San Francisco Giants to Make Non-Tender Decisions on Five Players
By Michael Saltzman
As the 2017-2018 San Francisco Giants off-season continues to move at a glacial pace, the team will have a decision to make on five players who are eligible for arbitration on Friday as to whether they should be non-tendered or not.
Second Baseman Joe Panik and relief pitchers Will Smith, Cory Gearrin, Hunter Strickland and Sam Dyson are all eligible to be non-tendered. This remains highly unlikely as all five are expected to be part of the Giants 25 man roster going forward.
The bigger question with the five players is whether or not they will end up being traded before opening day.
While the Giants are trying to go after big fish literally and figuratively with Miami Marlins power hitter Giancarlo Stanton, they may need to move one or more of their arbitration eligible players in possible trades.
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As was mentioned earlier in the off-season, Panik was reportedly among the names floated out to send to Miami for Stanton. Meanwhile, if the Giants decide to trade for a center fielder or third baseman as well, the bullpen arms could be moved to make it happen. Since the Giants farm system lacks the depth necessary for most teams to pull off big trades, the cheaper options on the 25 man roster like Gearrin and Strickland become more likely to be moved.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Panik is projected to earn $3.5 million in his first year of arbitration. Dyson is expected to be the most expensive at $4.6 million, followed by Smith ($2.5 million,) Strickland ($1.7 million,) and Gearrin ($1.6 million.)
Smith missed the entire 2017 season recovering from elbow surgery. Dyson, who was acquired mid season from the Texas Rangers, finished the year as the team’s closer after an injury to closer Mark Melancon. Strickland, who has been one of the team’s most consistent relief pitchers, is also one of their most controversial after an incident with Washington Nationals’ slugger Bryce Harper and struggles stemming from the 2014 post-season. Gearrin, who is estimated to make the least amount of money next season, actually may have had the strongest year among the entire Giants bullpen. Panik, who finished the season strong, had a rough first half, as did most of the starting lineup.
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If Panik remains a Giant in 2018 after all of the trade rumors, expect a strong season from the 2016 Gold Glove winner.