The season has come to it’s conclusion. In what was a rather glorious, World Series winning, year for the San Francisco Giants: the hard work begins once more, already. From April to October, the players and Bruce Bochy shine. In the offseason, Brian Sabean has a chance to shine. Sadly, all Giants rumours have quite simply been put on hold until the future of Pablo Sandoval is clearer. Regardless, here are a couple of options I believe the Giants can and should pursue.
Andre Ethier/Carl Crawford: If there’s one thing the Giants fans enjoy more than winning: it’s seeing the Dodgers losing. Arch rivals is an understatement. However, there is a good trade to be had with Los Angeles. The Giants’ biggest need this offseason is a producing, able-defensive, healthy left fielder. Providing the Dodgers eat some, preferably most, of one of their contracts, it’s a good trade. Essentially, the Dodgers just need rid of some of their outfielders to clear their logjam.
After recovering from injuries, Crawford put up a brilliant second half of the season. If he can overcome the injuries, and stay healthy, he could be a huge asset. Triples alley would be his best friend. He can get on base, run, and hit for some power. His defense isn’t great, but it’s certainly bearable. Ethier, on the other hand, would be my pick. Discarding this season, in which he was benched a lot, he has always been a consistent 120 wRC+ hitter. His defense is solid, too. I’d assume shipping away Kendry Flores, or someone similar, would get the job done.
Yoenis Cespedes/Mookie Betts/Brock Holt: The Giants should continue to trade with Boston. Cespedes is the most likely to be moved, Holt and Betts are more dreams of mine. Holt has serious potential, but Betts is a legitimate franchise changer. His minor league statistics are nothing short of legendary. He has never had an OBP of lower than .410, enough said.
More realistically, Cespedes. The Red Sox are likely to move him in order to clear their own outfield logjam. He has real power, an incredible arm, and can serve as a replacement for Sandoval in the lineup. If all works out, and he can hit in AT&T Park, an extension could be discussed. If he doesn’t the Giants simply buy themselves another year of Buster Posey behind the plate. If, and when he leaves, Posey can move to first, and Belt can move to left. Once more, if the Giants think about moving Kyle Crick, Flores, Ty Blach or Clayton Blackburn a deal could be arranged.
Jeremy Hellickson: The buzz around baseball today is that Hellickson is being moved by the Tampa Bay Rays to a National League team this week. While it’s unlikely the Giants are the one orchestrating this deal, they probably should be. Once considered one of the premier young pitchers in the game, after several injury plagues and several substandard seasons later, it’s safe to say he last lost that title.
San Francisco offers him the chance to rebrand himself. Hellickson is a pure fly ball pitcher. In the pitcher and fly ball friendly confines of AT&T Park only 6.7% of fly balls leave the ballpark. Pitching somewhere, where he can easily keep the ball in the park, Hellickson could have a lot of success with the Giants. As usual, Tampa want any top prospects. Hence, if Hellickson is en route to the bay, Crick is likely to be going the other way.