San Francisco Giants Bring Back Everyone Because Nostalgia
By Michael Saltzman
The San Francisco Giants have reportedly brought back Gregor Blanco, which makes the third reunion this off-season, following Chris Heston and Hector Sanchez.
If you include Pablo Sandoval, who was added near the end of 2017, that makes four players given a second chance by the front office. All four earned World Series rings during their time in San Francisco. Blanco and Sanchez earned two. Sandoval earned three.
Heston pitched one of the only no hitter’s in team history and Sanchez caught one of Tim Lincecum‘s.
Blanco, who was a starting outfielder during both the 2012 and 2014 World Series, also made one of the most incredible catches to preserve Matt Cain‘s perfect game.
Sandoval became one of the only players in history to hit three home runs in a single World Series game in 2012, and shined in 2014 as well with 26 hits in the postseason.
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The Giants clearly love bringing back their own. They did it with Conor Gillaspie, Michael Morse, Travis Ishikawa, and Ryan Vogelsong, among others. All four provided unforgettable playoff moments as well.
It is no surprise that Blanco, Heston and Sanchez are back in San Francisco. None of them are guaranteed a job on the 2018 team, but all three will be needed depth and insurance if some of the unproven talent in the minor leagues struggle early.
Blanco provides depth in an outfield that has been completely overhauled. Along with the additions of Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson, the Giants are still pursuing another possible add to center field, according to reports.
Heston comes back looking to challenge young pitchers Ty Blach and Chris Stratton for a spot in the rotation or a possible long man role that he once held. He will also be competing with minor league starters Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez, who will be challenging for those roles as well.
Sanchez has had success in the past backing up Buster Posey, and with Nick Hundley re-signed for the 2018 season, his chances of making the opening day roster are slim. However, with Trevor Brown and Aramis Garcia next on the depth chart, Sanchez could be one injury away from getting back to the major leagues.
As Bobby Evans continues to try to add significant pieces to the major league roster, it is evident that they are also looking for veterans that already know the core players, the coaching staff and the clubhouse. Team chemistry and continuity have been staples for this organization for many years now. With so many changes, from McCutchen and Evan Longoria to the changes in the coaching staff, these reunions make a lot of sense.
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So, the only question becomes, who’s next? Former Giants who remain free agents include: Rajai Davis, Gillaspie, Jason Grilli, Tim Lincecum, Francisco Liriano, Eduardo Nunez, Sergio Romo, and Chris Stewart.
Nori Aoki has reportedly signed with the Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league.
Who do you want back?