Yesterday I wrote about the Padres because of the late signing of Manny Machado. The Padres have suffered mightily for many years, but appear to be on the verge of not only being respectable, but also a contender in a year or two, depending on their pitching progress. Today I suffer because I am writing about the hated Giants. The best thing about the Giants is that they are projected for 5th and last place in the NL West.
The Giants are now four years removed from their WS championship, and they still have 6 members of that team on their current roster – MadBum, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford, and Pablo Sandoval.
The Giants’ player losses are not too problematic. Key losses include Hunter Pence, Hunter Strickland, Gorkys Hernandez, Gregor Blanco, and Nick Hundley.
For Farhan Zaidi, it looks like deja vu all over again. By my count (certainly nothing official about it), the Giants have acquired 32 players. Broken down there were 22 players signed to minor league contracts, 5 claimed off waivers, 2 acquired via trade and 3 free agent signings. The two acquired via trade were RHRP, Trevor Gott from the Washington Nationals, and the second was former Dodger Breyvic Valera from the O’s. The three free agent signings were LHSP Drew Pomeranz, LHSP Derek Holland, and SRP former Dodger Pat Venditte.
Two players claimed off waivers that may see some ML time this year are SS Hanser Alberto claimed from the O’s and RHRP Jose Lopez claimed from the Reds.
Most of us have not heard of many of the players signed to minor league contracts, but there are some notable ML players and former Dodger farm hands.
OF –Gerardo Parra,Cameron Maybin,Drew Ferguson, and former Dodger farm hand,Henry Ramos (pictured). As an aside, I chose Henry Ramos as a Portland Sea Dog as that is one of my very favorite locations to see a minor league baseball game.
Catchers – Steven Vogt, Rene Rivera, Cameron Rupp, and another former Dodger farm hand Hamlet Marte.
Infielders – Yangervis Solarte and former Dodger farm hand Donovan Solano.
The Giants seem to be taking a different tact than did the Padres. The Giants apparently believe they can still semi-compete without doing a total tear down. However, outside of MadBum and a couple of relievers, principally Will Smith, Tony Watson, and Sam Dyson, the other players have too large of contracts to be considered tradeable with a good return of prospects.
Multi-year committed contractual dollars:
Buster Posey– 3 years plus option year – $66.5MM
Johnny Cueto– 3 years plus option year – $63MM
Evan Longoria– 4 years plus option year – $61.5MM
Brandon Belt– 3 years – $51.6MM
Brandon Crawford– 3 years – $45.6MM
Jeff Samardzija– 2 years – $39.6MM
Mark Melancon– 2 years – $28MM
Like the Dodgers, the Giants have a lot of pitching depth. However, it is not nearly as good talent wise. With Johnny Cueto still expected to be out for the entire season, projected starting pitchers are:
Others that will be considered for a spot in the rotation are:
Andrew Suarez(LHP)/Ty Blach(LHP)/Tyler Beede(RHP)
There will also be deep relievers, but again not as talented as LAD, but they should be fairly good. This is undoubtedly the strength of the team.
Closer –Mark Melancon(RHP)
LHRP –Will Smith, Tony Watson, Steven Okert
RHRP –Sam Dyson, Trevor Gott, Reyes Moronta, Chris Stratton, and Ray Black
Suarez, Beede, and Blach will not only get consideration as starters but also for relief. A couple of late minor league signings that could warrant consideration as dark horse candidates are RHRP Nick Vincent and LHRP Fernando Abad. I would also assume that Pat Venditte will garner his share of frequent flyer miles from Sacramento. Jose Lopez is another RHP to keep an eye on.
Buster Posey should be the opening day starter unless he is not fully healed from last years hip surgery. Aramis Garcia is the only other catcher on the 40 man, but I would expect Rene Rivera or Steven Vogt to get a chance to break camp with the ML team, especially if Posey is not ready.
The infield is a veteran group and should be set for the season until the first injury hits. After that? Who knows? The offense has been questionable, but the defense is solid.
1B –Brandon Belt
2B –Joe Panik
3B –Evan Longoria
SS –Brandon Crawford
The reserve infielders should bePablo Sandovalfor 3B/1B (2014 WS Roster), and I am going withYangervis SolarteoverAlen Hansonas the middle infield reserve.
The OF is a mess for the Giants. The five OF on the 40 man have a combined 905 PA, led by Austin Slater and his 352 PA.
Mac Williamson (LF)– 339 PA – .222/.295/.386/.681
Austin Slater (RF)– 352 PA – .263/.335/.342/.677
Steven Duggar (CF)– 152 PA – .255/.303/.390/.693
Chris Shaw (LF)– 62 PA – .185/.274/.278/.552
Drew Ferguson– No MLB PA
This seems to be wide open for Gerardo Parra and Cameron Maybin to make the roster out of camp. I would be very surprised if both do not make the 25 man roster.
Gerardo Parra– 10 years – 4,882 PA – .278/.325/.405/.730
Cameron Maybin– 12 years – 3,848 PA – .254/.322/.368/.690
The Giants are still in the hunt for Bryce Harper and if there is a team that really needs a RF with his offensive skills, it is the Giants. Will Farhan pull the trigger?
The farm system is relatively poor with the exception of #1 catcher prospect,Joey Bart. Bart (22) was the Giants 1st round draft pick in the 2018 amateur draft, and is the #23 overall prospect. He will be pushed and pushed hard. The other decent prospect is 19 year old OF,Heliot Ramoswho is the #74 overall prospect. The #1 pitching prospect is 24 year old,Shaun Anderson. Anderson is not a top 100 prospect. Anderson was acquired from the Red Sox in the Eduardo Nunez trade.
It will be interesting to read about the Giants trials and tribulations this year as they decide what direction to take. I would expect Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith, Tony Watson, and perhaps Mark Melancon and Sam Dyson to be moved at the trade deadline to try and rebuild that farm system. But with their bloated contracts, they are stuck with too many unmoveable players. The Giants have no depth, and they have not corrected last year’s horrendous offense. The Giants over/under win mark is set at 73, and projected to be a fifth place team in the NL West.