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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


  • At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Tony D. said…

    Am i the only one who doesn't think they need to make a whole bunch of changes to turn around? They have mostly the same roster that was a win away from going back to the NLCS last season and had a down year because their ace got hurt and missed 4 months and they had bad injuries to key players like Pence and left field was a joke. Honestly I think they really just need a power hitting left fielder, Stanton would be great but Martinez or CarGo would be acceptable, and maybe another super utility guy who can play some third until Arroyo's ready then a bullpen arm or two. I think that's doable and I think a little health and reinforcements and the Giants are a contender again! Giants fans always look at the glass half empty and I know this was a historical bad season but this team is not that bad. They need a few additions but they don't need 3 new bats a top starter and a bunch of bullpen arms like they all are saying, at least that;s my two cents! Thanks, good blog and glad I found it.

  • At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So it's either Bobby Hamilton or Jackie Bradley Jr. is waht i'm hearing. Not terribly excited about either of those two... Really hope Stanton happens.

  • At 12:52 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I'd gladly take JB JR., if the asking wasn't too too high. He's an all-star level center fielder and he can hit when he's healthy.

    Hamilton is a little less intriguing, although his lightening speed would be welcome in a lineup that was one of the most sluggish on the basepaths last season, especially after Nunez got dealt.

    Bradley is the better all around talent though and has more of a chance to be a difference maker in the lineup. Hamilton would be great atop the order in center as well, but he doesn't bring any power, so they'd have to make another add with power in mind if they went with Hamilton.

    Most likely neither happen, but ahh the excitement of the offseason and the winter meetings. I still am as unclear as ever on what the Giants intend to do this offseason though, maybe that will change in the next few days. We'll see.


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