San Francisco Giants – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-02-20T02:12:32Z WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Sandoval Pleased To Return To Giants]]> 2020-02-16T01:58:44Z 2020-02-16T01:58:44Z
  • Pablo Sandoval is excited to be back with the Giants, telling Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and other reporters that though he received offers from other teams this winter, “I didn’t want to make the same mistake I made before” in signing somewhere other than San Francisco.  (i.e. signing with the Red Sox after the 2014 season.)  It seems as if the Giants also had their eye on re-signing the Kung Fu Panda, as manager Gabe Kapler invited Sandoval along to a December lunch with pitchers Andrew Suarez and Shaun Anderson in Miami.  “I think we envisioned [Sandoval] being a Giant,” Kapler said.  It will still be a few months before Sandoval officially dons the orange-and-black in a regular season game, as the veteran is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[A’s Acquire Burch Smith]]> 2020-02-15T17:49:02Z 2020-02-15T17:32:32Z The A’s have acquired reliever Burch Smith from the Giants for cash considerations, the club announced (h/t to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle). Smith was designated for assignment by San Francisco earlier this week. As the A’s noted, this is the first swap involving an MLB player between the Bay Area rivals since 1990.

    Smith, 29, hasn’t found much success at the MLB level. In 99.1 innings with the Royals, Brewers and Giants over the past two seasons, Smith has just a 6.61 ERA with an underwhelming combination of strikeouts (20.9%) and walks (11.6%). He has continued to find 40-man roster spots around the league, though, suggesting teams are holding out hope for better results.

    To create roster space for Smith, Daniel Mengden was placed on the 60-day injured list, tweets Martín Gallegos of Mengden underwent elbow surgery earlier this week.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Details On Giants' Pursuit Of Stephen Vogt]]> 2020-02-13T21:09:36Z 2020-02-13T21:09:36Z
  • Stephen Vogt talked to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link) about Vogt’s decision to sign with the Diamondbacks, with the catcher citing both logistical and contractual reasons.  Vogt liked being able to spend eight months in Arizona for both Spring Training and the season itself, and the D’Backs separated themselves from the Giants in contract talks by offering Vogt a vesting option for the 2021 season.  The Giants offered Vogt more in guaranteed money than the $3MM Vogt will receive from the D’Backs, though if his option vests and Vogt hits his contract incentives, he can earn up to $7MM over the two-year span.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Sign Wilmer Flores]]> 2020-02-12T21:27:10Z 2020-02-12T21:09:47Z February 12: The Giants have announced the signing, adding that right-hander Reyes Moronta has been transferred to the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Moronta underwent shoulder surgery late in the 2019 season and is expected to miss substantial time in 2020.

    Flores will earn $3MM in 2020 and 2021, tweets Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. The 2022 club option is valued at $3.5MM and comes with a $250K buyout.

    February 4, 7:00pm: Flores’ contract with the Giants is a two-year deal worth more than $6MM guaranteed, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The Giants will also have a club option for a third season.

    2:40pm: The Giants and free-agent infielder Wilmer Flores have agreed to a multi-year deal, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports (via Twitter). The Giants will need to make a 40-man roster move in order to create space for him.

    "<strongWilmer Flores | Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports” width=”200″ height=”300″ />

    The 28-year-old Flores spent the 2019 season with the division-rival Diamondbacks but was limited to 89 games by a foot injury that sidelined him from late May until late July. When healthy, Flores turned in a strong .317/.361/.487 batting line with nine home runs and 18 doubles in 285 plate appearances. While most of Flores’ power output came against left-handed pitching (.337/.367/.615), the longtime Mets utilityman also hit for average and got on base against righties, albeit without much extra-base pop (.304/.358/.404).

    The exact manner in which Flores fits into the Giants’ infield rotation isn’t clear. He can back up Brandon Belt at first base and Evan Longoria at third base, although it’s likely that non-roster invitee Pablo Sandoval will also be viewed as a backup at the corners. Flores could log semi-regular reps at second base, with Donovan Solano serving in a traditional utility role, although that doesn’t leave regular at-bats for young Mauricio Dubon at the position. Dubon, though, has been working out in the outfield and could earn himself a lengthy audition in center field, which would help to create additional playing time for Flores at second base.

    Bringing Flores aboard on a multi-year agreement doesn’t bode well for 2019 Gold Glover Yolmer Sanchez, who agreed to a minor league contract with San Francisco just last week. Sanchez reportedly passed on big league offers for the chance to earn himself regular playing time at second base with the Giants, but the acquisition of Flores doesn’t help his chances any.

    Looking further ahead, the Giants still have Belt, Longoria and Brandon Crawford all signed to guaranteed contracts through at least 2021, so there’s no creation of an everyday spot for Flores on the horizon. That’s nothing new for Flores, however. He’s typically appeared in more games and logged more plate appearances than your average bench bat but has also only topped 500 plate appearances once in seven Major League seasons.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants To Sign Trevor Cahill]]> 2020-02-12T18:26:39Z 2020-02-12T00:47:44Z The Giants are in agreement on a minor league contract with free-agent right-hander Trevor Cahill, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). The JBA Sports client will be in Major League camp during Spring Training in hopes of landing a roster spot. He can earn $2MM in the majors and double that through incentives, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).

    Cahill, who’ll turn 32 on March 1, scuffled through a brutal year with the Angels in 2019, pitching to a career-worst 5.98 ERA with 7.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a whopping 2.2 HR/9. The juiced ball that resulted in the league-wide home run boom surely didn’t do him any favors, but homer troubles that extreme can’t be solely placed on the abnormalities within the composition of the baseball.

    A year prior, though, Cahill enjoyed a strong reunion tour with the Athletics, spinning 110 innings of 3.76 ERA ball with 8.2 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.65 HR/9 and a 53.4 percent ground-ball rate as a member of the Oakland rotation. He’s been in an on-year, off-year cycle for the past four seasons that in some way mirrors the Giants’ own even-year dynasty from 2010-14, so perhaps he’s due for yet another bounceback effort. He’ll surely be comfortable with the coaching staff in San Francisco, which features first-year pitching coach Andrew Bailey — a former teammate of Cahill’s dating back to his first A’s run and his bullpen coach in Anaheim a season ago.

    Cahill has extensive experience both as a starting pitcher and as a reliever, so while four of the Giants’ five rotation spots are spoken for — Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly — Cahill can both compete for the fifth slot or for a spot in the San Francisco bullpen.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Claim Jarlin Garcia, Designate Burch Smith]]> 2020-02-10T22:40:17Z 2020-02-10T21:46:10Z The Giants have claimed southpaw Jarlin Garcia off waivers from the Marlins. In a corresponding move, righty Burch Smith was designated for assignment.

    It’s not surprising at all to see these two teams line up on a transaction of this nature. The Giants have claimed pitcher after pitcher under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, quite often going on to attempt to slip them through waivers. And the Marlins have dropped a variety of interesting but not-yet-established relief pitchers this winter, with quite a few landing on other 40-man rosters.

    Garcia was rather successful last year, compiling 50 2/3 innings of 3.02 ERA ball. He lacks eye-popping strikeout numbers, but does get a solid number of groundballs and was quite successful at limiting hard contact. Garcia also found equal success against right and left-handed hitters in 2019, though fielding-independent pitching measures suggested he was much more effective when facing southpaw swingers.

    As for Smith, he was added through the waiver wire last August. The 29-year-old had some effective outings last in the year with San Francisco but has obviously yet to show he’s a reliable MLB relief option. Over 135 2/3 career innings at the game’s highest level, Smith carries a 6.57 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9.

    TC Zencka <![CDATA[NL Notes: Dodgers, Cubs, Giants]]> 2020-02-10T05:41:33Z 2020-02-10T05:41:33Z The Mookie Betts trade is in the books, but now that Joc Pederson is no longer headed to the Angels, the Dodgers will have to sort out their 40-man roster, tweets Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. The Dodgers have 42 players on their 40-man roster at present. Finding a new trade partner for Pederson and/or Ross Stripling might be the most obvious answer, but the Dodgers may prefer not to rush a transaction of that magnitude. Speculatively speaking, Tyler White could find himself on the chopping block, with Kyle Garlick, Zach McKinstry and Edwin Rios other non-established big leaguers whom the Dodgers may need to consider moving or exposing to waivers. While we wait for the final confirmation of this deal to go through, let’s check in elsewhere around the National League…

    • Theo Epstein saw the writing was on the wall long before the Cubs’ current financial strictures so severely limited their transactional flexibility, per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times. Epstein references a pattern – the Cubs, Astros, Red Sox – of teams reckoning with their young stars graduating into the arbitration process. After years of supporting homegrown cores with free agent additions in efforts to win a World Series, the Red Sox, Astros and Cubs, for differing reasons, have entered new phases. Sure enough, the Astros had to let Gerrit Cole walk in free agency, the Red Sox just shipped Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, and the Cubs are said to have been shopping Kris Bryant for most of the winter. Of course, the Cubs haven’t yet moved their young stars, but their value has declined. Epstein and company are stuck choosing between trading the stars from the cursebreaking Cubs at lower than peak value and watching them depreciate into a mediocre ballclub. Of course, there’s always the possibility of a bounceback for this Cubs core, but even a return to prominence in the NL Central would not provide the answers Epstein needs when it comes to the futures of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber and company.
    • The Giants have extended a non-roster spring training invitation to catcher Ricardo Genoves, per Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group. Given the timing, it’s safe to assume Genoves inclusion in the spring cohort comes as a result of the injury that will keep Aramis Garcia out for most of next season. That said, his inclusion is more about gaining a learning experience, and he’s not actually in the running for the Giants’ backup catching spot, per The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly. Still, it seems a good opportunity for the 20-year-old Venezuelan backstop, and perhaps one that will put him on the radar of league officials league-wide. He was signed by the Giants at the open of the international signing period in 2015, but he tapped into real power at the dish for the first time this past season. Genoves managed a .265/.335/.469 line with 9 home runs in 51 games with Salem-Keizer of the Northwest League and Augusta in Low-A. 
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Yasiel Puig]]> 2020-02-09T17:16:23Z 2020-02-09T17:15:18Z TODAY: Negotiations between the Giants and Puig are “all but dead,” according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.  Puig isn’t a priority for the team now that Pence and Billy Hamilton have been added to San Francisco’s outfield mix.

    FEBRUARY 7: Yasiel Puig has been the top dog on the free agent market for over a week now. His market situation remains largely unclear, though a few new tidbits of information have emerged today.

    Both the Rays and Giants have given some indication of interest in the 29-year-old outfielder, per reports from Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link) and Robert Murray (via Twitter). It’s not clear in either case just how extensive the interest is.

    Trouble is, both teams face some rather clear limitations on paper. The San Francisco club made quite a bit more sense before they reportedly struck a deal today with Hunter Pence. It’s still possible to imagine a fit, but that’d mean crowding out some of the players to whom the team has seemingly wished to provide opportunities.

    Down in Tampa Bay, chasing after Puig would presumably represent a value-driven proposition. After all, there’s no need from a roster perspective. The Rays already have two righty bats in their corner outfield mix in Hunter Renfroe and Jose Martinez. No doubt the budget-conscious club would only move on Puig if it gets a bargain and/or has other machinations in mind for making a late tweak to its roster mix.

    As we covered in the above-linked post, there are some other conceivable fits on paper. But as yet we haven’t heard of keen interest from many of the teams that could possibly match. With only a week or so left until camps open, it’ll be interesting to see how this situation develops.

    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Giants’ Aramis Garcia Out 6-8 Months]]> 2020-02-09T12:42:59Z 2020-02-09T01:36:06Z Labrum surgery is going to keep San Francisco Giants catcher Aramis Garcia out of action for the next six to eight months. Garcia had been a decent bet to make the Opening Day roster as the backup to Buster Posey, but after injuring his hip during winter ball, Garcia won’t return until midseason at the earliest, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports (twitter links).

    After starting behind the dish for just shy of 70% of Giants games from 2012 to 2016, starting catcher Buster Posey has taken more time away from home in recent seasons, lowering his workload to closer to 60% over the past three campaigns. As Posey spends more time covering first, there’s plenty of opportunity behind the dish for Posey’s backup, a role shared last season by Erik Kratz, Stephen Vogt and Garcia.

    Garcia spent most of the last two seasons in Triple-A, making just 17 and 12 starts with the big league club, respectively, in 2018 and 2019. But after slashing .271/.343/.488 in Triple-A last year, the 27-year-old Garcia was poised to make a run at being Posey’s primary seat-filler in 2020. The injury comes at a particularly inopportune time for both Garcia and the Giants, as the organization is not yet ready to hand the role to top prospect Joey Bart, per Pavlovic.

    With Garcia now on the shelf and Bart likely ticketed to start the season in Triple-A, non-roster invitees Tyler Heineman, Rob Brantly and Chadwick Tromp are the top candidates to backup Posey. A few free agents remain on the market should the Giants decide to look outside the organization, namely veterans Russell Martin and Jonathan Lucroy.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Announce Hunter Pence Signing, Outright Luis Madero]]> 2020-02-08T03:07:52Z 2020-02-08T02:51:27Z The Giants have announced the earlier-reported signing of outfielder Hunter Pence. Righty Luis Madero was outrighted to create roster space.

    Pence will earn $3MM, according to Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter). There’s another $2.5MM available through incentives, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). That includes $1MM in roster bonuses and another $1.5MM based upon plate appearances (beginning with his 450th), Crowley adds via Twitter.

    Madero, you won’t be surprised to learn, was recently claimed off waivers by the roster-churning San Francisco organization. No doubt the team will be glad to have the 22-year-old on hand in camp as a non-roster player. He has shown interesting talent at times but was knocked around at the Double-A level last year, where he threw 89 2/3 innings of 5.72 ERA ball.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Sign Billy Hamilton]]> 2020-02-07T22:14:30Z 2020-02-07T21:57:34Z The Giants announced today that they have signed veteran center fielder Billy Hamilton. He’ll receive a minor-league deal with an invitation to MLB Spring Training.

    It seems the speedy Hamilton will represent a 26th-man option as an occasional fill-in and late-inning speed-and-defense contributor. But he could also challenge Steven Duggar in camp to be the left-handed side of the team’s center field mix.

    Hamilton, a seven-year MLB vet, is still just 29 years of age. He isn’t quite the unreal threat on the bases he once was, but Hamilton remains a top-line performer when not gripping a bat.

    Unfortunately, the offensive numbers remain ugly for Hamilton. He has now taken over three thousand trips to the plate at the game’s highest level, with a .242/.297/.326 slash to show for it. Last year was rougher still (.218/.289/.275).

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants To Sign Hunter Pence]]> 2020-02-08T03:01:25Z 2020-02-07T19:23:57Z The Giants have a deal in place with outfielder Hunter Pence, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). It’s a big-league pact,’s Maria Guardado tweets.

    Pence will earn $3MM, according to Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter). There’s another $2.5MM available through incentives, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). That includes $1MM in roster bonuses and another $1.5MM based upon plate appearances (beginning with his 450th), Crowley adds via Twitter.

    Pence will add a right-handed-hitting component to a San Francisco outfield mix that is due to feature lefty hitters Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, and Steven Duggar. The 36-year-old will have to hold off a few alternative candidates to carve out a role. The Giants will take a look in camp at Austin Slater. Jaylin Davis, Joey Rickard, Brandon Guyer, and others.

    It seems reasonable to expect that we’ll see the 36-year-old Pence back in a Giants uniform. Beyond his fit from a roster perspective, Pence certainly suits the desire for some nostalgia as the team prepares for its first season without Madison Bumgarner. Pence was with the club for its trying 2017 and 2018 campaigns but also for two of its World Series-winning efforts in the preceding seasons.

    Over parts of 13 seasons and nearly seven thousand plate appearances in the majors, Pence carries a .280/.335/.462 batting line — about 16% above the league average hitter. Pence has never walked a ton (7.4% career) and has typically exhibited good but not exceptional pop (.182 isolated power). He’s a four-time All-Star who has three 4+ fWAR seasons — at his best, a very good (and always an exceedingly likable) player.

    When last he roamed Oracle (then AT&T) Park, Pence seemed to be firmly on the wane as a big leaguer. His own struggles in those ’17 and ’18 seasons mirrored and contributed to those of the ballclub at large. Pence managed only a .249/.297/.368 cumulative slash, well off his typical pace, while finishing out the five-year deal he signed at the end of the 2013 season.

    When Pence finally did hit the open market, he settled for a minor-league deal with the Rangers. It was hard to expect much, but Pence ended up reworking his swing to great effect. He produced loud contact and a much steeper launch angle than he had previously, a nice combination that combined with a leaguewide power surge to enable Pence to launch 18 long balls in just 316 plate appearances. It wasn’t just the overall MLB jetstream; Pence finished with a 128 wRC+, the fourth-highest mark in his career.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants In Serious Talks With Hunter Pence]]> 2020-02-07T18:53:05Z 2020-02-07T18:31:37Z It has been known for some time that the Giants had some level of interest in a reunion with Hunter Pence, but newly arising indications are that a deal could be coming together.

    Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets that the sides have held “serious talks” for some time now. In fact, a tipster told Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports (Twitter link) that Pence is on his way to San Francisco. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports that there are indeed ongoing negotiations, but also that “no deal is done yet.”

    Taken together, it seems there’s a rather clear indication that Pence could end up returning to the Giants, even if we can’t yet presume that a deal will be completed. If indeed things come together, no shortage of fans of the team will be thrilled to see Pence back in the bay.

    Though his first stint with the Giants didn’t end on a high note, as Pence struggled through his last two seasons with the club, he’s fondly remembered for his contributions on and off the field. And Pence was quite productive for the most part with the Giants. He had a nice run from 2013 through 2016, slashing a robust .281/.339/.463 and hitting 69 home runs.

    Pence rebounded in a big way after landing with the Rangers last winter. He posted a .297/.358/.552 batting line in 316 plate appearances. Statcast figures were rather positive, recording 84.7th percentile sprint speed, 91.4 mph average exist velocity, and a 10.1 degree mean launch angle that far exceeded his prior levels.

    It’s a good fit on several levels for a Giants team that remains in transition. Pence would presumably function as a part-time player who’d appeal to fans, add some pop, and serve as a mentor to the organization’s younger players.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Bruce Bochy To Serve As Special Advisor For Giants]]> 2020-02-07T03:56:40Z 2020-02-07T03:56:40Z Longtime Giants manager Bruce Bochy will work as a special advisor for the club in 2020, according to president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi (via Janie McCauley of the Associated Press).

    The upcoming season will be the 14th in a row with the Giants for Bochy, a franchise icon who managed the team from 2007-19. The Giants won three World Series during that span, but Bochy stepped down from his managerial role after a third straight sub-.500 campaign last season. The team subsequently replaced him with ex-Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler.

    The 64-year-old Bochy may have been able to land another managerial job this offseason, but he has instead decided to take a step back from that type of role. That doesn’t mean the potential Hall of Famer is done in the dugout, though. Bochy suggested back in October that he may only take a year off from managing, so he could be a popular name when teams are looking for skippers next offseason. For now, though, he’ll remain in the San Francisco organization.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Giants Notes: Roster Adds, Sandoval, Anderson, Rotation]]> 2020-02-07T02:10:16Z 2020-02-07T02:10:16Z The latest from San Francisco….

    • President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that he would like to acquire a platoon player before Spring Training camp opens, though not anyone ticketed for something close to an everyday role.  The Giants would prefer to give their young players more time rather than block them with a veteran regular, which Schulman feels lessens the chance of a new contract with Kevin Pillar.  The team has been already added several veterans as depth pieces in recent days, such as Wilmer Flores (whose multi-year deal hasn’t yet been officially announced), Brandon Guyer, Yolmer Sanchez, and Pablo Sandoval.
    • Speaking of the Panda, Zaidi said the 33-year-old is recovering well enough from Tommy John surgery that Sandoval could return to hitting action during Spring Training.  It will still take “a month or two into the season” for Sandoval to be ready to throw, Zaidi said, but that would still represent a pretty quick recovery considering Sandoval went under the knife in early September.
    • Zaidi also had positive health news about Tyler Anderson, as the left-hander might not begin the season on the 60-day injured list.  Anderson underwent knee surgery last summer and was claimed off waivers from the Rockies at the end of October, only to be non-tendered and then quickly re-signed by the Giants in early December.  The knee problems turned 2019 into a lost season for Anderson, who pitched only 20 2/3 innings for Colorado and posted an ugly 11.76.
    • Manager Gabe Kapler discussed his rotation with the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea on the “Giants Splash” podcast, naming Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman, and Drew Smyly as the projected top four heading into Spring Training.  There was no doubt about the top two names, though Kapler’s confirmation about Gausman and Smyly leaves quite a battle for the fifth starter role among the many other starters (both young arms and more experienced names like Anderson) in camp.  As Shea notes, things could very possibly change over the course of camp or the season, depending on injuries, trades, or various pitchers performing better or worse than expected.  If the Giants look to deal some veterans at the trade deadline, Samardzija, Gausman, and Smyly all stand out as logical trade chips, as all three hurlers will be free agents after the 2020 season.