Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas . . .

. . . and a Happy New Year.

I skied yesterday in a lovely snowstorm and when I was in the lodge I saw Santa. I went over and said "all I wanted for Christmas was snow, so thanks!" He shook my hand and said "no problem."

Of course what I really want for Christmas is for the 2019 Giants to be awesome! Am I right?

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays.


Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Winter Meetings

The Giants Brain Trust and their twenty-nine counterparts will be meeting this coming Monday in Las Vegas for the annual MLB rite known of course as The Winter Meetings. Newly-installed President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi brought in some new people in advance of this. Long-time amateur scouting director John Barr has been replaced by Michael Holmes who worked in Oakland in a similar capacity. They also added Zack Minasian who was a special assistant in Milwaukee. He will oversee professional scouting. Former Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi is also supposedly joining the team as a special assistant. I suppose the organizational flowchart will be in flux for a while and we might not fully know who's-who and what's-what but I suspect it will come together at some point. The Giants are making changes just like they said they would. Perhaps by the end of the week we'll have some new bodies in Giants uniforms as well.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Opening Moves

The FZ Era of Giants baseball begins! The Giants declined arbitration with Hunter Strickland, Gorkys Hernandez, and Chase d'Arnaud making them free agents. Joe Panik, Sam Dyson, and Will Smith were all tendered contracts. Smith (Willie Mac Award winner) and Dyson both pitched very well last season while Strickland saw his numbers decline (not to mention his behavior issues) so the Giants kept the older, more expensive pitchers and obviously hope for similar performances next year. Joe Panik was injured and played well below expectations but his youth and low cost (plus a lack of an alternative) keep him in orange-and-black. You can't give up on first-round picks, but I get the sense this is a fish-or-cut-bait season for the lefty second baseman.

It isn't very exciting stuff and fairly predictable but it is Giants news and so I had to post. As far as the big stuff goes, I don't expect a Madison Bumgarner trade. He's too valuable to the team right now and I can't see them getting a decent enough return. If he has a good year then they can discuss an extension or make him a qualifying offer so they'll at least be compensated if he leaves. I think the odds are good he will stay healthy and pitch well in 2019 which is the best outcome to hope for. He is at a point in his career where he'll likely have to make big changes in his conditioning and preparation in order to remain an ace starter. Age catches up with everyone and the athletes who adjust continue to succeed. I'm curious if Bumgarner has the mental makeup of someone like Justin Verlander who seems able to reinvent himself and stay at an elite level.

The Winter Meetings are December 9-13 in Las Vegas. Maybe we'll get some action then. Meanwhile we had our first snowfall in town last night and this morning!