Giants general manager Bobby Evans joined Jim Bowden and Mike Ferrin on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM today (Twitter link, with audio). Evans sidestepped some questions about potential interest in Bryce Harper as a free agent — “Our focus right now is on getting him out … we’ll certainly be aggressive and appropriate with our interest.” — but he did more broadly discuss the organization’s perennial “win-now” philosophy. At a time when more and more teams are pursuing aggressive tear-downs, Evans stated that it’d be a “big adjustment” to ever even consider embarking on a rebuild.
“We want to compete to win every year,” Evans says of his Giants. “That’s our goal. That’s our plan. You get bumps in the road — problems, challenges at times — but I think it’s challenging no matter which route you take. I think when you have such a strong core, with [Brandon] Crawford, [Brandon] Belt, [Buster] Posey, [Johnny] Cueto, [Madison] Bumgarner — it makes it a lot easier to choose to compete. … Building a [minor league] system has never been our ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal is to have success at the big league level, which a strong system helps with, but it doesn’t solve.”
More from the division…
- The Dodgers recently adopted the Rays’ strategy of using an “opener” — that is, starting a reliever for a few outs before based on matchups — and in an interesting interview, bullpen coach Mark Prior chatted with Fangraphs’ Travis Sawchik to discuss how that came about. Left-handed reliever Scott Alexander had taken note of Sergio Romo’s run in that role with Tampa Bay and approached Prior to simply express that he’d be open to it if ever needed. Prior took it to the coaching staff and, not long after, the Dodgers felt circumstances dictated experimenting with the notion. “He’s a ground-ball pitcher, and we’re in Colorado,” said Prior. “…It just so happened that we needed someone that day, and given Colorado’s lineup with the lefties at the top, it made sense to get him through the fourth or fifth hitter and then go to someone else.”
- Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen spoke with reporters following his team’s surprisingly early acquisition of Jon Jay to explain some of the thinking that went into the move (links via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic and Steve Gilbert of MLB.com). “With the way the division is shaping up, where every day matters more and more, we just felt like this was the right thing to do at the time,” said Hazen, who is currently without both A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza. Hazen explained that the D-backs pursued Jay this offseason as well and praised his strong start to the year as well as his outfield versatility. The GM acknowledged that the move had some logjam potential down the line but declined to delve into any specifics as to how that’d be addressed. It’s a purely hypothetical scenario right now anyhow, as neither Souza nor Pollock appears to be on the verge of returning.