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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Battles Heating Up as Spring Winds Down

I know we've been spending a lot of time on our previews as we try and get everything in before opening day, so we haven't had much time to talk Giants stuff, but in a way, that's a good thing.

Luckily, there hasn't been anything too serious to discuss, but the one thing that does have me worried a bit is the the bone spur that's occurred on the back of his throwing elbow. It was deemed minor to begin with, but now there are whispers of it possibly keeping him out of the opening day lineup and maybe starting the year on the DL. For a lineup that already lacks power, the Giants need their number 3 hitter healthy and ready to start the year, but if he needs to miss the first week or so to ensure that's the case, so be it. I'd hate to see this thing turn into an issue that requires surgery and shelves him for 6 weeks. On the positive side, Brandon Belt (.396/4/12 in 52 at-bats) and Madison Bumgarner (1.81 ERA in 15 IP) continue to dominate their Cactus League opponents, and have given Giants fans reason to believe both are in for big 2013 seasons. Also, Hunter Pence appears to have worked some of his issues out from last season as he's hitting over .350 in his 56 at-bats through March 21st.

As far as the battle for the remaining OF, IF and RP spots, those have yet to be determined, but there are some clear front-runners. Francisco Peguero has all but locked up that fifth outfield spot with his .364 average and .888 OPS in 44 at-bats, though Cole Gillaspie is still in the running. Chad Gaudin looks like he's a little ahead in that bullpen race (2.93 ERA, 11 K's in 14 innings) too. However, the infield is a different story, as nobody has really taken the bull by the horns there quite yet. Tony Abreu can't get on the field and Kensuke Tanaka and Wilson Valdez have not been very impressive. If the season were to start tomorrow, I bet Bochy would just roll with Brett Pill, just to have that right-handed power off the bench, but they really need another guy who can play the middle infield. With Dan Runzler's success this spring, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Giants try and package a left-handed reliever and a prospect in order to try and obtain a more suitable middle infield option, cause right now, the pickings are slim!

If you've been on any Giants sites or listened to KNBR over the last few days, you'll know too that the Giants have "quietly" begun possible long-term contract extension talks with Buster Posey. I love the idea of locking the 25 year-old backstop up now, especially since he's already shown the ability to play first base and should be able to move there seamlessly in a few years when the Giants want to move him from behind the plate. I don't know what kind of numbers are being discussed, but with Posey's credentials and age, a 5-year, $75M deal wouldn't sound too bad to me at all. Heck, he's going to start making 12+ million in arbitration starting next year, so why not just get this done if they can come to a reasonable agreement?
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2 Comments:

  • At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Totally agree on Posey. He's the face of the franchise and they need to keep him around for a long time. We already know he can play first base so he's definitely worth the long-term contract! Get 'er done Sabes!

     
  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah, he showed by coming back from that injury so flawlessly that he's a tough guy who's going to stay on the field. And of course, his ability to play first bodes well for a long-term deal. He's only 25 but in order to keep those legs fresh throughout his career, he's going to have to move out from behind the plate before he's 30, so a 5 year deal would be perfect in my mind.

    I really have no idea on what kind of money he'll be seeking though. He's the premiere catcher in the game and not even in his prime yet. If you look at what Joe Mauer gets, Posey could seek upwards of $18-20M per season... Let's hope he gives the Giants a bit of a hometown discount!

     

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