Most fans, myself included, likely saw the 34-year old Gregor Blanco signing as another instance of classic Giants nostalgia, but he’s been working extremely hard this spring and the results have paid off to the tune of a .333 batting average and 1.128 OPS.
While, like most spring statistics, the sample size is small, if Blanco can post anything near average offensive statistics he would be a productive member of the bench.
That’s exactly what he was for the Giants from 2012 to 2015 – 2016 was a bit of a lost year. But in those four seasons before 2016, he was the paramount fourth outfielder, effectively playing good defense and being a pest at the plate.
He would also be owed about $1MM if he makes the roster as a non-roster invite, which is more than the pre-arbitration center field options would make. That luxury tax cap space could be invaluable if the team ends up needing to make midseason trades – so that potential salary is not a point in his favor for making the roster.
He’s definitely not a full-time option barely surpassing 500 plate appearances and a .650 OPS over the past two seasons combined, but the Giants are not strangers to veterans finding the fountain of youth (although not so much in recent seasons).
Prediction: If the team likes his left-handed bat as a complement to Austin Jackson more than Gorkys Hernandez’s right-handed bat, or they value his outfield versatility more than, say, Jarrett Parker, Blanco should have a strong shot at making the opening day roster in a reserve role.
Chances of Making Roster: 40%