Saturday, January 13, 2018

Tyler Beede getting ready

He's the top pitching prospect for a team that developed Cain, Lincecum and Bumgarner 

The Giants offered him and Joe Panik in a package for Giancarlo Stanton but Derek Jeter decided to trade Stanton to the Yanks instead 

 Here's part of the story on the Giants web site --


Rated the Giants' No. 2 prospect overall by MLB Pipeline, Beede might have received a promotion to San Francisco last year. But he was sidelined by a groin injury in late July.
Before that, Beede posted a 6-7 record with a 4.79 ERA in 19 starts for Triple-A Sacramento. He admitted that his seemingly impending ascent to San Francisco might have distracted him.
"If I had a good start, [I'd be] sitting there by the phone, waiting for a phone call. And that sort of got in my head," Beede said. "I think I needed to have a new perspective of why I was playing, my routine, my mindset. ... I think the injury put me in that new state of mind where you don't take it for granted where you're at."
When Beede does reach the Majors, he'll have the pointers he learned through the various seminars at the Rookie Career Development Program to guide him through his journey.
"It meant a lot," said Beede, who was selected by the Giants in the first round (14th overall) in the 2014 Draft. "I know how prestigious this is. I know how much you can learn from being here, the knowledge that they bring in on the panels and discussions for these meetings. It's great just to be a sponge, to learn things and implement them into my career, on and off the field. It's been awesome, and I've learned so much while I've been here."

Monday, January 08, 2018

McCutcheon not coming to SF

Grant Bisbee at McCovey Chronicles says it won't happen because of the emotional cost to Pirates fans

It is lengthy but it makes sense -- here is part

 
The third reason is the most important reason. It’s that the Pirates view McCutchen as something more than a 2.5-WAR player making $14.5 million in the last year of his contract. That is, he’s something more to them and their fans than a simple cost-benefit analysis, and they’ll want some prospects back. Imagine the Giants trading Buster Posey for three prospects who don’t rank in the Blue Jays’ top 10, and them coming back to explain, “See, here’s what Posey was owed, and here’s the WAR-based analysis of what he was expected to produce. We’d rather save the money.” You’d be furious.
If you think that’s an inappropriate comparison because Posey helped the Giants win three World Series, you’re mistaken. McCutchen helped the Pirates become relevant after two decades of being a punchline, and that counts for a helluva lot. There are logical reasons for the Pirates to trade him, but the emotional reasons for keeping him are much stronger. There would have to be something for the Pirates to bring back to their fans. This is why we had no choice, they would say. The chance to strengthen the future was just too great.
The Giants have no interest in strengthening someone else’s future, though, and that’s the biggest problem. They’ve already traded Christian Arroyo away, and they don’t have a lot of interest in trading Tyler Beede and/or Chris Shaw for a one-year rental. There is no emotional attachment to McCutchen, no franchise-building nostalgia. There is only an idea that the Pirates would prefer not to pay $14.5 million for a player while they slog through a purgatory season, only to lose him for a compensation pick, at best, so why wouldn’t they give him away for a couple of lesser prospects and save the money?
The two teams are looking for two different things, in other words. And unless the Pirates are looking only to save that money — possible! — it’s unlikely a trade will make sense. The Giants would probably rather spend the extra $25 million on Jay Bruce and keep the prospects, hoping that Bruce provided at least a little value in the years that followed. And the Pirates would probably rather keep McCutchen for a final victory lap, reminding their fans that they didn’t just ditch the expensive fan favorite for prospect flops this time, no sir.
Without the context, a trade makes sense. The Giants can spend over $10 million for a new corner outfielder. The Pirates don’t want to pay over $10 million for a corner outfielder if they’re half-in/half-out next season. Here’s a way for everyone to be happy.
Then comes the context. Do the Giants really view McCutchen as a corner outfielder? Would he even be okay with a transition? Why would the Pirates be that desperate for some of the lesser prospects in a lesser farm system? Why would the Giants trade some of their better prospects for a one-year rental, even if they’re committed for 2018?
None of it makes sense unless the Pirates are absolutely desperate to ditch the financial obligations. They could figure that $14.5 million and two lesser prospects in the hand are worth more than -$14.5 million and a compensatory pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, and that would make some measure of sense. That would ignore all of the emotional ties, though, which are legitimate and important. They want a haul. They probably won’t get a haul. Andrew McCutchen is staying put because of this, most likely.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

McCutcheon in the Orange and Black?

The Mercury News is reporting a report that the Giants and Pirates have held trade talks about Andrew McCutcheon

Here's part --

 A five-time All-Star and 2013 National League MVP, McCutchen would present a nice offensive upgrade for a club which finished dead last in the majors with 128 home runs last season. McCutchen finished the 2017 season batting .279 with 28 home runs and 88 RBIs.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

ALEN HANSEN IN THE ORANGE AND BLACK ???

Grant Bisbee of McCovey Chronicles notes that he's been signed to a deal. Hansen has the tools but can't hit MLB pitching

Perhaps now that Bam Bam Meulens isn't the hitting coach will help this guy. I have not been able to figure out why Bam still has a job.

Here's part --

Seven hundred and thirty-two years ago, when last season started, the Giants had a stockpile of utility infielders. Do you remember Aaron Hill? Sure you do, but how about Jimmy Rollins, Jae-gyun Hwang, and Gordon Beckham? What about Orlando Calixte and Juniel Querecuto? Ramiro Peña? You forgot at least one of those players was signed or re-signed by the Giants last offseason, admit it.
This comes up now because the Giants are at it again. They’re acquiring all of the utility infielders.
The most impressive pedigree belongs to Alen Hanson, a 25-year-old infielder-outfielder who was a top-100 prospect as recently as 2015, according to Major League Baseball. He’s a career .281/.340/.435 hitter, and his 205 career stolen bases is a testament to his well above-average speed. Here’s what Baseball America had to say about him after last season, when they ranked him #19 in the Pirates’ system:
Hanson has been unable to convert his considerable tools into consistent production, though his athleticism still makes him intriguing as a potentially valuable bench piece. The switch-hitter is wiry strong and can hit the occasional home run, and he also has outstanding speed that makes him a threat on the bases. However, he does not always make solid contact. Hanson is not a strong defender and his attitude was questionable earlier in his career. However, he has embraced learning multiple positions.
Tools! Hansen spent a plurality of his time in right field last year, but he also played center, second, and third in the majors with the Pirates and White Sox. He also hit .221/.262/.346, which is slightly horrible, but a switch-hitter with this much speed, versatility, and pop will always get extended looks from teams looking to fill out their bench. He’s almost exactly a year older than Chris Shaw, for perspective.
He won’t be alone in The Fight to Unseat Kelby Tomlinson, though, as Josh Rutledge also signed a minor-league deal with the Giants. The 28-year-old former Rockie and Red Sock has over 1,200 major league plate appearances and a career 80 OPS+ (.258/.310/.384). Rutledge has a career .314/.371/.483 line in the minors, which is impressive, even when considering some of that time was spent in Colorado Springs. He played mostly second and third last year for the Red Sox, though he has extensive shortstop experience in the minors, too.
Chase d’Arnaud also signed a minor-league deal with the Giants according to Jacob Resnick of Mets Minors, which allows us to invoke the Rule of Three and consider this to be a flurry of offseason utility-infielder activity. d’Arnaud has 499 career major league at-bats with the Red Sox, Padres, Pirates, Braves, and Phillies, and a career .263/.333/.386 minor league line, though his .297/.363/.424 line in 194 Triple-A plate appearances last year was a bit more promising.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Austin Jackson in the Orange and Black

That's who Grant Bisbee wants the Giants to sign for centerfield, now that Denard Span has been traded with two prospects to Tampa Bay for Evan Longoria.

Here's the post --

 

With the creative shuffling that came with the Evan Longoria trade, the Giants still have enough money this offseason to make one more substantial transaction and get under the luxury tax threshold. They can trade for Andrew McCutchen or sign Jay Bruce or do something we haven’t even considered yet, like swoop on Yoenis Cespedes. They have options.
But they can start by doing something unexciting and eliminating one of their biggest holes at the same time. They can sign Austin Jackson, center fielder, to a short-term deal, and then they can attack the rest of the offseason. I’ve studied all of the players available for a while, and I’m pretty sure this is the correct answer.
I’ll take some questions from the audience.
Who is Austin Jackson?
He’s a right-handed center fielder with some power and defensive skills. Even though he had a rebound season last year (.318/.387/.482 in 318 plate appearances for the Indians), he shouldn’t be too expensive.
Check off all the boxes that interest the Giants:
  • right-handed
  • solid defense
  • a touch of power
  • coming off a very strong season
  • much cheaper than Lorenzo Cain
  • probably even a little cheaper than Jarrod Dyson
  • a free agent who won’t cost prospects or draft picks
  • would allow the Giants to bring Steven Duggar along at their preferred pace
  • won’t be on a contract that would prevent him from sliding into a fourth-outfielder role if Duggar is ready soon
No, Jackson isn’t an All-Star, but this all assumes that his contract would allow the Giants to still get an All-Star for the remaining outfield spot, too. As long as he isn’t getting $7 million a year, he’s just about the perfect fit.
Didn’t Jackson used to be bad, and isn’t there the risk that he’s bad again?
Not really. Before his mini-renaissance last year, Jackson hit .260/.311/.361 in 1,386 plate appearances from 2014 through 2016. His defense wasn’t Gold Glove-caliber, so that added up to a player who was worth about 1 WAR every season, on average. That’s a solid player.
Before that, though, he was a coveted almost-star, someone who could hit .300, lead the league in triples, and play jaw dropping defense. He had four years at that level before he dipped, and he was one of the more underrated and exciting players in baseball.
Last year’s renaissance didn’t come out of nowhere, in other words. It’s possible that his bat is coming around again.
If that’s the case, why won’t he make all sorts of money this offseason?
To be honest, I have no idea what his market is. I’m just guessing. He made $1.5 million as a part-time outfielder last year, and he might want to make $8 million as a starting outfielder.
But I’m looking through a list of teams who might want a new starting center fielder, and I’m getting this:
  • Giants
  • White Sox
  • Indians
  • Royals
  • A’s
  • Rangers
  • Brewers
Some of those teams have plans in place, like the Indians with Bradley Zimmer or the Rangers with Delino DeShields, Jr., and it’s hard to imagine any of them giving a substantial deal to Jackson to make him their unquestioned starter. Which means that they might have interest in him the same way that the Giants do, as a starter who needs to look over his shoulder constantly.
Of those teams, though, the Giants offer the best immediate opportunity to start. And those other teams could also explore players like Dyson and Jon Jay, as well as any number of left-handed hitters who wouldn’t fit the Giants’ platonic ideal.
I’m sold. Where is the petition?
There is a slight problem of Jackson being an individual with free will. He might not want to come to the Giants. He might prefer to be a fourth outfielder on a pennant contender like the Indians. Or he might take a one-year deal in a place like Texas to see if he can keep his numbers up and hit the market next year with even more momentum. It isn’t just a matter of the Giants selecting the Austin Jackson option on their next DoorDash order.
However, if Jackson were open to playing for the Giants, it really does make a lot of sense for everyone involved. The Giants would get better for next year; Jackson would have a chance to get 500 at-bats. Duggar could show up in the middle of his season if his play demands it, or he could take his time if he struggles offensively. The Giants wouldn’t give up prospects in a trade for Billy Hamilton or Adam Jones, and they would still have money to address the remaining hole in the lineup.
This is all null and void if Jackson is more expensive than I’m giving him credit for, and that’s fine. But assuming the market isn’t white-hot for him, he’s just about the perfect fit. While I’m okay with the Giants taking their time to see where the market goes, I’m also hoping they do this very specific thing.
The Giants should sign Austin Jackson and continue to address their lineup with their remaining payroll room. I don’t not believe in this team’s ability to improve substantially, somehow. This would help.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Jay Bruce in the Orange and Black

Chris Haft of mlb.com believes the Giants are the best fit for Jay Bruce as a free agent signing

The story is on the Giants home page. That's a sign that it's not a longshot

He's a solid player with 18.9 WAR in 10 seasons but the Giants would have to give at least 4 years. He's already 30. Here's the top --


SAN FRANCISCO -- At least one more major move seemed possible for the Giants following Wednesday's acquisition of Evan Longoria from Tampa Bay.
They appeared to be the favorites to sign Jay Bruce, who's among the top outfielders available in free agency.
Matt Sosnick, the agent representing Bruce, spoke candidly about the Giants' chances of forging a deal with his client.
"I think it works out as a perfect fit for the Giants, and we have to figure out the lay of the land, whether it works for the Giants and if it works for us," Sosnick said Wednesday on KNBR-AM, the Giants' flagship radio station. "I think if Jay ended up in San Francisco, he'd be thrilled."
Sosnick explained that after negotiations on Bruce's behalf with Houston unraveled, they focused on the Giants, who are intent on upgrading their offense. San Francisco ranked last in the Major Leagues in homers (128) and slugging (.380) and next-to-last in runs (639) and on-base percentage (.309) last season.
Bruce, 30, has exceeded 20 homers in nine of his 10 seasons and amassed a career-high 36 in 2017 with the Mets and Indians. His lifetime slash line of .249/.319/.472 is garnished by 277 homers and 838 RBIs.
A left-handed batter, Bruce has thrived at AT&T Park, where he has hit .293/.357/.526 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs in 130 plate appearances.
Bruce, whose 2017 salary was $13 million, likely could command a four-year contract from any of the five or six teams he's considering.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Longoria in the Orange and Black

I guess the Giants aren't counting on Pablo Sandoval for much of anything any more. They traded Christian Arroyo for Evan Longoria. That's a big deal but Grant Bisbee at McCovey Chronicles wonders if the Giants have any shot at all, given how awful the team was in 2017.....

Here is most of it ---

Here are the things that need to happen for the Giants to be a good team next year: Buster Posey needs to figure out how to hit for power in the second half; Brandon Belt needs to come back whole from his concussion; Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford have to rebound from disappointing 2017 seasons; the team has to find three major league caliber outfielders out of Hunter Pence, the big ticket free agent they’ll sign, whatever center fielder they scrounge up, and a gaggle of minor leaguers who spent all of 2017 not proving themselves; Madison Bumgarner needs to pitch a full season where he’s more effective than he was in 2017; Johnny Cueto needs to not only not get blisters but vastly improve on the way he pitched in 2017 even when he got over the blister problem; Jeff Samardzija needs to stop giving up so many homers; two young starters have to step up and pitch like decent major leaguers for a whole season; and the team needs huge improvements from just about every spot in the bullpen. That’s all before we get to betting on Longoria both staying healthy and performing like the player he was a few years ago instead of his 2017 being characteristic of the player he is now.


It’s every position. Every position needs to improve, and even if that happens, the team will still be fighting for a wild card spot because the Dodgers are so far ahead of them. You can quibble if you want and say that really, they could afford for 3 of those things to not happen and still be a playoff contender, but even if everything goes right, this is a team with a razor thin margin of error, and it’s pretty ridiculous to assume that everything will go right. There are injuries. There are surprise players on other teams who Giants pitching has absolutely no way to get out. One of these years, Buster Posey’s going to be an All-Star but in that Derek Jeter way where you’re like, “This is really for what he did a few years ago but I’ll take it.” That’s all coming.
And none of it happening this year is what the Giants are betting on. That’s what they’re giving up resources for. That’s what they’re losing Christian Arroyo (and Stephen Woods and Matt Krook) for, and that’s what they’re going to lose a bunch of money for when they overpay Jay Bruce (or whoever) to play the outfield. No, Arroyo is not a sure thing. But betting on him to be cheap and good when Johnny Cueto’s in Year 5 of his deal is a much smarter bet than betting on Evan Longoria to be good tomorrow.