As was the case with several other eliminated clubs, three key Giants figures addressed the media today, as Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com was among those to report. CEO Larry Baer, GM Bobby Evans, and manager Bruce Bochy all offered comments as the club looks ahead to the offseason.
- The one unmistakable theme of the day was pitching, says Pavlovic. Evans explained that the team would “be open-minded” as it approached a market full of rotation options. There is “mutual interest” between the team and deadline acquisition Mike Leake, said Evans, who noted that “the timing may not be as quick as we would both like.” It isn’t clear what other arms may hold appeal, and the brass declined to indicate whether it would be active at the top of the market. Ultimately, the GM indicated that he’ll consider creative options, and left open the possibility that Chris Heston could continue in a starting capacity, which would leave only one spot to fill. Regardless, it’ seem a good bet that the club will look to add at least two starting-capable pitchers.
- Payroll, of course, is always a huge factor, and Baer indicated that it will continue to move up in moderate fashion, as Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News tweets. Baer didn’t give much in the way of clues as to how much cash could go to free agent pitching, but did make clear that the team would canvas the market “exhaustively” and would look for the “right fit” above all else, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links).
- Looking further down the line, Evans offered significant praise for 22-year-old righty Clayton Blackburn. He “turned a corner” this year, said Evans, and joins a group of other younger arms as near-future rotation options.
- Center fielder Angel Pagan will undergo a minor knee surgery with hopes of setting himself up for a fully healthy 2016 season. Evans’ comments suggested that Pagan is viewed as an everyday option. He said that he didn’t see the veteran moving to a corner role and noted that it would be “a lot to ask” of youngster Kelby Tomlinson to slide into platoon duty in center given his relatively recent introduction to outfield play.
- Nori Aoki’s $5.5MM does not represent an easy decision for San Francisco, according to Evans. “It will be a close call,” said the GM. “We’re not ready to [make the decision] right now.”
- The club has also yet to decide what to do with reliever Yusmeiro Petit. Evans called it “a hard choice to make if we decide to do anything different than tender” him in arbitration, but he’ll be building off of a $2.1MM salary. Skipper Bruce Bochy noted that the bullpen could use some reinforcement.
- It is expected that the signing of outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez will be made official in the near-term, with Evans confirming the sides have an agreement. Evans indicated excitement over the ability to add the young Cuban player, who he suggested could one day man center for the club (via Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, on Twitter).