Exactly a month into the new season, the Giants’ major weaknesses have proven to be third base production and starting pitching depth.
But that might not be for long. According to a report by ESPN.com’s Adam Rubin on Sunday, San Francisco could already be looking to add help at both positions.
Per Rubin’s sources, Brian Sabean—who will conduct more scouting in his new role as the team’s Executive VP of Baseball Operations—and Lee Elder, the team’s Senior Scouting Advisor, were on hand for the Mets-Nationals series at Citi Field over the weekend. While Rubin could not confirm the reason for their presence, he speculated that Mets infielder Daniel Murphy was their main interest.
Murphy, who’s played most of his career at second and first, has been filling in for an injured David Wright at third, but Wright should be back soon and Rubin thinks New York would like to give young second baseman Dilson Herrera a shot at the everyday job.
The potential starting pitching target, though not named in Rubin’s report, would likely be Dillon Gee. The 29-year-old right-hander has effectively become the Mets’ sixth starter with the return of Rafael Montero and he, like Murphy, is currently on a one-year deal.
So, are Murphy and Gee really on the Giants’ radar, or is Rubin just blowing smoke?
With the continued ineffectiveness of Casey McGehee, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the Murphy rumor. After all, Murphy offers slightly better power (22 HR from 2013-14) and significantly better speed (36 SB from 2013-14), and his low average this year (.204) is explained by an incredibly unlucky BABIP (.200). He’s also just $3.2 million more expensive than McGehee, though the Giants could be adding more or less to their payroll depending on the package.
More from SF Giants News
- SF Giants: Reliever Reyes Moronta clears outright waivers
- SF Giants sign veteran 1B John Nogowski to minor league deal
- SF Giants call on veteran LHP Scott Kazmir for big start against Padres
- SF Giants: Update on Alex Dickerson’s rehab assignment
- Atlanta claims SF Giants C Chadwick Tromp off waivers
On the flip side, the Giants place a premium on defense, and while McGehee has looked pretty awful manning the hot corner, Murphy is much more green at the position (less than 50 career games) and has graded out as a below-average defensive infielder over his career.
More important than all of these factors, however, is the fact that Bruce Bochy has publicly backed McGehee throughout his slump, and maintains a fluid relationship with the Giants’ front office.
With that in mind, it seems Gee would actually be the more likely target of the two. Jake Peavy and Matt Cain are still a ways away from returning, and continuing to send out Ryan Vogelsong every fifth game given a lack of viable internal options is an unfortunate reality San Francisco would just as soon avoid.
Gee has been a quality end-of-rotation starter since coming up with New York in 2010 (career 3.86 ERA and 1.35 WHIP), would come on the cheap at $5.3 million and, based on recent rumors, appears to be a piece the Mets are more than willing to part with.
I wouldn’t hold out hope for either considering we’re just 25 games into the season, but it’s comforting that Sabean and co. are at least exploring the market for upgrades.
Update: Monday, May 4 at 4 p.m. PST
ESPN’s Jim Bowden is now reporting that the Giants are looking for a “long-term solution” at third base:
If that is indeed the case, McGehee’s days could be numbered. At the same time, the chances of San Francisco adding someone like Murphy are even slimmer.
But who could the team be targeting instead? Keep it glued to Around the Foghorn for the latest updates.
—End of Update—