According to a tweet from Ken Rosenthal, the San Francisco Giants are staying in contact with free agent Jay Bruce as a possible backup plan after losing out on Giancarlo Stanton.
Bruce is coming off a very good 2017 season in which he hit a combined .254 with 36 home runs and 101 RBI between the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians.
He really carried the Indians down the stretch and helped them clinch the American League Central.
The tweet from Rosenthal also states that the backup plan for the Giants after missing out on Stanton was to bring in Bruce and Billy Hamilton.
As we noted yesterday in our article on Hamilton, it only makes sense to go out and get a power bat if they add Billy Hamilton to the lineup who brings little-to-no power.
Bruce would certainly add some thump to the lineup having five seasons with 30-plus home runs.
However, I have my concerns with how he fits defensively in the outfield. Maybe the front office is thinking that if they get Hamilton he can make up for some of the defensive inefficiencies of Bruce in right field.
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A follow-up tweet from Rosenthal said talks between the Giants and Reds for Hamilton have cooled after it seemed like a deal might be close on Tuesday night.
It only makes sense to get both of these pieces. You can’t have one without the other and expect to compete in 2018.
I think the idea of getting a defensive minded center fielder and a power bat in the corner outfield is a good direction to go, but the Giants must have both.
Bruce and Hamilton aren’t the only available players who fit that mold, but those seem to be the players the Giants are targeting the most with Marcell Ozuna now going to the St. Louis Cardinals.
I think Bruce fits better on an American League club, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving him the years he’s going to want as a free agent.
But if the Giants are able to land Hamilton and Bruce it would be a good start towards competing in 2018.