Giants

After trading for Evan Longoria, what's next for Giants?

After trading for Evan Longoria, what's next for Giants?

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants waited nearly three months after their final game to announce their first significant move of the offseason, so they understand that there’s not much of a grace period after the Evan Longoria trade. What’s next? Team officials seemed to know that question was coming Wednesday, and at several points they indicated that another hole was about to be filled. 

After calling the Longoria trade “a long-awaited day in our offseason dealings,” vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean said, “We hope to add accordingly and we hope it will be as significant a move as this one.”

So what actually is next? In conversations with league sources after the Longoria deal, a picture emerged of what the team hopes to do after adding Longoria at third base. The Giants obviously want to add an outfielder, but they also have pivoted back to the relief market, and there’s some hope within the organization that the team can fill two holes -- outfield and bullpen -- with one trade. 

Team officials believe the trade market holds more appealing relief options at this point than free agency, and there is newfound financial flexibility to take on another team’s heftier deal after a pair of trades. The Matt Moore deal wiped $9 million off the books, and while exact figures of what the Giants got back from Tampa Bay are not known, the Giants actually are further under the tax line than they were before the Longoria trade. The combination of Denard Span’s contract and cash — believed to be about $14 million — shipped over from the Rays created additional breathing room.

Does that mean Jay Bruce? Andrew McCutchen? Billy Hamilton? While the Giants like Bruce, he is not said to be Plan A at this point, despite his name being connected to the Giants all week. McCutchen also is not on the front burner, but the team continues to discuss a Hamilton deal with the Reds. Those talks have been held up by high demands, and the Giants hope to be a bit more cautious with their prospects after dealing Christian Arroyo. Those long-term concerns continue to come into play for other potential moves; while national writers like to connect the Giants to Lorenzo Cain, the front office has held firm in a belief that it cannot sacrifice the two draft picks it would cost to sign a player who got the qualifying offer. 

The Longoria discussions picked up at the winter meetings, and while in Orlando, team officials talked to the Brewers about their outfield surplus and the White Sox about outfielder Avisail Garcia. The offseason started with the front office looking for a center fielder, but Sabean is said to be a big believer in prospect Steven Duggar, so it’s possible the Giants will ultimately spend most of their remaining resources on a corner bat. 

On paper, the Giants need a leadoff hitter, but manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday that non-traditional options have already been discussed internally, so the Giants could instead opt for another power bat to hit sixth. Right now, the lineup has Longoria, Buster Posey and Brandon Belt hitting 3-4-5, although Belt is one of the names being thrown around for a top-of-the-order slot. 

The Giants seemed confident this week that the seeds have been planted for an outfield addition and a new reliever, but that won’t end the winter shopping. The front office is canvassing the starting pitching market for back-end guys, and it’s expected that at least one veteran is brought in to compete with Chris Stratton, Ty Blach, Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez for the last two rotation spots. Even before the winter meetings, Evans was talking to veteran starters who could come into camp on a minor league deal and try to win a job. 

Evan Longoria reaches RBI milestone, leads Giants to sweep of A's

Evan Longoria reaches RBI milestone, leads Giants to sweep of A's

OAKLAND -- Bruce Bochy sat in the visiting dugout on Sunday morning and spent a few minutes reminiscing about some of what he has seen and learned while managing 4,000 games in the big leagues

Bochy, in his 25th season, is a picture of longevity. His roster is dotted with players who are #ForeverGiants. Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt all started Sunday against the A's, and none of them have ever known another uniform. Ditto for Madison Bumgarner, who took the ball Saturday. It's possible one or two of those guys may never play for a team other than the Giants. 

Because of all that, it's easy to forget sometimes just how long Evan Longoria has been doing this, and just how good he has been in his career. Longoria spent 10 years all the way across the country in Tampa Bay, making three All-Star teams and piling up down-ballot MVP votes. 

He's been a good big leaguer for a long time, and on Sunday, while reaching a milestone, he provided a reminder that he's still pretty damn dangerous with a bat in his hands. Longoria homered and later turned a deficit into a one-run lead with a two-run single, leading the Giants past the A's, 5-4

“Not too many people on this coast know how good a player Evan Longoria is,” said Stephen Vogt, his former Rays teammate and a longtime opponent. “We know how good he is.”

Longoria got to 1,000 RBI with a solo homer off Brett Anderson, his 17th of the season. He came up in the seventh with the bases loaded, one out and the A’s leading 4-3. Right-hander Blake Treinen had just won an 11-pitch battle with Buster Posey and Longoria jumped on the first pitch, smashing an elevated fastball to left to drive in a pair. 

"I figured he would try to get ahead," Longoria said. "I was staring at the six-hole (at shortstop), just telling myself not to get around (the ball). See it up. It's nice when you tell yourself something and it works out."

That was the case with the milestone, too. Longoria said he has spoken to Derin McMains, the team's mental skills coach, about setting goals. One of them this season was reaching 1,000 RBI. Longoria became the 291st player to drive in 1,000 runs in the big leagues and joined just 10 other active hitters. He should move up the active list pretty quickly. Longoria needs just one more RBI to catch Ryan Zimmerman, eight to catch Matt Kemp and 10 to catch Brian McCann. 

"I've been thinking about it for a while," Longoria said. "I'm just trying to go out and reach goals. You kind of incentivize yourself to go out. We're going out to play for the team and win, but it's kind of personally challenging yourself. It's a proud moment. It's not something I ever thought I would do."

The win clinched a quick two-game sweep of the A’s and put The Bridge trophy in the Giants clubhouse for the first time. They’re back to .500 with 32 games to play and still faintly alive in the wild-card race. 

[RELATED: Giants win The Bridge trophy with 5-4 victory over A's]

It would take a ridiculous finish to get there, but the players haven’t given in yet. They still believe they can get hot, and as Vogt said, few can get on a streak like Longoria can. He briefly carried the Giants in July and now looks set to try and do it again.

“He’s doing things he’s done his whole career,” Bochy said. “You look at what he’s been doing, and he had the setback with the injury, and he came back and he’s right on track. He kind of got lost in the shuffle here in these two games, but both games, we don’t win without him.” 

Giants win The Bridge trophy with victory over A's in series finale

Giants win The Bridge trophy with victory over A's in series finale

After spending a year in Oakland, The Bridge trophy is headed to San Francisco.

The Giants took home the trophy with a 5-4 win over the A's on Sunday at the Coliseum.

"Not going to lie, it's good to wear the orange and hold the trophy, so we'll keep it proudly," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy G after receiving "The Bridge" trophy from NBC Sports Bay Area and California's senior vice president and general manager Matt Murphy.

The Giants won the season series with the A's, 3-1. The A's could have kept the trophy with a win on Sunday, but Evan Longoria knocked in two runs in the top of the seventh to give San Francisco the win.

[RELATED: Everything you need to know about The Bridge]

Each team now has won the trophy once in its two-year existence.