Which free agents will Giants bring back?

Which free agents will Giants bring back?

SAN FRANCISCO — General manager Bobby Evans walked through a somber clubhouse earlier this week and said goodbye to as many players as he could. Buster Posey did the same in a situation that was new and somewhat awkward. 

The Giants have grown accustomed to only two endings. In odd years, they get eliminated with enough time to fully wind down before the final out. In even years, they gather for parades and then retreat to AT&T Park, packing up in a glow of euphoria. 

This was different. For the first time in the Bruce Bochy era, the Giants exited the postseason before it was over.

As Posey worked the room, several players said quietly that they weren’t sure what they would do next. In the moment, they mostly opted for hugs, knowing this particular group won’t be together again. The Giants have six free agents who have 14 total rings in orange and black. All could be gone. 

“When I addressed the team after we lost, I made a point to thank all the free agents,” Bochy said. “We don’t know whats going to happen. It’s baseball, but what they’ve done for us and our success, I couldn’t thank them enough. I made a point to thank all of them at that point and talk to them after things settled down.”

Bochy, Evans, Brian Sabean and the rest of the staff will spend October discussing future plans. Here’s an early look at the free agents, and the likelihood of reunions: 

Javier Lopez: Some team officials expected the 39-year-old to call it a career after the final out, but Lopez, the only active big leaguer with four rings, did not sound like a man headed for the TV booth quite yet. “I don’t know what’s next for me,” he said. “Free agency is going to be what it is. If I have an opportunity to come back, I’ll welcome that. It’s out of my hands at this point.”

Lopez is as good as it gets in a clubhouse, but he had a down year by his standards, working carefully to the lefties he sees almost exclusively. Left-handed hitters posted a .318 on-base percentage against him, a far cry from the .177 of 2015.

Lopez is said to have a very small list of teams that he would play for next season, but the Giants likely will go with Will Smith, Steven Okert and Josh Osich from the left side.

Sergio Romo: He briefly regained the closer job in late September, but he gave the lead back in Game 3 and was a key part of the Game 4 collapse. As he spoke to reporters Tuesday, Romo seemed to sense that his time in the room might be up. He said he would love to be back, but he understands that his status has changed. 

The Giants will bring in a closer, and Hunter Strickland, Derek Law, George Kontos and Cory Gearrin — who replicates much of what Romo does — are likely returning from the right side. Where does Romo, 33 years old and coming off an injury-marred season, fit in? The Giants know Romo’s positives and negatives, and he is a player who values comfort, but a return is a long shot. 

Santiago Casilla: A key part of three championship clubs, he lost his ninth-inning role in mid-September and Bochy didn't even have him warm up in Game 4. That should really tell you all you need to know. Casilla wept after the game, and Bochy said he would reach out in the coming days. 

“He did so much for us,” Bochy said. “I know there were some hiccups with him. I was trying to keep him out of high-leverage situations because of that towards the end, but this guy really helped us put some rings on our finger and I’ll never forget that. "

Casilla posted the highest strikeout rate of his career and lowered his walk rate. He still throws 95 with a good curveball, and his ERA+ was 15 points better than the league average. Casilla is capable of pitching in the late innings. It won’t be in San Francisco. 

Angel Pagan: After five years of peaks and valleys, Pagan deemed himself unable to play the two most important games of the season because of back spasms. Only he knows the precise level of his pain, but it did not play well in the clubhouse. Pagan helped the Giants win the 2012 title, and for that they will forever be grateful, but he was worth just 1.4 WAR over the length of a four-year, $40 million deal. The Giants intend to get younger and more explosive in left field. Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker are waiting. 

Gregor Blanco: A shoulder injury limited him to one at-bat in September, but he ended up starting two NLDS games thanks to the Pagan injury. That has been the story of Blanco’s tenure, and he has been one of the better backup outfielders in the National League since winning a bench spot in 2012. 

Blanco had a rough year, posting a .224/.309/.311 slash line, but he still provides speed off the bench and solid defense at all three outfield positions. He wants to come back. His problem? Gorkys Hernandez does all the same things, and he’s three years younger with a chance at some upside. At first glance, it seems Blanco’s run here is done, but a match might be made late in the offseason. 

Jake Peavy: Bochy walked out of his office an hour after the season ended and asked a reporter if Peavy was still around. The veteran right-hander came up with Bochy’s Padres and helped turn the tide after a trade from the Red Sox in 2014. This was supposed to be his final year, but it didn’t work out as hoped on or off the field. 

Peavy fought through injuries while posting a 5.54 ERA in 31 appearances, 10 coming out of the bullpen. Nobody tried harder in the second half to try and change the vibe in the clubhouse, and the 35-year-old still holds tremendous value in that respect. He will forever be welcome at AT&T Park and in Bochy’s clubhouse, but the Giants have four starters locked into the rotation, with Matt Cain signed for one more year and Blach and Tyler Beede itching for a full-time look. There simply isn’t a job in San Francisco for Peavy. He is expected to try and win a rotation spot elsewhere next spring, likely as a non-roster invitee. 

There’s a very real possibility that the Giants go 0-for-6 on their key free agents. That would have been unthinkable three or four winters ago, but Evans has proven willing to move on. Remember, Ryan Vogelsong spent this season in Pittsburgh. Tim Lincecum pitched in Anaheim. Yusmeiro Petit is a National. 

There is one free agent I haven’t mentioned, though, and I actually think he’s the most likely to return. Gordon Beckham spent just a week with the Giants, heading home after Game 162, but he was such an energetic and funny breath of fresh air that one key member of the clubhouse said he would personally approach Evans to suggest a reunion. 

The Giants were a serious bunch this season, and bringing back a Ryan Theriot/Jeremy Affeldt type for one of the last bench spots wouldn’t be a bad idea. In the coming months, we’ll find out if Beckham or any others make the cut.

“You hope they’re all back,” Posey said. “You get close to guys after seven years of playing together, but the main thing is to remember all the good stuff that we accomplished together. Whether people go in different directions, that’s the stuff that you hold on to.”

Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's


Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner's broken left wrist is expected to heal without surgery, according to Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts.

Turner was hurt Monday when hit by a pitch from Oakland's Kendall Graveman.

Turner arrived at the Dodgers spring training facility with a cast over his wrist Tuesday morning and was scheduled to see a hand specialist for an estimate of the time he could miss.

"We know that it's not a surgery thing, it's just essentially time," Roberts said. "That's the initial thought. That could change but that's what I've heard."

Turner hit .322 with 21 homers and 71 RBIs last year and was a first-time All-Star. He had 14 RBIs against the Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series and was voted MVP.

The Dodgers appear poised to move Logan Forsythe from second base to third in Turner's absence and have Enrique Hernandez and Chase Utley share time at second.

"It obviously makes a lot of sense to have Logan over there a lot more at third, and to kind of put together some guys at second base, and leave Chris (Taylor) in center field," Roberts said.

Backup catcher Austin Barnes also could see time at second base.

Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts


Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants moved closer to setting their opening day roster on Monday when they made a significant round of cuts to their spring training roster. 

A total of 15 players were reassigned or optioned, bringing the total to 31 players remaining in camp. Many of the players cut Monday entered the spring competing for jobs. 

In the outfield, Mac Williamson and Austin Slater were optioned to Triple-A and Chris Shaw was reassigned to minor league camp. Williamson had a huge spring and was the likeliest of the trio to push for an opening day spot, but he'll start his year in the minors. Steven Duggar was not among the cuts, and he remains an option to make the team, with the Giants also looking at Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Jarrett Parker for backup spots. Hernandez and Parker are out of minor league options. 

Tyler Beede was optioned and Andrew Suarez was reassigned to minor league camp, leaving three players vying for the final two rotation spots. Ty Blach and Chris Stratton have been the favorites all along, although both struggled the last time out and Derek Holland has had a strong spring. 

Both backup catchers -- Trevor Brown and Hector Sanchez -- were reassigned, along with Orlando Calixte, who saw time in the big leagues last year. Joan Gregorio, Jose Valdez, Justin O'Conner and Kyle Jensen were also reassigned. Chase d'Arnaud, who appeared to be making a strong push, was on the list, too, leaving Josh Rutledge as the only competition for Kelby Tomlinson for the final infield spot. 

Finally, Derek Law and Roberto Gomez were optioned to Triple-A. Josh Osich remains and appears the frontrunner for a bullpen job. Julian Fernandez, the Rule 5 pick, also remains in camp. 

The Giants break camp on Friday.