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San Francisco Giants: A way too early 2018 infielders prediction

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 24: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants waits to bat in the first inning while taking on the Kansas City Royals during Game Three of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park on October 24, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 24: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants waits to bat in the first inning while taking on the Kansas City Royals during Game Three of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park on October 24, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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For many San Francisco Giants fans, 2017 is basically over because the Giants aren’t in playoff contention. That’s fine. We don’t expect everyone to have enough patience to see through the baptism of the Giants most advanced prospects. So this is for you, and those who have their eyes towards 2018.

It’s way to early to attempt to predict the opening day roster for 2018. And we’re likely going to be completely wrong. The San Francisco Giants need to make changes for 2018, and some might even be significant changes. So we’re going to take a crack at what we MIGHT see in the 2018 roster. Here is a hint: EXPECT CHANGES

Infielders (7):

He’ll be here folks. I don’t think his trade value is going to be high, and the Giants aren’t just going to do what the Red Sox did to Pablo Sandoval. They’ll give him another half season to be the guy they thought he’d be. Then I think they try to move him. But with the concussion coming after he was really finding his swing, they don’t get the chance to see out 2017 with Belt and that probably gets him on the team at least into the trade season in 2018.

Surprise! I think the Giants end up moving Panik. According to Buster Olney, there was interest from the Angels, but they wouldn’t have wanted to trade away anything the Giants would have even wanted from their farm. Arroyo can play anywhere in the infield except for first. He’d be a good bet for third base, but I think he’ll do just fine at second, and I certainly don’t think the Giants will miss a beat defensively. If his bat really comes around, he could be an upgrade to Panik if/when he reaches his ceiling.

B-Craw ain’t going anywhere. And despite his down year at the plate, he’ll bounce back. He’s a great ballplayer, and a great asset to the Giants. I expect him to see out his contract in the orange and black, and so should you. If he can get his swing back, the Giants will really enjoy having that bat in what could/should be a stronger lineup.

  • 3B, Free Agent? Trade?

There are sure to be a few options at third base this offseason, especially available in trade. If there is one guy I’d give a big contract to this offseason, it’s Mike Moustakas. He’s not your best third baseman defensively, although he does have a good range. But his profile as a left-handed hitter actually fits AT&T Park really well. If Eduardo Nunez is who they re-sign to play third base for 2018, Giants fans should be mad. He’s a good player, but not the starting 3B on a team who needs a power hitting piece somewhere in the lineup. The Answer there is also NOT Pablo Sandoval, unless he returns to 2014 postseason Pablo.

Next: Heliot Ramos tearing up Arizona

THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE I’D BRING NUNEZ BACK AT. They need a super utility guy off the bench. He can play a ton of positions, he can hit really well, he’s a consistent threat on the base paths. I don’t know what else to say. He has said plenty of times he wants to come back, and would do so even if traded.

Another Utility guy! Frankly, he’s there because he can play second base, and Nunez doesn’t really play there much. It should be no problem for Nunez to play there as he learns things quickly. BUT. I’d rather Nunez focus on learning the outfield, maybe even right as a potential place. Kelby can play across the infield, and has grasped the outfield quick. If his bat shows good signs in Spring training, he can make the team as an bench force.

Obviously, Pablo would be welcomed in, unless the Giants have other ideas for a fifth outfielder. The Giants would have a few utility infielders, who can also do a halfway decent job in the outfield with both Nunez, and Tomlinson. Pablo has shown flashes of his old self. If he has a hard working offseason, and gets back into form next year, it might be really helpful to have him around.

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