The Giants’ season ended in a devastating defeat that saw a gem from Matt Moore — two runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts across eight innings — go to waste as five relievers turned a three-run lead into a one-run deficit in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the NLDS vs. the Cubs. In the wake of that stunning defeat, executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean and general manager Bobby Evans spoke to the San Francisco media on Thursday, and Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area has published three different stories on the media session. (Giants fans would do well to read each in its entirety, as they contain far more quotes and context than this overview.)
Sabean and Evans emphasized that the Giants will pursue late-inning relief help this winter. A top-flight closer appears high on the wishlist for the longtime San Francisco baseball ops duo, though as Pavlovic notes, there won’t be a complete overhaul of the bullpen. The Giants are encouraged by the overall output of Derek Law, Hunter Strickland, Josh Osich, Steven Okert and Will Smith, and Evans confirmed that right-hander George Kontos will be tendered a contract as well. However, as Evans explained, the Giants believe there’s a benefit to all members of the relief corps if there’s no question as to who will be closing out games.
“The bullpen performs at a much higher level when you know who your ninth-inning guy is,” said the GM. “It puts everybody at ease and helps [manager Bruce Bochy] as he defines roles. With ambiguity, it creates tension and unknowns that can add to or detract from performance and ultimately lead to struggles.” As for how he’ll go about acquiring a closer, Evans implied a no-stone-left-unturned approach, stating that he’ll be active in free agency, trades and even evaluating his internal options.