A Wish List

In honor Christmas, here’s my wish list for the rest of the Giants offseason:

  1. Jackie Bradley Jr. Really, #1 on my wish list is a great defensive center fielder, but there is a massive gap between Jackie Bradley and the rest of the field. Yes, Jerrod Dyson is out there as a free agent. Yes, the Giants could be foolish and sign Lorenzo Cain (giving up precious picks). Yes, there’s the Billy Hamilton rumors. But, go big or go home. It’s obvious even to Sox fans that he is the most movable asset for the Boston as they try chasing the Yankees. I have no idea if/how the Giants could get this done, but I would send them anyone except Andrew Suarez to make this happen. (What about Heliot Ramons, Chris Shaw, and an arm?) One of the quickest paths to success for the Giants in 2018 is for some rebounds from underperforming, or injured, players (see Posey, Crawford, Belt, Bumgarner, and Cueto). But the other way is to improve the three gaping holes in the roster: a 3B who can hit (check), a CF who can get to the ball, and a competent fourth starter (more in a moment). Again, while there are some other options out there at CF Bradley Jr. would be a quantum step forward.
  2. Another starting pitcher. The Giants do not have the funds to make a major improvement here. Matt Moore, who I still would love to have seen rebound in 2018, was one of the worst starting pitchers in MLB last year, and all they need to get from Chris Stratton is some league averageness to make up significant ground. That being said, the rotation, which for so long has been the backbone of this franchise, for the first time since 2008, feels full of question marks and lacks signficant depth. Stratton and Ty Blach could hold it down and be fine. Tyler Beede and/or Andrew Suarez could come up and be awesome. But, I would like to see someone brought in to at least push those guys and maybe even take the first 10-12 starts before turning to a Beede/Suarez/Blach. My short list: Trevor Cahill, Clay Bucholz, Chris Tillman, Jaime Garcia.
  3. One more source of power. This is what seems to be at the top of the list for the Giants at the moment. All eyes are on Jay Bruce. IF the market for Jay Bruce collapses a bit and comes down to, say, 3 years and $36-42 mil, I’d be for it. What I’m hearing rumored now is longer and higher than that (yikes). But there are other options. What about a one year deal for Jose Bautista? What about someone like Colby Rasmus or Michael Saunders? They could be Jay Bruce imitations without breaking the bank, and they could be easily moved along for the Austin Slater and Chris Shaws of the world if need be.
  4. Take a gamble on the bullpen. It seems like the market for relievers is a little out of control. The top guys are now getting what middle of the rotation starters used to get. But there are still a ton of names available and I’d be into a lot of them if the price were right. Here’s where I’d love to see the Giants be patient and then grab a few guys in February and see how they perform in the spring. On this list: John Axford, Jason Grilli (welcome back!), Bud Norris, Trevor Rosenthal, Drew Storen, Glen Perkins, Zack Duke.
  5. Strengthen the Bench. I know what you are thinking. How are the Giants going to do all these moves? They can’t get all the things I have on my list and spend big league money. They do not want to go into the tax for Zack Duke in other words. But, there are a lot of teams in the same position as the Giants and the market has moved slow and I think it will stay that way and I hope the team can be patient enough to luck into some deals. And I think one area this will happen in is with solid bench options. Right now, the Giants are looking at Pablo Sandoval, Gorkys Hernandez, Jarrett Parker, and Kelby Tomlinson as key reserves. I think they can do way better. They’ve already made some moves for guys they can take a look at this spring. These are great moves, not because these players are the answer to anything, but, you never know. Remember: Juan Uribe and Andres Torres were non-roster invitees to spring training who ended up heroes. On my list here: Howie Kendrick, Austin Jackson, Danny Espinoza, and Darwin Barney.

I’d also like to make a Do Not Wish list:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. John Lackey
  3. Jason Werth
  4. Jorge de la Rosa

Merry Christmas!

Advertisements

Signs of Blah #sfgiants

We’ve officially hit the doldrums. Maybe they hit you on opening day, maybe you are still, pathetically, excited about the 2017 SF Giants (I don’t know, there might be one of you). Chances are you are not even reading this because you moved on long ago.

One of the questions driving the season, since at least mid-May, has been: “who are you excited to get to see play?”

Many were excited about Christian Arroyo.
Austin Slater was a nice story.
Mac Williamson made an appearance for a minute.
A few of us got excited about Pablo Sandoval’s return.
I was looking forward to a couple of Tyler Beede starts.

But here we are, with 36 games yet to play, and what is there to look forward to?

Anyone remotely interesting is already here or not coming up (I would have loved to see Andrew Suarez, but it seems like the Giants don’t want to expose him at this point and I get that). Ryder Jones is here. Jarrett Parker is getting his shot (again). Kyle Crick is trying to make a case for future bullpener. Chris Stratton is in the conversation for future rotations.

But, there will be no Christian Arroyo show, part II.
No Tyler Beede debut.
No Austin Slater return.

What is there to look forward to?


This is not to say there is nothing worth watching or paying attention to. Madison Bumgarner is worth watching, period, but even more so because his ability to be great still is so important to the future of the franchise. So far so good.

Matt Moore has had two quality starts in a row and if he can keep it up it we will have the whole offseason to debate what it means. In the meantime, keep rooting for a Matt Moore resurgence. It’s only thing that makes sense.

Ty Blach and Matt Moore may have switched bodies, which would explain their last two starts, but what if Blach has turned into a pumpkin. He’s been one of the best stories of the season (the best?!), and a strong finish would secure him a spot in the 2018 rotation and make all of us feel just a little bit better about how this year has gone. A Ty Blach debacle to end the year would be a poetic ending to a terrible, terrible season.

We’re very likely to see a couple of Johnny Cueto starts before the end of the season and there might not be anything more important to the future of the Giants. At this point, I think we have to root for him to be really good when he comes back, good enough to tempt him to opt out. If he doesn’t I know I can make the case for why that is not the end of the world, but the fastest way to the Giants remaking their roster is through a Cueto opt out.

Beyond that I’d like to see Joe Panik and Brandon Belt come back clear of concussions and be good for a couple weeks before shutting it down. I’d like to see Brandon Crawford have one hot streak before this miserable campaign ends. I’d like to see Buster end the year with a .900 OPS.

There’s also Mark Melancon proving he’s healthy, a couple of guys in the bullpen making a case to be important to the 2018 team, and fringe players like Kelby Tomlinson establishing themselves as good role players.


We have a long dark winter to stare down, but may as well get started. I’m rooting for Cueto to go, and Justin Upton to arrive.