San Francisco Giants Offseason: AtF Staff Roundtable Discussion

The San Francisco Giants offseason might be the most important one this decade. With the first few days of Free Agency in the books, the rumors about the Giants are flying everywhere. While some are legit, others are rooted in speculation surrounding vague quotes, and wishful thinking.

The San Francisco Giants rumor mill is running at full volume. First you have the meetings with both Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon. Then you have rumored interest in Yoenis Cespedes, on top of trade rumors with them and Detroit.

A lot of this has come from out of the blue, with most of these rumors being legitimate. However, we feel bad for those who get caught up in the speculation and believe it to be actual rumors. As a staff, we decided to speculate a little bit as to what might go down this offseason. Where do the Giants interests lie? And who do we predict they’ll end up getting?

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We also took some time to answer a few questions from our readers and followers. Those range from speculation about the Tigers/Giants rumors to Shaei Otani. Be sure to read through our roundtable discussion and take a look at those as well!

Our staff involved in this discussion are Contributors: Michael Saltzman, Chris Estrada, and Taylor Corbin. Also in is the Editor, and yours truly, Daniel Sperry.

Let’s begin!

San Francisco Giants

Dec 17, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; (from left) San Francisco Giants chief executive officer Larry Baer and senior vice president/general manager Bobby Evans announce the signing of pitcher Johnny Cueto at a press conference at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

What are the the biggest holes the San francisco Giants must fill this offseason?

(Michael Saltzman)  Closer and Left Field. Closer is key because with Derek Law, Hunter Strickland and Will Smith, the Giants still have a strong bullpen. The outfield is a big issue because both Span and Pence are veterans. Getting younger in the outfield should be a priority, but getting more productive in the outfield in more important for 2017. I could see the Giants checking in on all LF and CF options out there. 

(Chris Estrada)  Left field and getting a closer. The closer being more mandatory. The giants have a young group of pitchers that will be a part of this bullpen for a long time. except all of them lack closing experience. Derek Law seems like the obvious choice to be given a chance and he might get that chance eventually but, the Giants are not a team that likes to let their rookies learn on the job at the big league level. With a position so important to this team, you will see the Giants talking to every available free agent closer this offseason. The outfield as a whole needs depth. Denard Span had a down year and Hunter Pence has become injury prone. Left field is up for grabs between Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker. Neither have shown that they can hit consistently at the Major League Level however, which could push the Giants to look at available free agent options.

(Taylor Corbin)  The Giants must resolve their bullpen issues, primarily in the ninth inning with closing games.  Expect the Giants to sign one-or-more of the three elite bullpen options of Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman, or Mark Melancon.  Bobby Evans needs to then address the void in left field, and there are serviceable options on the free-agent market or trade.  Don’t expect a huge name like Cespedes to sign with the team if they dish out the big bucks for one of the closers above.   

(Daniel Sperry)  It’s clear that the bullpen is a big hole, but I truly feel like the only hole there is closer. If the Giants can grab one of those three, then look to Left Field. I don’t see much point in paying out to upgrade left field and NOT getting an elite closer, especially with three available.  In order of priority, I say it’s : 1) Closer 2) Depth 3) Power bat/left field

Oct 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) throws against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning of game six of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) throws against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning of game six of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Do the San Francisco Giants actually sign one of the big three closers?

(Michael Saltzman)  Yes. They have the money. With no guarantees that Greg Holland or Wade Davis would be healthy enough to close, the team will have to outbid teams on one of three.

(Chris Estrada)  Getting a closer is their biggest need and priority #1. The Giants have been linked to checking in on Wade Davis and Greg Holland. They are both coming off injuries which is a red flag. If the Giants pass on those two, you can bet they will enter the bidding war to land one of those three big closers.

(Taylor Corbin)  Mark melancon is the likeliest to be signed because of price.  Bobby Evans has been cited saying Jansen is a perfect fit for the team, so expect them to pursue him as well.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants try to ink both closers and give the Mac Williamson/Jarrett Parker experiment a try.  Chapman has been mentioned as an option, but may cost the most.

(Daniel Sperry)  Absolutely. With the Dodger’s known lust for Chapman, why not make a run at Jansen? Only thing with him is he can still accept the Dodger’s Qualifying offer, which may be worth more this year than what he might get AAV. However, I see the Giants getting Melancon out of any of them.

Oct 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) connects for a single in the third inning against the Chicago Cubs in game five of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

 Is Justin Turner worth a shot?

(Michael Saltzman)  Justin Turner reminds me of Mark DeRosa. He may be the perfect fit to play all over the field and start in LF or at 3B. He also may have maxed out his best years. Any contract more than 2 years is extremely risky.

(Chris Estrada)  He is worth a look. It seems the Giants plan to utilize Eduardo Nunez as their starting third baseman until prospect Christian Arroyo is ready to take over. Turner is coming off his best career year which would mean more value. I see Turner signing elsewhere because his spot on the Giants would most likely only be a backup infielder/ utility player.

(Taylor Corbin)  The Giants should stay away based on his age and contract.  He will command around 20 million AAV and multi-year deal.  Bobby Evans recently expressed his pleasure with Nunez’ addition to the team, and comfortably looks forward to seeing him perform a whole season at third.  No fit.

(Daniel Sperry)  The Giants should be interested in upgrading, anywhere. Turner was a gold glove finalist, and had 25+ hrs this season. Turner would be a clear upgrade, but as Taylor mentioned, his cost might be too much for the Giants. 3B doesn’t seem to be as pressing of a need as anywhere else, but the Giants rumored interest makes you wonder if they think 3B is a pressing need.

Now for a few questions from our followers and readers!

(Michael Saltzman)  J.D. Martinez. He would be the perfect fit for our lineup and he would start in LF. Best option of the group.

(Chris Estrada)  If the tigers are indeed sellers, JD Martinez can be a trade target. Has the power the Giants are looking for and is familiar with the National League having come up with the Astros organization. Giants have a surplus of pitching prospects that could be offered in return.

(Taylor Corbin)  If the Giants can pull a trade off for J.D. Martinez it may be worth exploring, depending on price.  Over the past three seasons he’s hit 83 HRs, and 246 RBIs posting batting averages of .315, 282, and .307 respectively.  The Tigers have been rumored to like the Giants’ pitching prospects, so maybe the trio of Tyler Beede, Ray Black, Chris Stratton or Christian Arroyo?  If a closer is signed, Ray Black becomes expendable with intriguing value. 

Sep 22, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) catches a fly ball in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

(Daniel Sperry)  First off, the rumor of all this stuff between the Giants and Tigers came from speculation based off a vague quote from Tigers GM, Al Avila. There is nothing concrete to any rumor floating around about them. However, if the Giants and Tigers were really to talk, the only player worth asking about is J.D. Martinez, because he fills an obvious need. The issue with this is the Tigers want to get younger, which means going after good young players like Joe Panik. A lot of teams would love to have Panik. The Yankees apparently wanted Panik for Miller, and the Giants didn’t pull the trigger on that, so that should tell you how the Giants feel about moving him. If they can get Martinez without losing Panik, Arroyo, or another top prospect then fine. If not, hang up on Avila.

San Francisco Giants

Oct 5, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Conor Gillaspie (21) reacts after hitting a three run home run during the ninth inning against the New York Mets in the National League wild card playoff baseball game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

(Michael Saltzman) 100%. The Giants need his bat off the bench and his ability to spot start is essential to success over 162 games.

(Chris Estrada)  Definitely. Left handed bat off the bench worked just fine last year. Being able to play various positions all across the infield, you will see Connor on the Giants in 2017.

(Taylor Corbin)  The Giants and Gillaspie I would assume have mutual interest in a reunion.  Gillaspie was very gracious and honored by his opportunity with the Giants after rough years with the Angels and White Sox.  He was very serviceable filling in for Nunez while injured, and performed well defensively and with the bat in the playoffs. He will be coveted, but a reunion is likely.

(Daniel Sperry)  The only way Gillaspie isn’t around is if they get another third basemen, like Turner. Honestly, the tradeoff of Gillaspie for Turner would be a massive upgrade, likely putting Nunez on the bench. However the price would be a big issue. Maybe if they don’t go after a Cespedes for Left Field. Won’t be able to do all three.

San Francisco Giants

Oct 10, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning in game three of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

(Michael Saltzman)  The money people are saying he could command is anywhere from $200-$300 million. The Giants may be giving that to Bumgarner soon. I don’t think it’ll happen.

(Chris Estrada)  The Giants should and will pass on him. Biggest priority is closer. With a solid rotation filled with Bumgarner, Cueto, Moore and Samardzja there is no need to spend $100 million on a starter. Give that money to a closer instead.

(Taylor Corbin)  Otani has already spurred talks of 200 and 300 million contracts on MLB Network, but don’t expect him to post until next year when posting fees potentially increase after December.  He’s young, but for that price it’s a huge gamble. 

(Daniel Sperry)  I’ve seen so much stuff from Giants fans wondering about Otani and whether or not the Giants should go after him if he gets posted. Here is the simple thing with it, Do you want Otani or do you want Bumgarner? You don’t get both. Bumgarner will likely command near that type of deal. Plain and simple. If you say yes to Otani, say goodbye to Bumgarner after 2017. That’s just the reality. 

San Francisco Giants

Jul 27, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Mac Williamson (51) hits the ball during the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports

(Michael Saltzman)  Best chance is Williamson, followed by a trade for J.D. Martinez and then Yoenis Cespedes.

(Chris Estrada)  Right now LF belongs to Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker. The Tigers are rumored to be sellers this offseason. J.D. Martinez is a player the Giants could look into. Cespedes is also a possibility but he will not come cheap. If the Giants want to land Cespedes it will come down to how much they spend on a closer. 

(Taylor Corbin)  As mentioned above J.D. Martinez would cover LF and serve as the bat upgrade needed if a trade were to occur. Two scenarios I see could happen.

1.  The Giants sign an elite closer or two forcing them to look at cheaper assets. Maybe Ian Desmond three-years at 45 million.

2. They miss out on a closer and dish out big-money for Cespedes or Bautista. Easily affordable if both sides can agree on years, if no elite-closer is inked.

(Daniel Sperry)  Cespedes would be the ideal fit for left. After that, J.D. Martinez via a trade as long as Panik isn’t involved.

And then the third option, which is the most likely option, is that Mac Willamson or Jarrett Parker is the every day left fielder next year. Out of those two, I think that Willamson emerges as that guy. So Mac Willamson should be your Left Fielder in 2017.

Be sure to stick with Around the Foghorn for ALL your offseason coverage.

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