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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Giants' new projected 25-man roster

Finally, on December 19th, the Giants have found their third basemen for the 2015 season. It wasn't a big deal like for David Freese, Pedro Alvarez or Ben Zobrist. Not even a Trevor Plouffe or Lonnie Chisenhall, who would have been at least interesting in a new league.

Instead, the Giants sent low-level minor league arms Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo to Miami for Casey McGehee. The 32 year-old third basemen hit .287 with 4 HR, 76 RBI and a .712 OPS in 2014, which won him NL Comeback Player of the Year honors. That's a higher average than Pablo Sandoval provided last year, but a huge fall-off in the power department. McGehee does have a track record of showing more power, including a 23 HR/104 RBI year for Milwaukee in 2010. The good part of this deal is the Giants didn't have to really part with any of their elite prospects, and that's probably what ultimately pushed them in the direction of McGehee. He does at least provide a better option at third than Arias and his right-handed bat will probably slot into the 6th spot in the order between Belt and Crawford. If this move were followed by a deal for a big bat in left, I'd be way more at ease, but chances are this will be it for the offense and runs will again be at a premium for the Giants' offense.

Now, with the return of Romo and Peavy coupled with the addition of McGehee, the Giants all of the sudden nearly have a 25-man roster now set for 2015. It's not going to be as flashy as I'm sure most were hoping, but nonetheless should find a way to compete as they often do with this core and under this management. The team could also still go out and find an upgrade in left seeing as they didn't part with any top-15 prospects even in this move, but I'm not going to bet on it. Maybe this spring or it could be their target for mid-season.

Here is what the 25-man roster is looking like after the last few moves this team has made:

Lineup:
CF Angel Pagan
2B Joe Panik
C Buster Posey
RF Hunter Pence
1B Brandon Belt
3B Casey McGehee
SS Brandon Crawford
LF Gregor Blanco

Bench:
C/1B Hector Sanchez
IF Matt Duffy/Marco Scutaro?
IF Joaquin Arias
OF Travis Ishikawa
OF Juan Perez/C Andrew Sussac

Rotation:
LHP Madison Bumgarner
RHP Matt Cain
RHP Jake Peavy
RHP Tim Hudson
RHP Tim Lincecum

Bullpen
CL Santiago Casilla
SU Sergio Romo
LH Javy Lopez
LH Jeremy Affeldt
RH Jean Machi
RH Yusmiero Petit
RH Hunter Strickland

No, not exactly as exciting as the roster heading into last year when that lineup had Panda and Michael Morse, but there's still time to upgrade. Hopefully they're not quite done cause I'm not overly excited about that bunch. A full year of Panik and (fingers crossed) Pagan/Belt would certainly be a step in the right direction, but again, outside of catcher, this team is lacking depth. They also don't have a bunch of pop outside of their 3-5 hitters either. Pagan, Panik, Crawford, McGehee and Blanco, who will likely make up 5/8 of the lineup hit a combined 14 home runs a season ago. They still have some tough outs in there and some studs like Posey and Pence but for a team without a lot of speed and power in the lineup, they're going to have to get people on base with great frequency in order to manufacture their runs.

The bullpen is identical to the one that one the Series' in the fall, so I think everybody is pretty comfortable there. It should be fun to see how Hunter Strickland does from the start (assuming he makes the team), but other than that, we pretty much know what we should be getting. The starting rotation, however, looks slightly different from the one that finished last year as they'll be getting a fully healthy Matt Cain, which will almost be like adding a big free agent itself. The Giants are hoping both a full year of Peavy in the NL coupled with a healthy Matt Cain will have this rotation back up to it's dominant ways. As of now, they have Tim Lincecum penciled in as their 5th man, and I don't expect that to change unless someone miraculously takes him off the Giants' hands in some sort of trade. Timmy's got a interesting year ahead of him though as he's due for free agency again after this season, and his days of commanding top dollar or anything close are done unless he reverts back into Cy Young form in 2015. Bobby Evans said after Peavy was signed that the Giants wouldn't rule out adding another arm if something made sense so they're not thrilled with the idea of Timmy in the rotation either.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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