Friday, January 26, 2018

The good old Giants

John Shea of the SF Chronicle talks to Bruce Bochy about the 3 new Giants -- Longoria, McCutcheon and Austin Jackson.

As the Giants were winding down their 98-loss season, Sabean said they needed to get younger, more athletic and better defensively. They’re 2-for-3.
Once Brandon Belt turns 30 in April, only Joe Panik among the projected everyday players will be in his 20s. Hunter Pence turns 35 in April.
On the other hand, defensive-minded Steven Duggar, 24, will be given an opportunity in spring training to win playing time in center field, perhaps in a platoon with Jackson.
Sabean said the Giants could add an outfielder from the outside — they’re monitoring “minimum-service type of players who are obviously low in salary.”
Sabean and general manager Bobby Evans reiterated their goal to stay below the $197 million competitive-balance-tax threshold to avoid penalties. That virtually rules out any pursuit of a high-end free agent or trade target.
“He’s certainly a viable option,” Sabean said of Jackson. “Did we get him to be our everyday center fielder? Probably not. I don’t know that in his recent history, he’s been able to go out there in that fashion.”
Jackson, who got a two-year, $6 million contract, played just 139 games the past two years and could float around the outfield, backing up Pence in left and McCutchen in right. Manager Bruce Bochy also sees Jackson as a possible leadoff hitter.
“Right now, as we start the season, I think you’ll see Austin out in center field as much as anything,” said Bochy, noting that things could change if Duggar or someone else enters the fold. “We’ll see where we’re at when we break camp, but that’s a need for us out there in center.”
Bochy said he has been having fun thinking of different lineups and said he spoke about the newcomers with Buster Posey, who’s “pumped and excited” about his new teammates.
“If you had told me after the season we would’ve gotten this much done and added these players, I wouldn’t have been happier,” Bochy said. “I really like where we’re at. I love the guys we acquired on both sides of the ball and the character of these guys.
“I couldn’t feel better going into spring training.”

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