San Francisco Giants Are Pretty Much the Same Team in 2019
The San Francisco Giants have made several moves this past week and there is plenty of talk that they are not done.
This article might be irrelevant in a week if San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi, makes a few bigger trades or designates a veteran or two for assignment. In the meantime, the Giants do not look much different than they did at the end of 2018.
The infield is still in tact, with Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria still set to start on Opening Day. Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner are still the battery that will face the San Diego Padres.
Steven Duggar is still the projected center fielder, and Mac Williamson is expected to get the bulk of the at bats at one of the corner outfield positions. The only expected Opening Day starter that was not on the 2018 Giants is Gerardo Parra, heading into his age-32 season. With Gorkys Hernandez, Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Pence gone, the Giants are slightly younger in the outfield.
The bench will have a new catcher, as the Giants recently acquired Erik Kratz from the Milwaukee Brewers, who replaces Nick Hundley. Alen Hanson and Pablo Sandoval are still battling for bench roles. Thirty-one year old utility man, Yangervis Solarte, like Parra, was added as a non roster invitee in Spring and will make the team, so there is one new infield face at the moment. The Giants traded for Michael Reed, 26, formerly of the Minnesota Twins and Connor Joe, 26, from the Cincinnati Reds, so the bench will look slightly different.
The rotation has only one new face in 30 year old, Drew Pomeranz, as Jeff Samardzija, Dereck Rodriguez and Derek Holland are all set to return. The bullpen is also almost all familiar faces, with Will Smith penciled in as the closer, Tony Watson as the setup man, Reyes Moronta as the young relief pitcher with the most potential, and veterans Ty Blach, Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon and Chris Stratton still here.
The Giants have announced that 32 year old Nick Vincent, another non roster guy, has made the team, and 25 year old Travis Bergen, a Rule 5 pick, and 26 year old Trevor Gott, who is out of options, are likely to make the team. That will create a numbers crunch and possible trades.
Will Smith or Watson be traded, possibly moving Moronta to the closer role? Will the Giants DFA Melancon, who is still owed $28 million? Will there be more trades before March 28?
All of these potential answers could make this article obsolete, but at the moment, the 2019 Giants appear to be one year older than the 2018 Giants.