San Francisco Giants: These Free Agents Can Help Add Depth
By Taylor Wirth
The San Francisco Giants’ hot stove is beginning to heat up folks! As the Winter Meetings are approaching ,big free-agents are going to start coming off the board.
The past few days we’ve seen lots of activity from all over the league. The biggest news, being reported from all major sources, is that MLB and the Players Union have come to an agreement on a five-year labor deal to avoid all kinds of potential madness. The San Francisco Giants just seemed to be waiting on the CBA being finalized before starting their offseason “to-do” list.
This news ensures that the Winter Meetings will in fact begin this Sunday at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington D.C. In other recent news, free-agents such as Yoenis Cespedes and Jon Jay are off the market, as they both sign contracts, as Cespedes re-signs with the Mets and Jay with the Cubs. Cespedes has been linked to the San Francisco Giants since the off-season began, but decided to make New York his home once again for the next four years.
Many Giants fans were excited to hear Cespedes’s name linked to the ball club, as they looked to add a left fielder to replace the impending departure of Angel Pagan. But after the free-agent slugger re-signed with the Mets, Bobby Evans joined KNBR to discuss his plans for the Giants vacancy in left-field. Evans is quoted by KNBR saying “Our focus has never been to go after a multi-year scenario in left field as much as the options are out there.”
Our focus has really been to look for depth, give (Mac) Williamson and (Jarrett) Parker a chance to play – Bobby Evans
In regards to what Evans said, the Giants are not in pursuit of any big name outfielders. We know the number one area of need is relief pitching, as they look to sign one of the big name closers. Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen have yet to sign contracts, and are still available. Evans has come out and assured fans, that the team will sign one of the big-name closers. So if Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker are the plan for the San Francisco Giants in 2017, who else can they add to ensure depth at the position? And other than left field, where else can the team improve?
Here are some remaining left field options the Giants could look into to add more depth in the outfield:
Fowler is an option that intrigues me, for a couple of reasons. Fowler is coming off a World Series victory with the Cubs, and certainly does not seem to be returning, as Chicago signed Jon Jay Wednesday to a one-year contract. Fowler has been linked to the San Francisco Giants, and believed to be a great fit for the ball club. He’s on the right side of 30, coming off a great defensive year only making four errors with a .983 fielding percentage.
Fowler started off the 2016 season as one of the hottest hitters on the Cubs, but slowed down a bit after he came off the DL mid-season. Fowler could be a versatile player for the Giants, offensively and defensively. It could also move Denard Span to left and have Fowler take over center, if neither Williamson or Parker are ready for the everyday role. Fowler not be exactly what Evans is looking for, as he is expected to come at a hefty $17 million.
2016 Stats: .276 AVG, 13 HR’s, 48 RBI’s, .393 OBP
If I were to pick a player who would be perfect to fit that fourth outfielder, “depth” player role, then i would pick Davis. Davis is coming off a world series loss with the Indians, in which he hit one of the biggest home runs of the year off Aroldis Chapman in Game Seven of the World Series. Davis is one of the cheaper options the Giants will look at, as he is projected to cost around $6 million, and could be a nice one-year contract.
Now other than left-field, there are some other spots where the Giants can add a small piece or two to add more depth. The San Francisco Giants are arguably one of the more complete teams in baseball, so other than the bullpen and left field, where else can they improve? For starters, they could use another bench player that can play multiple infield spots (similar to Tomlinson and Gillaspie).
Cheap middle-infield options include:
Giants fans remember Beckham as one of the final moves the Giants made in 2016, as he was acquired from the White Sox with six games left in the season. Gordon didn’t make much of an impact during his short stint with the club. But, he is versatile and would not cost much at all to bring aboard.
Tejada, another infielder who spent time with the Giants this year, can play all over the infield as well. When healthy, Tejada is a flexible option off the bench and a solid pinch hitter late in games.
Infante was a big name a couple of years ago with the Royals. He proven to be a solid hitter at the plate, and a great defender with a career .981 fielding percentage. He was an all-star second baseman, and is by far my favorite bench option for the Giants
I never thought I would be talking about the Giants and looking for a catcher, but hear me out.
First of all, Buster Posey is staying at catcher, so let’s get that out-of-the-way. Second, I’m not a big fan of Trevor Brown as a backup. Of course we all remember the hot start Brown got off to towards the beginning of the season. Yes he broke up the no-hitter against the Dodgers and gave Ross Stripling the loss in an April game against the arch-rivals. After that, he hit a couple more home runs in Colorado, but then didn’t do much the rest of the season. He had a couple big hits here and there, but in my opinion was frustrating to watch at the plate. So if the Giants want to potentially move on from Brown, and give Buster a little bit more time at first (emphasis on “a little bit”) then here are a couple of options:
Giants fans recognize this name, as Hundley has spent a lot of time in the NL West with the Rockies and the Padres. Last year for the Rockies, he hit .260 with 10 home runs and 48 RBI’s. Yes i know its Coors Field, but i believe (if he comes cheap) then he could be a solid backup catcher to Buster.
Now this name intrigues me because of the power potential Saltalamacchia has. He’s been in the league since 2007, and has put up some big numbers home run wise. His batting averages were never stellar, and he strikes out a lot but if the Giants are looking to increase their power then maybe he could be a nice option to fill in at catcher once in a while. I do imagine he would be too expensive for a backup catcher, but its something to think about.
Ha! Made you look.
As the 2016 off-season is in full-swing, the Giants look to bolster their bullpen and add some depth around the field and off the bench. Although its been quiet so far, things are gonna heat up, as I’m sure Bobby Evans has his wide net ready to cast over all the potential free agents available.
Next: How the New CBA Affects the Giants
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