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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Non-Tenders give Giants more options

MLB's non-tender deadline passed Monday, and 43 new free-agents hit the market. Although most of them would be considered afterthoughts for a team with the Giants' aspirations, there are a couple of guys that caught my eye as possible upgrades to the roster.

Besides the inconsistent starting pitching, the Giants downfall in 2013 could be attributed to lack of depth on the roster, and that's something they have a chance at improving. Of the non-tendered free agents, there are about four or five guys that would appear to strike Brian Sabean's interest, mostly relief pitching options, but also one intriguing corner outfield option.

San Francisco has plenty of internal options to fill out their bullpen, but Brian Sabean said in a conference call Tuesday that the team does have financial room to add some help should they find the right piece(s). A few of the non-tendered arms they should take a look at are John Axford, Ronald Belasario and Mitchell Boggs. With closing gigs becoming more scarce by the day, Axford is likely going to have to settle for a one-year, make good deal in order to up his value for a potential big payday in 2014, making him one of the more intriguing names out there. Based on his closing experience, finish to the 2013 season and overall ability with that high-90's heater and big hook, he'd be at the top of my list if the Giants are indeed set on bringing in another right-handed reliever. Sergio Romo met all expectations in his first full year as Giants closer in 2013, but based on his pitching style and reliance on that frisbee slider makes him susceptible to serious injury and having someone like Axford in tow would provide ample insurance in case Romo does run into problems or needs some nights off. Santiago Casilla is the only other Giant who could adequately take on that role but he's shown to be much more effective in the 7th and 8th innings though.

Belasario and Boggs are both in similar situations as both have had tremendous success in the past but neither was at their best in 2013. They'd be looked at more along the lines as middle relievers to challenge guys like Jean Machi and George Kontos for bullpen spots. If both returned to their pre-2013 form though, they'd be great additions. In 2012, Belasario posted a 2.54 ERA, 1.07 WHIP with 69 K's and .187 BAA over 71 innings while Boggs posted a 2.21, 1.05 WHIP and .221 BAA with 59 K's in 73 innings. Either of those lines would look great along side the steady arms of Romo, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez. If the Giants fail to add another right-handed reliever to the mix, they'll be choosing from a slew of in house candidates that aren't bad by any stretch, but also not as proven and seasoned as some of the other options on the free agent market.

The only bat I'd consider intriguing who was non-tendered was Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones. The 32 year-old corner outfielder/first basemen hit just .233 in 2013, but has the kind of power the Giants could use in their outfield. Now, if the Giants add an outfielder, it's likely going to be a right-handed platoon partner for Blanco, but Jones is the type of guy that could come in and take over that job if he hits like he did in 2012 (.274/27/86/.832). He's basically worthless vs. lefties, but still has enough value to warrant a look despite being left-handed, at the very least to provide competition for Blanco vs. right-handers and give the corner outfield some depth. J.P. Arencibia was also let go by Toronto, and although the Giants have Hector Sanchez slated in to backup Buster Posey, Arencibia could be a valuable add should they want to carry 3 catchers. He doesn't hit for much average (.212 career), but he's extremely dangerous. It would allow them to play Posey at first base more freely and Arencibia could give them huge right-handed power off the bench. I doubt the Giants would seriously consider either of these two guys, but if they want to add some power, there aren't many options out there who have more home runs over the last few seasons than Arencibia and Jones.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 8:06 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Garrett Jones seems like a good option to me too, with his power that would be sorely needed. Why is Sabean so concerned about having this guy and Blanco on the roster, since Blanco is/should be only a defensive backup anyway, and I understand that both bat left handed. This club has to have a power bat in left, especially if Sandoval comes back fat again and is of little help. The team does need a power right arm to help finish off games and Axford or Belasario would be intriguing, as the club needs somebody who throws hard to finish off late innings, and Belasario is an ex-Dodger to combat Brian Wilson.

  • At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If we consider Garrett Jones, then why not a little more pop from the left with Jason kubel?

  • At 10:42 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I would look at Kubel. He's coming off a real miserable year though, and isn't the ideal athlete to handle the spacious AT&T Park outfield. Kubel's stomach-able in left though, and would be a welcome add if he returned to pre-2013 form at the plate regardless though. Not sure the Giants would want to roll the dice on that happening in their yard.

    Jones is headed to Miami now though, so he's not an option any longer and I hear the Marlins are shopping Logan Morrison as a result. If his knees hold up for a full year, he'd be a solid high on-base, power potential guy, though he too is left-handed. I'm not sure the Giants would want to bring his personality into their clubhouse, but he's young and talented with tons of upside and could probably be had at a bargain.

    Seems like most the realistic options for the Giants are left-handed, but that shouldn't detour them from adding, especially if they find someone with a different skill-set than Blanco (ideally power, but just another high on-base bat would do).

    After looking at how easy it was for KC to pick up Norichika Aoki, it makes me think the trade market is most certainly the way to go for the Giants with their outfield void.


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