Giants GM Bobby Evans suggested yesterday that his organization is looking hard at relievers, in an appearance on the podcast of ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (audio link). Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the organization is said to be “blanketing” the market for bullpen arms, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).
The Phillies and Brewers are among the rival teams being eyed by San Francisco scouts, per Crasnick’s report. It appears that the Giants are paying particular attention to Philly’s Jeanmar Gomez and David Hernandez, as well as Milwaukee’s Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress. All of those players have featured on MLBTR’s breakdown of the top trade candidates, though only Jeffress has consistently cracked the ranking itself.
Notably, Crasnick adds that the Giants are mostly “lingering” in the market for Yankees’ relief aces Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller. The expectation seems to be that other National League contenders — namely, the Cubs and Nationals — are likely to be bigger players for those two high-octane lefties.
Evans had hinted that there’s a lot of demand to contend with on the market. That was a significant factor in the team’s decision to rely on some younger arms this year, he suggested. “We didn’t realize that half of baseball would be also looking for the same relievers and that the market would be so limited,” he said of the winter’s free agent market, “but that’s where we are.”
The San Francisco GM went on to note that his organization will not just be looking to build out depth in its relief corps. “We have a pretty strong bullpen in the sense of guys that are pretty hard to replace,” he said, “so you’re really trying to replace one guy, and we’ve got to be sure it’s an upgrade. So we won’t be getting a reliever just to get a reliever.”
Evans also touched upon the idea of adding an outfielder, which has often been noted as a possible need. With Hunter Pence nearing a return, the veteran executive indicated that the position isn’t a high priority. It seems that a depth addition could be considered, but isn’t viewed as essential.