Having taken care of one of the main needs by signing Jeff Samardzija, the San Francisco Giants continue to look for additional help in the rotation as well as left field. Here are some of the rumors being heard in Nashville.
Several things have happened at this year’s winter meetings in Tennessee that have thrown curves for reporters there. Most importantly was the news yesterday that Aroldis Chapman is being investigated for a possible domestic violence issue back in october. True or not, it did cause a great deal of confusion as to whether the Los Angeles Dodgers had indeed traded for him or not. We will have to wait that one out it looks like.
As for the San Francisco Giants, the focus has been on adding another starter and an outfielder.
One pitcher they have been linked to include one of their own from last year, Mike Leake. His asking price may be too high if it gets close to Samardzija’s, but they will stay engaged if it gets to a comfortable level.
Another starter that just became available is Kenta Maeda, from Japan. He is a projected 2nd or 3rd starter, so he would slot in nicely behind Madison Bumgarner and Samardzija. It will take a $20 million posting fee to get talks started, but his talent is pretty much known, so the risk seems minimal. He was 15-8 with a 2.08 ERA last year, and he is 27-years old.
One downside, it may take a little time for his situation to play out, and the team may have to fill the rotation earlier than that.
Bobby Evans has confirmed on Twitter, having taken some questions earlier in the day, that the team is searching for an outfielder as well.
There are several rumors that say that the preference is to go after a left fielder who can also possibly play center. That indicates that they would most likely go after Alex Gordon or Jason Heyward rather than Justin Upton or even Yoenis Cespedes, as Jon Morosi points out.
This must be due to the possible departure of Angel Pagan after this year since there will be a hole in centerfield.
Dexter Fowler has played center most of his career, but is more of a left fielder now. And that makes his production a little weak. But he did hit 17 home runs with the Chicago Cubs last year, so maybe he’s figuring some things out. Could turn into a good gap hitter at AT&T.
Heyward has played some center, including a hand full of games last year with St. Louis. He could slide over there if Pagan leaves. Heyward would cost big money, but he could be a similar hitter to Jack Clark moving into this stage in his career. And that’s a good thing. And Heyward also has 3 Gold Glove awards.
Gordon is the most intriguing since he has never played center, but has 4 Gold Gloves in left. Shouldn’t be a problem if he were needed there.
As for Cespedes, his true value is in left field since assists are easier to come by there. His arm would be an asset in the spacious outfield though, especially in Triples Alley.
Upton would be strictly a left fielder, so there isn’t much flexibility with him.
In addition, a tweet by Pedro Gomez of ESPN states that the team is very interested in Gordon.
As the winter meetings progress, the Giants will continue to speak to other clubs and the agents of some of the top names on the market. We will continue to follow closely, and hope that some of these names end up in the orange and black.