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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Giants' roster rounding into shape

The Giants have filled every major need they had coming into this offseason, and with over two months to go before pitchers and catchers start filing into Scottsdale, their 2014 roster is just about set.

Their first priority was re-sign all of their own free agents who they wanted to retain, and they were able to get that out of the way early. They took care of the biggest piece in Hunter Pence before the season was up, which in turn helped them apply more focus on other areas when free agency began. This helped them get Tim Linecum done so soon and eventually Javier Lopez as well. Ryan Vogelsong was a wild card cause they wanted a potential upgrade there, but just couldn't find anything that excited them too much and now he's back on a reduced salary. Then they did something they haven't done in years, and that's add two free agents that will take on starting roles for them in 2014. Sabean has always tended to make his big acquisitions via trade, but without much ammo to work by way of minor league talent/depth, their hand was forced into free agency this time around. They didn't do too shabby though in my opinion, and if both Tim Hudson and Michael Morse are able to avoid multiple DL stints, they both should wind up solid signings at the end of their respective deals. Both guys missed considerable time in 2013 because of injury though, so their health is far from a certainty, though both obviously passed their physicals and are expected to be a full go without any limitations to start spring.

And just like that, within about a months time, starting with re-singing Timmy and ending with the Morse deal, the Giants 25-man has been projected. Barring maybe an addition to the bullpen or another corner infield option for the bench, Brian Sabean's work, in terms of bringing in help from the outside, appears to be done on the major league level. There are still some intriguing bullpen names I like that are available, including Francisco Rodriguez, David Aardsma and Chris Perez, that probably wouldn't be reasonably priced and any could serve as a sort of double-barrel closer to precede Romo in the 8th inning. K-Rod pitched for $2M in 2013, and I'd take him in a heartbeat at that price in 2014. There are also some intriguing positional players still out there that may be willing to take a minor league deal, or a low-base major league deal and provide the Giants some depth. Tyler Colvin, Kevin Youkilis and Michael Young are guys I'm keeping tabs on. I've always been a fan of Colvin's bat and he broke out for Colorado in 2012 with a .290/18/72/.858 line in just 420 at-bats before face-planting last season. He can play all 3 outfield positions as well as first base and may have to settle for a minor league deal. Young has never won a championship and may be willing to come dirt cheap to play for a contender and provide a more potent offensive insurance plan for Panda and Scutaro than the Giants currently have. They've pretty much hit their budget after the Morse signing, but if they should always be looking for ways to further improve and add depth.

Right now though, this is looking like my best guess at the 25-man roster the Giants enter the 2014 season:

Lineup: CF Angel Pagan, 2B Marco Scutaro, 1B Brandon Belt, C Buster Posey, RF Hunter Pence, 3B Pablo Sandoval, LF Michael Morse, SS Brandon Crawford

Starting Rotation: RHP Matt Cain, LHP Madison Bumgarner, RHP Tim Lincecum, RHP Tim Hudson, RHP Ryan Vogelsong

Bench: C Hector Sanchez, OF Gregor Blanco, OF Juan Perez, IF Joaquin Arias, IF Tony Abreu

Bullpen: RH Sergio Romo, RH Santiago Casilla, LH Javier Lopez, LH Jeremy Affeldt, RH Jean Machi, RH Heath Hembree, RH Yusmiero Petit

I have to admit, looking at the Giants lineup on paper certainly appears more imposing with Morse slotting in for Blanco. It makes the bottom of the order stronger and gives the Giants 5 guys from 3-7, capable of hitting 20+ big fly's. The rotation looks stronger too with Hudson taking over for Zito, but Lincecum and Vogelsong are going to have to be on in order for that bunch to be the strength we've become accustomed to them being. The bench, again, could certainly use another veteran bat and the bullpen a veteran arm, but neither of which are considered pressing needs.
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2 Comments:

  • At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would go for K-Rod in the 8th inning. The Giants need to get back to that dominant pitching. I think the offense will be just fine, but I don't like going into the year with so many question marks on the pitching staff.

     
  • At 8:38 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    If Morse and Pagan stay healthy than the lineup is fine, but as we saw last year, if either or both of these guys goes down again, we are watching Perez in center and Blanco in left, which puts the team in the same boat as last year. Spend a little more profits from beer sales and get a decent backup bat for the bench as poor bench production is a yearly problem for this team.

     

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