Giants

Amy G's Giants Xclusive: Benito Santiago

805502.jpg

Amy G's Giants Xclusive: Benito Santiago

Amy: Thanks a lot for logging on to CSNBayArea.com for an Amy G. Giants Xclusive. I have - yes, it is him - Benito Santiago. He looks exactly the same! Maybe it's maybe a little more salt and pepper in the hair, but that's it. Time has been kind to you Benito.

Benito: Thank you. Thank you.

A: Tell us a little bit about what you're doing currently since retiring from the game.

B: Well I'm enjoying life, you know, and after that I do financial stuff now for the players so when they retire, you know, we wanna make sure they have some money and they continue the good life, and that's what I'm doing right now.

A: Continuing the good life. I love that. That's a good goal. Alright, talk a little bit Benito about your time with the Giants. Of course everyone knows you from that 2002 year. You went to the World Series, you were the NLCS MVP. You had such an important role. What does that year mean to you and your career?

B: You know what, I have played 18 years and never was anything like that when I was over here, especially in that year 2002. I worked from 2002-2003 but every year here was special, you know? I love it. I love these people here in San Francisco, greeting me like...No one has contrition. And you know, being a part of it in 2002, I was - I was proud of that because we reached the goal, you know? Our goal was to win the World Series but it didn't happen, but it was a lot of fun that year and that was my only year going to the World Series. So it's not easy to get there. You know, in 18 years it was my first one. I wanted a ring so bad but you know, everything was good and even though we lost San Francisco people were happy for us and it was all good in 2002.

A: You brought so much joy to the city of San Francisco and people are going to get to see this team again on Sunday. That's actually why you've been around. A big reunion of that 2002 team. Dusty Baker of course is in town. Who are you - I'm sure you're excited to see all of them, but are there some that stick out that you're really excited to see? Some of your former teammates?

B: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, it's gonna be nice. It's going to be fun, you know, especially when you go to the World Series with this group. I can't wait. I can't wait for Saturday to come and I can spend time with them and then come over here on Sunday and be a part of the show.

A: Yeah. What I've heard so far: Kirk Reuter; Rich Aurilia; of course Dusty's here; J.T. Snow.

B: I think most of the guys are gonna be here. The ones that they're not going to be, you know that, because they're in baseball business, a couple of guys are coaching in Minor Leagues and some others, they gotta do some things, personal stuff. But I'm talking about maybe three to four guys, you know, but the rest of the group is gonna be in.

A: Ok, and another good friend of yours is current San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who in his final year of playing was your rookie year, which you were the Rookie of the Year in 1987. He had a lot of nice things to say about you.

B: Well, you know, I love- I love Bruce. And Bruce is, no- He's not a friend. Bruce is a part of my family and what a guy. What a guy to be around. I was lucky. I was lucky to be around guys like that, and they motivate me, they teach me the right way to play the game and there's not anything bad to say about Bruce. Bruce is, is my brother. He's my brother.

A: Aww. Even though you were the starting catcher that year do you feel like he was a mentor to you?

B: Yes, yes, yes. I say I'm lucky, you know, because I was one of the youngest guys on the team and I played with guys I used to see on TV when I was a kid, you know, and they were there at that point, and they controlled me, kept me as Benito, you know, and they gave me the best advice I could get from anyone, and it was so good overall.

A: Ok last one: How much are you enjoying watching the Giants this year, and who stands out in your eyes?

B: You know what, they have a good club. They have a good club and especially coming from the managers, you know, the managers have to do a lot with that and that's Bruce, but you know I see some exciting new guys over here that they promise to be an All-Star or they already are. But you know, they're doing good. They're doing good, and you know, I see they got- I love the catcher.

A: I know. Me too!

B: That's one of my- That's my favorite position.

A: Great catchers. Posey and Sanchez.

B: It's so good. It's so good. Well, you can tell when he was hurt last year how everything went, you know, and it's an important guy to be here, you know.

A: Pivotal piece.

B: Yes, yes, and I like him. He's a good kid. I go and talk to him, you know, he listens to me very well and he wants to learn. He gets answers to some questions. He wants to get better, you know, like that, and I love it. I love him. I like guys that throw guys out, and he's one.

A: One of the good ones. Yeah, we like that too. Fans really like it when the catcher throws the guy out. When the catcher's on the San Francisco Giants, of course.

B: Yeah, yeah.

A: Benito Santiago, an Amy G. Giants Xclusive. You'll see more of him on Sunday for the broadcast of the 2002 reunion. Thank you for your time and thank you for logging on to CSNBayArea.com.

Offseason can be tense on other side of Giancarlo Stanton rumors

beede-stanton-ap.jpg
USATI

Offseason can be tense on other side of Giancarlo Stanton rumors

SAN FRANCISCO — Just around dinner time on Monday, Tyler Beede got a call he had been waiting for. General manager Bobby Evans informed Beede, the Giants’ top pitching prospect, that he was being added to the 40-man roster, a significant step toward making his big league debut. Earlier that day, however, Beede’s phone brought him some unwanted news. 

Like most Giants fans, Beede woke up to a report out of South Florida that he was one of several names the Giants and Marlins had discussed in Giancarlo Stanton trade talks. For fans or team employees, it would be painful to give up a Beede or a Chris Shaw or a Joe Panik, but images of Stanton taking aim at the Coke bottle at AT&T Park would soon wash away most concerns. 

For players, the reality this time of year is much different. The Giants are the only organization that all of the rumored pieces have ever known. Panik is a New Yorker, but he and his wife have grown to love San Francisco. Beede and Shaw have spent years dreaming of debuting at AT&T Park and playing in front of sellout crowds. That makes the Hot Stove Season a particularly tense time of year. 

“I try to be a guy who doesn’t look those kinds of things up too frequently, but obviously I’m a normal guy, so I tend to dig into it a little bit more and see what’s going on and see what people are saying,” Beede said on this week’s Giants Insider Podcast. “It’s funny. I don't really know how to handle it. It’s my third year going through the trade deadline and trade talk. I’ve just go to keep telling myself it’s a realistic possibility and not to be shocked if anything were to come out or a trade were to be made.”

The rumor mill is nothing new for these players. Panik acknowledged several times during the season that he could be the odd man out. Shaw actually already once thought he got traded to Florida. For a few minutes at the 2016 deadline, Twitter had him as a key piece in the Matt Moore deal. The outfielder came out of a hotel bathroom right after the deadline to see two teammates staring at him in disbelief as Twitter rumors flew. 

Five minutes later, he got a call from Bobby Evans. “You’re still a Giant,” Evans told him. “Don’t take your jersey off.”

“It’s a little tense for sure,” Shaw said earlier this year. “It’s not something you can try to predict. You can have a feeling but that means nothing.”

Evans has always communicated to players and their agents that they can reach out any time they have a question or concern about what they might be hearing, but when it comes to getting on the phone himself, he treats the trade deadline and offseason differently. There’s more urgency to clear the air in July when players might have to take at-bats or throw pitches with rumors weighing on their minds. In the offseason, Evans will wait to reach out until deals are closer to being agreed upon. He tries not to worry as much about “hot stove banter,” he said. 

“In the offseason I think it’s a little less of an issue because a lot of things get thrown out there that don’t have validity,” he said. “We certainly don’t try to respond to every single rumor with an update because there are new rumors every hour, so it’s hard to keep up. A lot more names are mentioned this time of year.”

Players try to find different ways to get away from it all. Every year, several Giants prospects talk of playing golf during the trade deadline to stay away from MLB Network and their phones. For veterans, it’s often easiest to just take offseason vacations, and Panik planned to visit Europe with his wife. 

Beede has a somewhat unique distraction as rumors trickle out. He’s getting married on Saturday, which along with the holiday, has kept him busy all week. Still, he knows the rumors will be out there. 

“After a couple of days I start to just understand that (my) name is going to be in rumors or there may be things that people say or speculate,” he said. “(If) Bobby tells me something, or my agent says something, then I can start to maybe engage in it a little bit more. But as of right now, I’m just trying to go about my preparation and I’ll continue to enjoy being a San Francisco Giant.”

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

stanton-ap.jpg
AP

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have made a habit in recent winters of “kicking the tires,” so to speak, on as many free agents as possible. General manager Bobby Evans is committed to being thorough, but at times there is probably no need. 

Hitters have made no secret of the fact that they prefer friendlier confines, and if you’re a power hitter, you’re going to ask Evans for a significantly larger check to play 81 of your games at the harshest power park in the majors. That’s what makes Giancarlo Stanton, readily available via trade, so intriguing. But would Stanton be fully immune to the realities of AT&T Park?

The numbers, at least in a small sample, suggest he would. Stanton has played 27 games in San Francisco and taken 108 at-bats. He has nine homers, 11 doubles and a triple. His .676 slugging percentage at AT&T Park isn’t far off his mark at Coors Field (.714), and his 1.048 OPS is higher than his OPS during the 2017 season, when he hit 59 homers. 

The damage has been done in limited time, but the Giants clearly believe it’s fully sustainable, and a recent study done by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski backs that up. Szymborski ran his ZiPS projection system to estimate Stanton’s stats over the next 10 years for a variety of suitors. The numbers in orange and black are overwhelming. 

The projections have Stanton at 46.2 WAR over the next 10 seasons, including 7.1 in 2018 and 6.8 in 2019, the two seasons the organization should be focused on given Madison Bumgarner’s contract situation. ZiPS projects Stanton at 46 homers next season if he plays for the Giants, followed by 43, 42, 39, 35 over the following four years. For comparison’s sake, Brandon Belt led the Giants in homers each of the last two seasons and he has 35 total during that span. 

Any sort of projection system needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially with a player who has had injury issues in the past. But ZiPS believes Stanton -- who plays in a huge park already -- is a rarity, the kind of power hitter who can keep crushing well into his 30’s and put up huge numbers even if he is limited by the realities of getting older and getting hurt. Szymborski’s projections have Stanton playing just 102 games in 2025, but he’s still projected to hit 23 homers, 20 doubles and post an OPS+ of 121. Even in the 10th year of the projections, ZiPS has Stanton down for 16 homers. 

There are no sure things in this game, but as Evans continues to chase a blockbuster deal, he can be confident that Stanton is one player who should be able to provide power for years to come, no matter what AT&T Park does to hold hitters down.