it could be a win-win-win type of deal. The Marlins obviously want to cut payroll, as they've lost money season after season for a while now and have the new ballpark they're funding, and that's the reason why they're considering dealing the under-30, 60-HR per year threat in Stanton, because he's still owed a lot of money on his nearly $300M deal he signed with the Marlins in the not too distant past.

Now, if they can't deal away a big contract and still find a way to swing Stanton, the plus side for San Francisco is that they do have Pence and Span coming off the books after the '18 season which will free up roughly $30M annualy, and that's more than Stanton's yearly rate (roughly $27M/per though 2027), so when you look at it that way, you see how it could make financial sense for the Giants (assuming they don't have to give up all their prospects and take on the contract). On the other hand, when you see that this deal will take Stanton well into his late-thirties, you have to imagine that there may be a few years towards the end of the deal in which the Giants are paying nearly $30M/season too a guy who's injured half the time and a shadow of the player they dealt for 10 years prior.

The first half of that deal shouldn't be an issue whatsoever as he should more than be able to earn that money, so long as he stays on the field for 145+ ballgames (which is far from a given as Stanton hasn't played many injury-free seasons in his career). It's surprising because the 28 year-old outfielder is a guy in tip-top shape right now though, and could be a good bet to stay productive for much of the second half of the deal. Will he hit 60 HR's when he's 37? Probably not, but with his conditioning and strength and if he stays healthy and ages well (sorta like that Bonds guy that used to play LF in San Francisco) whoever lands the most feared right-handed batter in the game will have possibly made one of the most impactful trades in MLB history.

Now, I know it's exciting to talk Stanton and see that the Giants do seem to have at least a halfway decent shot at landing him, chances are still more likely that he'll be wearing another teams uniform in 2018, which would leave the Giants moving on their backup plans. Those backup plans include the likes of Billy Hamilton, Jackie Bradley Jr. and J.D. Martinez. Apparently the team has had discussions with Martinez about bringing him over to play left while also looking into some strong defensive center fielders as well. They've also asked the Reds about Billy Hamilton and the BoSox about Jackie Bradley Jr. If you follow us on twitter or have read the comments in the last post then you know how I personally feel about these backup options. They're a far cry from Stanton, but both certainly are upgrades to what the Giants currently have in center. Span, while his bat came around towards the end of the year, is headed into his age-34 season and really ever since joining the Giants, he's looked about 40. He's looked much slower, both on the base-paths and defensively in center field, and his swing, take away from a couple hot months in 2017, has looked slow and sluggish as well.

Hamilton is one of, if not the fastest man in baseball, and was second in the game in steals last season. His speed makes him a terrific center fielder, gold glove caliber, but his one area that still needs development is is on-base skills and him putting the ball in play a little more. With his speed, as soon as he gets a better feel of the strike-zone, his OBP, batting average and as a byproduct of those, his runs and steals will go up as well, and that's scary to think about if he does put it all together. He's 27 so he's still learning a bit, and I'd welcome him in center, but only if the Giants had plans on bringing in power to play left, or third base.

Bradley offers a little more pop than Hamilton but nowhere near the speed, though he too is considered a very good center fielder. I haven't seen much of him, but watched some YouTube video on him and he certainly is one talented left-handed bat. When healthy he's a 25+ HR threat with run producing abilities, a solid .270-.280 hitter and as I said, one of the better defenders in baseball. Neither of these two guys are what I'd consider real "difference makers" in a lineup, although each would help tremendously and it would be exciting and fun to watch Hamilton roam the spacious outfield at AT&T Park.

I'm sure more names will surface in the coming days though as well, unless something gets done before hand. The Winter Meetings, which seem to have the most movement, both trade and free agent wise, isn't up for about another month.so things may cool down until closer to then, or maybe there was progress that indeed happened at the GM Meetings this past week and moves could start taking place before Thanksgiving. Not only is it holiday season, but it's the baseball hot stove season and both seem to always start heating up around the same time. I know I've said this a couple times already recently, and I know some of the players the Giants are "looking at" or "discussing", but again, I have no idea really as to what this team's roster will look like in a few months when the team starts trickling in for Spring Training.

I do know one thing, however, and that's if this team can find a way to bring the NL's most valuable player from 2017 over to San Francisco, you'd be looking at a whole new excitement and whole new life pumped into the clubhouse, the lineup, the fans and the city for this team after they've largely disappointed since their tittle in '14. I mean, they looked like a sure-fire 'Series contender for the first half of '16, but outside of that, they've been one of the worst teams in the league for 2 1/2 of the last 3 seasons and I think the brass, along with the fans are over it.

In other words, a bold move wouldn't surprise me, and while I hope that bold move is Stanton, if it isn't, they have to keep their minds open regarding some other possible scenarios. This team, while they've looked so terrible the last year and a half, are only a few pieces, and a turnaround or two internally away from being right back up where they were just a few seasons ago!

Oh how I love the MLB offseason an all it's possibilities and potential promise. The Giants disappointed me massively last winter, adding only Mark Melancon when they so clearly needed at least 2 or 3 other upgrades, and see how that came back to bite them and ultimately tear their season apart? I know Brian Sabean is too baseball savvy and smart to let that happen 2 years in a row, whether he's the guy in the GM chair or not, I expect him to be more hands on this time around and with Bobby Evans and I expect the Giants to have a much better offseason..... at least I sure hope that's the case.
The Giants Baseball Blog

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A lot of eyes on Giants as free-agency opens

The MLB offseason is about to kick into full effect here, as MLB free agency posting took place on Monday and all free agents are now free to sign with whoever they please. Whether it's free agents or possibly trade targets, the San Francisco Giants have been prominently mentioned and linked to some of the bigger names hitting both markets (trade and free agency).

Now, we've all heard the most tantalizing rumor involving the Giants and potentially landing the most efficient power hitter in the game today, Giancarlo Stanton, but we all know they won't be the only team pursuing the big outfield slugger, and apparently the one free agent they've been linked too the most now is former Royal's center fielder Lorenzo Cain. I voiced my opinion on Cainer last post, as he's certainly a plus player and could bring some intangibles to this team they very well could use, but he's not a guy who's going to change the make-up of an offense on his own like Stanton would, and on the wrong side of 30 now, it's tough to imagine his best days still ahead of him. He's one of the top free agent outfielders though with the ability to play center at a high level so he's going to get paid. I just hope it's not the Giants that end up paying him, unless they get him for significantly cheaper (in both years and dollars) than I think he's about to get. So, that leaves either rolling with Span again in center for his final year under contract, or moving on to another potential option for center field, of which there aren't a ton.

Carlos Gomez comes up as the next highest ranked free agent center fielder on the FA market and he'd be the guy I'd look to if they can't come up with any better trade scenarios or land Cain on a team friendly deal. Gomez probably won't seek more than a 1-2 year deal and won't cost an arm and a leg. My guess is he gets a 2-year deal in the $20M range which, for a plus defensive center fielder with power and base-stealing potential (both things this offense sorely needs), then I would roll the dice on that. That being said, my number one choice this winter, as a fan, is bringing in Stanton, some way, some how, and if that were the case and they couldn't move Span's contract then maybe roll with Span one more year in center and/or sign a cheaper defensively minded CF'er like Cam Maybin possibly to spell Span when needed defensively. Then if Maybin gets hot, as he did at times with Houston during their championship run this fall, he takes over center and Span then becomes your fourth outfielder. That's really the kind of depth the Giants have been lacking the last few years and the kind of depth they need in order to get back to where they want to be. They need legit back-up options in the outfield and not just rely on minor leaguers who aren't ready or would take months worth of at-bats to get acclimated.

While the outfield has been all the talk on the radio and websites for the Giants, they still do have that glaring hole at third base as well as a need for some bullpen depth and possibly even another starter. Now, if I were to bet, I would bet they probably don't fill all those needs before spring training, and may rely on some of their in-house guys to step it up for some of those spots. For instance, they very well could feel fine with starting the year with Chris Stratton as their fifth starter after his nice "tryout" period in September. The only way they do that though is if they're sure Johnny Cueto and Matty Moore are healthy and in good condition because they need much more out of both of those guys in 2018, otherwise they'd need a quality, proven guy to bring in and maybe push Moore back into the five spot. Andrew Cashner is a guy that will be out there and someone capable of putting up mid-rotation quality when he's healthy. Alex Cobb is the guy I'd love them to get their hands on, as he is capable of being a #2/3 starter when he's on, but in a thin starting pitching market with his success in the rough AL East, a multi year deal worth big dollars could certainly be in the cards for the 30 year-old.

As for third base, the options are even more scarce. There's Todd Frazier, who we've discussed here several times, but despite being a 30+ home run shoe-in, he has his short-comings in just about every other area. He doesn't hit for average, is turning 32 before next season and saw his power numbers take a dip from 40 jacks in '16 to just 27 in '17. Not that those wouldn't look good in a power starved Giants lineup, but you'd have to imagine AT&T Park cutting into those numbers too making him more of a 20'ish HR guy with a sub-.250 batting average and mediocre glove at third. That to me sounds like Pedro Feliz 2.0 and not exactly what the Giants are looking for. Now, again, if they could get him on a great short-term low-risk deal with maybe some major incentives put in there then I'd be more excepting, but he likely won't have to settle for that.

The next third base option in free agency after Frazier is Jose Reyes, who I honestly would be open to, if the Giants got their outfield situation finely tuned. Right now, they can't really afford to do a dice-roll at third like Reyes would be, but hey, if they landed Stanton and got a center fielder, then maybe that's something they could be interested in. We know Reyes can run and he can defend still, but his .250'ish average isn't the most desirable, despite him upping his power numbers increasing the last couple of seasons. He's kind of like a poor mans version of Eduardo Nunez, as he doesn't have quite the bat that Nunez has, but will provide the versatility and the speed that Nunez did. Again, they'd have to add some more pieces and not just Reyes, but I wouldn't be adverse to Jose Reyes at third for the Giants in 2018 in the right circumstances, especially if Chris Arroyo is still around as a possible back-up option if Reyes goes down with yet another injury in-season.

That's all I really have for today, I did wanna get into the bullpen too, but we'll save that for our next post, hopefully at which time we'll have some more info on who and what exactly the Giants are pursuing and what are the chances of them getting said targets. Right now we're kind of on a 1-2 week posting schedule until the offseason picks up but if anything goes down of any significance, even a juicy rumor pertaining to the orange and black, make sure to stop by here for our reaction and thoughts regardless of the day, time or if we already posted that day.

Important Website Notes: This is not really Giants related but to any of you reading this, I'm looking for help to really update this site and take it to the next level. If anyone out there is computer savvy and can do CGI or help with making new logos/banners, we'd love to bring you aboard the team. We give full credit on the site to anyone who becomes part of The Giants Baseball Blog team (one of the longest running Giants websites on the internet and with a solid following which could multiply plenty with some tweaks and updates). We're a trademarked business, so doing any work for us or joining in some capacity would look great on a resume and provide valuable field experience. If interested in getting involved in anyway, even contributing maybe a couple articles here and there if your passionate about writing and know baseball and the Giants extensively, we're definitely taking on different intern-types right now. I would really like to kind of re-brand this site for the new year and update it as much as possible. We've kind of taken a back-seat the last couple of seasons and I would like to get right back where we belong up there with McCovey Chronicles and some of the other top Giants websites out there. We've been there before and can easily get back with the right formula. For further details, again, contact us by clicking the "contact us" link located in the top toolbar underneath our heading banner. Thanks for reading guys, and as always, "hummmm baby, go Giants!"
The Giants Baseball Blog

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Positional needs/power top Giants 'to-do' list

As I said in our last post, with all of the Giants rotation that ended the year set to return (barring some change of heart from Johnny Cueto and he opts out), they don't have a whole lot of room to do much there unless they want to pursue a more seasoned option for the back-end of the rotation. However, as of now, they have about half of a starting lineup set to return, and will be looking for upgrades in at least two spots, maybe three.

The obvious two spots they'll be looking into upgrading is either center field (depending on what they decide to do with Denard Span) and/or left field, and then the glaring hole at third base. The guys they trotted out in the second half of the year after dealing away starter Eduardo Nunez were hardly inspiring, and proved that if this team is serious about contending in 2018 they're going to have to venture outside the organization for help there. The one name that seems to make some sense, especially on the power end, is Todd Frazier. The Giants need a 30+ home run bat in this lineup and Frazier, although he hits around .225, could provide that. The top third basemen on the marker, Mike Moustakas, is coming off a career year in KC that saw him hit over 30 big flies with a nice average, and great defense at third base. Mix that with the fact he's still under 30 and he's probably going to cash out big somewhere and being a left handed batter, AT&T Park probably wouldn't suit his power potential the most so that may not be a good fit anyway.

Eduardo Nunez is also set to hit the open market, and although he had a pretty good stint here in SF when he was on the field and tore it up for Boston, the question to ask is will he get more than he's worth? We saw Nunez for year here and while I think he was still finding his way a bit in the NL as his power numbers never showed up, but he hit for a nice average and was this teams most dangerous threat on the basepaths, when he was actually one the field. Now, more options will likely present themselves as we get into the offseason, whether it's trade options or guys getting non-tendered, but third base is going to be a very interesting area to keep an eye on this winter for the Giants. I don't love Frazier, but in this market, if they could get him on a 2-year deal then I'd be for it otherwise I say steer clear. I could take the .220 average if it came with 30-something jacks and 85+ RBI.

Another possibility I could very well see happening is if the Giants did strike a deal with Miami for Stanton, they may end up having to take on Martin Prado as well, who's on the hook for around $13..5M the next two years. Prado did have a decent year in '16 hitting .305 with 75 RBI and a .777 OPS, but is 34, hasn't hit double digit HR's since '14 and got hurt and missed most of last season. I just don't see the Giants absorbing that deal though unless they do get rid of Pence or Span in the process.  For roughly the same price, I'm figuring, I'd rather bring back Nunez, as he's a younger, faster, more versatile version of Prado but if they could get their hands on Stanton then all bets may be off.

However, if the Giants are planning on contending in 2018, as I think they will be, Nunez is ideally the guy that I'd like to see back at third the most, at least of the free agent options. Especially if they can find power for the outfield.

Then you have the outfield, which was one of, if not the least productive bunch in all of baseball. Despite his best efforts to keep conditioned and eat healthy during the offseason, Hunter Pence's body seems to be starting to fall him on the field the last few seasons. He hasn't played a full, productive season since 2014 and approaching his age-35 season, it's tough to expect him improving all the much on last years .260/13/67/.704 slash line. That being said, he is under contract for another year so unless the Giants try and deal him, he should be back for one more go round in right field next season. Same with Denard Span. He too is entering his final year under contract and could be more easily dealt as he's coming off a fairly productive year and his price tag at $11M is more palatable than Pence's $19M. Span has lost a step in center field though too, so he's probably best suited to move to a corner at this stage, although if he stays in San Francisco, he'll likely be back in center field. However, If the Giants are going to deal one of the two, and I had to guess right now, it would be Span.

According to Bob Nightengale though, who's right on top of Giancarlo Stanton's situation, the Giants are the clear front-runners for the 28 year-old sluggers services and apparently the feeling is mutual as Stanton would very much enjoy heading west to play for the orange and black. Nightengale seems to believe that the Giants will end up with either Stanton or Martinez, with the meter tilting a little more towards Stanton because the Giants have the ability to take on that massive deal. Now he'd obviously be the number one target and the guy I think all Giants fans would want to bring in the most, but he's got a $200M contract, which he really is worth, but his drawback is he's played just 145+ games 3 times in his 8 year career. He's exactly the type of pure power bat the Giants need though, a guy that would not be intimidated hitting in a spacious home yard (as he proved in Miami) and someone who could allow you to go with more of a defensively minded option at third base. It hasn't been since Barry Bonds that the Giants had a player capable of hitting 40 jacks per year and even though they showed they didn't really need it in their championship years, I think the last few seasons has shown the game changing and that you have to have some power in your lineup no matter how good of pitching you have. Who better than the guy who's been the most dangerous hitter in the game over the last half-decade?

Aside from Stanton and Martinez as possible future left-fielders for the Giants, they also have to figure out what to do in center and right. If Pence and.or Span leaves it'll leave even more holes to fill, but also some possible upgrades. There is some depth in the outfield  free-agent market this winter and some options out there include.  Lorenzo Cain (speed/average/defense) and Jay Bruce (pure left-handed power) are both set to hit the market, but the guy I'd target, especially if Martinez/Stanton don't pan out, would  be Carlos Gonzalez. I believe CarGo still has some prime years left entering his age-32 season in '18, but is coming off an injury-plagued, off-year which should have at least a small impact on his market. He probably returns to Colorado, but. he's the type of bat the Giants could really use though if he's fully healthy. He too has some Bonds in his game, as he's patient, uses all fields and hits for power and average, can run and play "D", plus he's likely to come much cheaper than J.D. Martinez and probably even Lorenzo Cain. His numbers were certainly aided by playing at Coors Field, but he still put up some respectable numbers on the road. I don't know what kind of deal he'll be getting after his sub-par '17 season. He was an all-star just a year ago in '16 when he slashed .298/25/100/.855 preceded by a 40-HR campaign in '15.The guy can definitely still hit, but again, no long-term deal over maybe 3\three-years with a mutual option (preferably 2 with option), even if it is at around 17.5M per season.

The Giants had the likes of Nick Hundley and Jarrett Parker hitting in the middle of the order too many times last year. Heck, outside of Buster Posey, who had one of his worst run-production and power years to date, was the only guy suitable for the middle of order on last years team so they absolutely need another bat capable of driving in runs. CarGo seems like the next best FA/trade option after Stanton and Martinez. Whether or not he'd want to come here and hit for 81 games in this ballpark is something that may take some convincing but if they can put a solid enough product around him and prove they're still within striking distance of another World Series, it could help persuade him. After all, they do say "winning trumps everything". Problem is, this isn't the 2012 Giants and it's been a few seasons since they've been a real World Series threat.

Lorenszo Cain is another intriguing option although he'll probably get a huge deal with his ability to play center while coming off a career year offensively. While he'd look great in center, I feel like the Giants need more of a traditional power guy to insert into the outfield rather than an average/speed guy like Cain. Don't get me wrong, I think Cain is a terrific ballplayer, I just don't think he quite has the power to translate here and that's what the Giants need. He very well could hit .300+ with a lot of doubles and triples though so he's a guy to monitor for sure.

The Giants definitely need offense, and  there's going to be chances to land offense this offseasn, no doubt about it. What will be interesting is to see which  route they go. Do they stick it out and go young and hope to catch fire and maybe add during the season or go into full rebuild mode, or will they re-stock with some better talent. I hope, and I do anticipate them being is aggressive though. I don't see them waiting around until mid-December until they start filling out their roster. I expect them to act quickly and try and get at least one of their needs taken care of as soon as they possibly can. They know the fan base is hungry and has expectations and there would be no better way to ease those anxious fans than a trade for Giancarlo Stanton or a a signing of a player like CarGo before Thanksgiving. Again, I think we're in for a different looking Giants team in 2018, as the coaching staff shuffle-up has already shown, and I'm very excited to see what route they end up going.
The Giants Baseball Blog

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Giants need clear plan of attack for offseason

The dust on the miserable 64-98 season for the San Francisco Giants is starting to settle and as soon as the Houston Astros hopefully take care of the Dodgers in this Fall Classic, the work on righting this ship can officially begin.

Now, of course, the big question is where exactly do they start at? A team that was just 2 losses south of a 100-loss campaign typically will have numerous holes that need attention and this Giants team is in a very similar situation. The one difference is, they are just a year removed from a playoff appearance and still have the makings of a pretty strong starting rotation (although things could get tricky if Cueto opts out of his contract). The Giants top right-handed starter had hinted early in the season that he would be exercising his opt-out clause after the season, but a down year by his standards, and an injury-plauged campaign to boot had him changing his tune toward the end of the year. Now it appears as if he has intentions on sticking around and non opting out, although until he makes that official, anything can really happen. On the Giants end of things, I don't think they'd be heart broken if he did opt-out but I do believe they'd want him to stay in order to alleviate what would be another glaring hole if he did leave, and that's another top-end starter to team with Bumgarner. Samardzija was arguably the teams most consistent starter from April through September, but his ideal spot is right in that number three or four.

So, assuming Cueto does stick around, that would leave the Giants with 4/5 of their rotation all set. Matt Moore would line up as the fourth man, but he's going to have to do some work this winter to get back to his 2016 self as he just didn't have it in '17 (6-15, 5.42 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and a .282 BAA). All his numbers were career worsts for any season he pitched over 100 innings in, but he did finish the year with 5 out of 8 quality starts and certainly has the stuff to rebound like the Giants are hoping in 2018. With Madison Bumgarner, Cueto, Samardzija and Moore all penciled into the rotation, that leaves a spot open for Chris Stratton, who threw well during his run in September or open it up for competition within the organization. This is also an area where they could decide to go outside the organization for help. The Giants rotation, which had been a staple for this team since Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain came into their own before the World Series wins, was a major weakness in 2017. Granted, they were without their ace for half the year and received down years from Cueto and Moore, this is area I sure hope they don't overlook this winter.

There's set to be a ton of middle-end of the rotation starting pitchers on the free agent market this winter from the likes of Ian Kennedy to the guy I'd really like the Giants to pursue in left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Then there are injury reclamation projects in the form of Tyson Ross and Chris Tillman that could pay off big if they are healthy. So, the Giants will have plenty of options to fill in that remaining rotation spot without having to get into the Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn etc... sweepstakes. Now, not saying that Jake Arrieta wouldn't be a perfect fit in this clubhouse and make this rotation the best in baseball, I just don't think the Giants are going to be willing to give another 30+ year old pitcher a triple digit (100M+) contact especially considering their ample positional needs.

I'm gonna start diving into that very subject next post, as the World Series closes out and free agency/trade season can officially commence, because the Giants could have a very different looking starting 8 come April next year. I'm talking about at least 2/3 of a new starting outfield (depending on what they decide to do with Hunter Pence and Denard Span, as well as a new third basemen. The third basemen part is a no-brainer, as their savior-to-be, Christian Arroyo, showed he's still got quite a ways to go before being handed any starting position, let alone an offensive juggernaut like third base. That's an area the Giants could inquire about via trade, as the only two significant upgrades on the market are Mike Moustakas (who's set up to get a huge deal after his career year in 2017) and Todd Frazier, who'd bring the power the Giants so desperately need, but also comes with a .220 batting average.

The options and decisions that Bobby Evans and Brian Sabean will be facing this winter will be quite the task. I just don't see them entering full-blown rebuild mode with a lot of the core from their last two World Series tittles still around and in their prime, but they do have an awful lot to do without the most payroll flexibility. Ideally, they'd need at least two impact bats to insert into the lineup, and they need to revamp that bullpen big time, something they failed to do last winter and that's really what started the downfall of 2017. Just look back at the very first series of the season in Arizona, where the Giants just couldn't hold a lead.

Since we're still a few weeks away from players being able to find new homes, everything right now is just speculation and brainstorming, and we'll continue to do so in our next post as we start to take a look at who the Giants could be bringing in to help out what was one of the worst offenses in all of baseball this summer. Giancarlo Stanton's name has been mentioned, and what a land he would be, but I haven't heard a whole lot of other names possibly linked to the Giants and I'll spend the next few days digging that up for our next post.

Personal Note: This is not Giants related,  but I just wanted to thank you guys for sticking around these last few months. The team was not very entertaining to watch or talk about and I'm sure that's why you guys thought the posting at this site took a back seat. However, my computers decided to all crap out on me at the same time as my PC started working when it wanted too then I spilled water on my laptop rendering that useless. More importantly though, I endured the toughest loss in my life to date, losing a close family member at the end of the season, something that's kept me away from posting until now. I don't want to make it too mushy but I want to dedicate this post, and every post on this site from here on out to my late father, David Cole. He was as loyal a Giants fan as anyone I knew, still getting excited for September games when they were well out of it and approaching 100-losses but he always saw the positive in things. The last thing he told me about baseball was how well he thought Samardzija threw in a game I believe that was against the D-Backs. The game had no meaning at the end of the year but he just enjoyed good baseball. He introduced me to the great game of baseball and took me to my first ever game at Candlestick Park as a rugrat back in the early 90's. He's the reason I became such an avid San Francisco Giants fan as a young kid and of course shaped who I am today. Dad, you'll be sorely missed but never forgotten. I love you for life and you'll be on my mind everyday for the rest of mine!*
The Giants Baseball Blog

Monday, October 02, 2017

Nightmare season comes to an end in SF

Well folks, we finally have in the books one of the most tumultuous summers of baseball in San Francisco Giants history, and now it's time to start righting the sinking ship. Problem is, this "ship" has a laundry list of problems that may not all be remedied before the 2018 season, meaning we could be looking at another long summer on the horizon...

Plenty of teams go through terrible seasons like the Giants just endured, but what made this one extra tough to swallow was the fact that this team had playoff aspirations coming in and still had that mystique of the three championships within that clubhouse. However, that mystique and the Giants mini dynasty they had going since 2010 has come to an end with their 98-loss season. Now instead of approaching the offseason like World Series contenders like they have the last 7 winters, the Giants will be looking at the 2017/18 offseason a little differently. I mean sure, in this day in age, a team can lose 100 games and bounce back into playoff relevancy the following year, but these Giants have a long, long ways to go and I think their main focus this offseason will be figuring out who fits into their plans in 2018 and beyond rather than pursuing that one star (Giancarlo Stanton) to come in and hope that player makes everything ok. This team needs power, they need more speed and they need better outfield defense, just to name a few. Add set-up man, another left-handed relief arm and I think they need more dynamic players throughout the lineup, including their leadoff hitter and centerfielder.

Again, we'll do more dissecting of the season coming up before free agency gets going in November and who they could possibly target, who I want them to target, who they should avoid and guys on their current roster that should and shouldn't return in '18. But strap up Giants fans Cause I'm hearing that some of the mainstays over the last 7-8 years could very well have played their last game uni. Those names are Hunter Pence, Hunter Strickland, Brandon Belt (Posey is about ready to take over first base Full-time). I think they'd love to find a taker for Denard Span and Pence and Span had a nice second half and may have caught some teams attention. It also bodes well for him that he has just next year Remaining on his deal so he's not a long term commitment and not too expensive. Pence on the other hand will be 35 for the '18 season and hasn't hAd a healthy, productive year since SF's last championship season in '14.

It's too early for me to even venture a guess as to who will be back and who on the way out, plus I still wanna do. Brief season review for the squad before we start getting into the free agent and trade targets the Giants may/should be pursuing this winter.

Also wanted to give props to all the diehards that stuck it out for the journey, it was more than frustrating at times and hopefully they reward the fans with a Stanton addition and more. Whatever they decide to do though, I expect some new key faces on the team come February for spring training.

Comment in our comment section with what you want to see Bobby Evans, Brian Sabean and Co. do to fix this thing! I'll be giving mine in an upcoming post, but next post we get into the season Review from what started the collapse and why they couldn't dig themselves out of the mess. We'll also give out team MVP, LVP (biggest letdown) and some other players that stuck out for one reason or another, so stay tuned!
The Giants Baseball Blog

Friday, September 29, 2017

Giants looking at major off-season overhaul

With the worst season San Francisco has endured in decades nearly over with, all the Giants and their fans can do is look into the future and hope like heck there are some answers out there this winter for some of the teams laundry list of problems.

If you've watched the club this season then you already know that you would be hardpressed to find any real positives that they'll be taking with them into the winter. Instead, we're looking at an offseason that should present many of changes, Including Possibly moving on from some guys who've been mainstays for the squad the last half decade or so and were Instrumental in their championship runs. First off, the Giants have three games on the schedule remaining and are sitting at 97 losses, so they are very well within distance of a 100-loss year which is about as bad as it gets. Then when you consider the team is coming off a nice little mini dynasty from 2010-16 in which they won 3 titles and made 4 playoff appearances, it makes the drastic fall-off of 2017 that much more astounding to a lot of people. However, if you watched this teams epic collapse in the 2nd half of 2016 and then their failure to really address all their needs over last winter, it really shouldn't come as that big of surprise.  

It certainly wasn't an earth-shattering surprise to me if you go back and read my posts from last winter, as I just couldn't figure out why they didn't add more bullpen depth, bring in a sure-fire everyday left fielder who can put the ball in the seats and just bring in more depth overall. And we saw all those areas haunt them early on as they got no production out of left field, terrible bench contributions and no real defined roles in the bullpen. Granted, their one signing from last winter, closer Mark Melancon never really looked healthy at all this year and was essentially a non-factor spending most of the year on the DL and finally a going under the knife in September. The hope is that by performing the surgery in-season, he'll be ready to rock when pitchers and catchers report to Scottsdale in February but he'll be entering his age-33 season and is anything but a guarantee to return to pre-'17 form. His recovery along with lefty relief ace Will Smith will be crucial to the bullpens rebound in 2018. 

I'm typing this on an IPad as my computer monitor has recently broken and my laptop got wet and died out, so I'm going to cut this one short. We'll be talking much more about what happened and what went wrong This summer, even if I have to keep posting shorter posts, they will appear more frequently. 

We'll asses some players who did OK, as nobody including Posey, BCraw, Belt or Pence really had memorable seasons. And also whether or not this can be a one off-season fix or if the Giants will be entering rebuild mode for the first time since Barry Bonds was on his way out. So despite the sad season and underwhelming performance from the orange and black, they've left us with no shortage of topics to disect over the next 4 months until spring training kicks off. 
The Giants Baseball Blog

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The return of Pablo a joke?

Well Giants fans, it's time to pull those Panda hats out of storage and dust them off, because the former fan favorite and club cornerstone is returning to the organization.

In a season where the Giants may very well lose 100 games after entering the year with legit playoff aspirations, you can bet that with the trade deadline just about a week out that changes should be on the horizon. On Saturday, the Giants made a move, but instead of dealing away one of their veterans, as many expect them to do, they brought back one of their former ones, finalizing a one-year deal with Pablo Sandoval on Saturday.

It's been a strange year for the San Francisco Giants, to say the least. They've fallen so far out of contention so early on in the season that it's now leaving them with months to experiment and try different things out for next year and beyond. Over the last few days, the bay area has been buzzing about the possible return of a former Giants' staple, Pablo Sandoval, who flamed out in Boston and was released by the Red Sox earlier in the week. With that being said, one may wonder how in the heck bringing back Pablo Sandoval fits any of that "rebuilding" philosophy, and that's a justified concern. However, if you take a look up and down this roster and see who the Giants are currently trotting out there on a daily basis, there aren't a whole bunch of prospects with potential big league futures being trotted out there, simply because most of them are banged up. Ideally, the Giants would like to give Ryder Jones and Christian Arroyo third base to fight over for these last 10+ weeks of the season, but neither players is healthy. In those guys' absence, and Eduardo Nunez being moved around the diamond, Connor Gillaspie has sort of taken over third for the time being and he certainly isn't a guy who the Giants are looking at long term there.

That doesn't mean that the Giants are banking on Pablo regaining his San Francisco magic and working his way back to big league club by August and solidifying his spot in the lineup again, but stranger things have happened, and in a lost season, why in the hell not roll the dice on a guy who's still just 30 years old and wanted to come back here? There has been a lot said about some of the harsh things Pablo had to say about some of his fellow teammates after he left the Giants for the Red Sox, but he didn't disrespect anybody and if Pablo comes back and hits .300 with power (I know, a huge, unlikely if), those hard feelings should disappear pretty quickly.

All in all, I don't expect anything to materialize from this deal. I think Pablo will eventually return to the big league club, whether in August or September, and be given a few shots to see if he sticks and could be in the plans for 2018, but I think Pablo's best days are long behind him. It's a good, fun story in a season that's been void of positives, so all will be watching, but I definitely would not bet for him to be part of the Giants future plans. But, again, numbers cannot be denied and if he earns himself another shot and cashes in, he very well could factor back into the teams outline for the future, especially if Arroyo and Jones cannot get on the field to make their case down the stretch. Sandoval won't be blocking any younger player from getting major league playing time (because there all hurt right now) and worst case scenario is he flames out and moves on by the end of year. And again, who knows, maybe they catch lightening in a bottle and Pablo's career rebounds after a return home?

I just see the "potential" positive outweighing the negatives with this signing and would like to see Pablo back on the roster sooner than later. Eduardo Nunez is likely going to be dealt in the next few days (hopefully) and that will open yet another spot on the Giants roster in which Pablo could be ticketed for. However, once Jones and/or Arroyo are ready to roll, Pablo's gotta take a back seat. The only way this works is if he's not taking at-bats away from younger, potential future players.
The Giants Baseball Blog