I had to cut Part 2 a little short, so let’s start by finishing the conversation regarding the Giants’ LF situation for 2015. There is no doubt that every team in baseball who can afford him (and even some of those who can’t) will be bidding for Yasmani Tomas’ services. The Giants have gone down to the wire on Jose Abreu and Rusney Castillo, but there were ultimately beat out on both occasions. Setting the highest bid for Tomas would be the wise thing to do in my opinion, but that certainly doesn’t mean it will happen. If the Giants do not feel Tomas is worth the money, or they are outbid, they’ll still likely need to add a player to at least platoon with Gregor Blanco in LF.
I’ve come up with a handful of other names that I’m putting on my official “watch list” for Brian Sabean in his pursuit of an OF this winter. I’ll preface this by saying I don’t think the organization will be bringing back Mike Morse, who despite his struggles played a very big role in leading this team to a 1st place start in the season’s early-going. So, if Sabes decides to hit he free agency market as he did with Morse last winter, I’ll say Nori Aoki and Chris Denorfia are possible targets. Aoki would cost a bit more, but he’d likely move Blanco back into a bench role. Denorfia would strictly be a platoon candidate, as would potential trade candidates Justin Ruggiano and Drew Stubbs. Both of those names came up quite a bit around the Giants blog world last year, and both of those guys hit LHP very well for their respective new teams. I would think that Sabean could swing a deal for either if he were so inclined.
Finally, I’ve got one other name on my mind. On the surface, he’s really not a great fit for the 2015 Giants, and I really see no reason why the Giants would look at acquiring him in a trade. But he plays for a team that has totally overhauled its outfield, and he’s one of my favorite scrappers in the league. Daniel Nava. Despite his age, I’d take Nava as my LF for a couple years.
So, there you go. My gut says the Giants will finally step up and make a big international splash by winning the rights for Yasmani Tomas. If they don’t, however, they’ll have to get a little creative to find productivity in LF… and they may also want to look a little harder at bringing back Pablo Sandoval.
Moving along. This post was supposed to be about my predicted bench for next year’s team. So here it is, along with a few potential 40-man guys in the minors who could/should be ready to help at some point during the season.
2015 Giants: Bench
C Andrew Susac (R) – Susac got absolutely no love from the national prospecting folks during his trek through the minors, but most of us around here knew he could be a special player. Well, I think I’m even more excited about his potential after seeing him play in the majors for the past couple months. With Buster as the team headliner, I’d be willing to bet the Giants will hear some very intriguing trade offers this year for Susac. They didn’t bite at the deadline, and they’d be crazy to bite now. They absolutely have to find playing time for this kid next year, and I have a sneaking hunch that he’ll force their hand sooner than later.
IF Joaquin Arias (R) – Signed a 2-year deal before the year, but still hit poorly enough to nearly earn a DFA by mid-season. I really think his recent surge saved his job, and there’s no reason to think the Giants won’t bring him back again next year. If Pablo leaves, he could be counted on even more. Personally, I’d like to see him in a reserve role, and nothing more.
IF Ehire Adrianza (S) – It’s easy to forget about Adrianza after his hammy essentially ruined his season, but he’s still very much in the mix for a roster spot next year. Between Crawford, Panik, Duffy and Adrianza, the Giants have a bit of a surplus of middle infielders all of a sudden. If the organization goes shopping for an OF this winter, I’d peg Adrianza as a guy who could be part of a deal. If not, he’ll battle Duffy for a utility spot, and his options situation could be the deciding factor on Opening Day.
OF Gregor Blanco (L) – Blanco takes a lot of heat, but he’s been great value for the Giants. If the Giants sign Tomas, he’ll return to the bench. If not, he’ll almost certainly form half of a platoon next year.
1B/LF Travis Ishikawa (L) – Just a complete shot in the dark here, but there’s really no way to predict the 25th man on the team. It could be a player who isn’t even in the org right now, but I’ll guess that Sabean and co. appreciate what Ishi has given them this fall.
C Hector Sanchez (S) – Quite a few more questions than answers with Sanchez right now. Will he be healthy for next year? Will he catch again? Will the Giants trade him? Either way, I don’t think there’s any argument that Susac is the #2 guy at this point. Maybe the team decides to carry 3 catchers out of the gate… but I kind of see Hector as the odd man out at this point.
1B Adam Duvall (R) – A lot of people are talking about Duvall as an option at 3B if Pablo leaves. I don’t see the Giants putting him at the hot corner in a MLB game. You like the power, and injuries do happen, but I think he’s in Sacramento again for most of the year.
IF Matt Duffy (R) – Duffy is already proving that he can hang in the majors. He’s going to the AFL this year, where he may just open some more eyes. Do the Giants feel strongly enough to give him the starting 3B gig if Pablo leaves? My gut says no, and that he opens the year in AAA where he can play more consistently.
CF Daniel Carbonell (R) – The Giants need a backup plan for Angel Pagan, and I think they’ve found it in Carbonell. Talk about an underrated signing! In his first couple months as a pro, he’s already showing that he has impact potential. Future leadoff hitter and the heir apparent to Pagan in CF? I think there’s a shot, folks. He’s also going to the AFL. Will he stand out or be just another face in the crowd? Keep your fingers crossed!
That’s all for now. Let’s chat about next year’s rotation in Post 4. If you’re keeping up, thanks for reading!