Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi dropped some thoughts on a pair of left-handed pitchers in an interview today on KNBR. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi recently kicked off a round of speculation on MadBum with a report suggesting the Giants were open to discussing him and had held talks with the Brewers and Phillies. Zaidi cast quite some doubt on that characterization, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area relays on Twitter. The newly minted San Francisco exec says a peer with another org rumored to have been in touch on Bumgarner cracked: “Hey, I hear we’re talking to you guys about Madison Bumgarner. Should we be?”
Zaidi further joked: “That gives you a little sense of the accuracy of some of the stuff that’s out there.”
A bit more out of San Fran…
- In that same chat, Zaidi gave greater credence to the idea that the Giants could have interest in Yusei Kikuchi, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. The club has scouted Kikuchi “extensively,” according to Zaidi, who predicted that the market is likely to build on the Japanese hurler in advance of and into the coming Winter Meetings. Whether and to what extent the Giants will push for a deal remains to be seen, though Zaidi noted that as a West Coast club, the Giants could be a geographic fit for Kikuchi. Kikuchi has until early January to come to terms with a big league organization, and at 27 years of age, he’s young enough that he could be a key contributor for the Giants in a couple of years even if they do embark on some degree of a rebuild over the next year or two.
- In a Q&A with NBC’s Jessica Kleinschmidt, Hunter Pence reveals that he’s heard from “a couple” teams this offseason but has not yet heard from the Giants. However, CEO Larry Baer told Pence that the Giants would be represented this offseason when the veteran outfielder heads to the Dominican Winter League to test out some adjustments he’s made to his swing in an effort to rediscover his form at the plate. Pence discusses some of those changes with Kleinschmidt and unsurprisingly adds that he would “absolutely” be open to a return to the Giants. As Pavlovic notes in an overview of the Giants’ roster, outfield depth is just one of several areas that Zaidi could look to add some veteran help this winter. Backup catcher, the starting rotation and bullpen are among the other ares that seem likely to be addressed.
- The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly also runs through the many needs facing Zaidi this offseason (subscription required), suggesting that the Giants will look at some “non-splashy” additions to the outfield mix — such as a right-handed-hitting platoon partner for Steven Duggar, for instance. Both Pavlovic and Baggarly point out that substantial rotation depth was a hallmark of Zaidi’s Dodgers, so the organization could look to field a group of options that is eight or nine arms deep (presumably, with some of those options coming on minor league deals and being stashed in Triple-A).
- Despite the changes in the front office, former pitching coach Dave Righetti, who spent the 2018 season as a special advisor to former GM Bobby Evans, will “definitely” have a role with the team, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Righetti worked with Evans to help evaluate pitchers during Spring Training, and he also evaluated the organization’s minor league arms and weighed in on some prospects leading up to the draft. Righetti previously spent 18 seasons on the Giants’ Major League coaching staff.