SAN FRANCISCO -- As they wait for the rest of the market to shake out, the Giants made their most obvious move of the winter.
Catcher Nick Hundley returned on a one-year deal, solidifying a reunion that both sides wanted. The Giants valued Hundley because he somewhat limited the drop in offensive production when Buster Posey needed a day off, and proved to be a valuable clubhouse addition. On the final day of the season, Hundley said he wanted to return for a second year in San Francisco.
“I love it here,” Hundley said. “I love these guys. Playing with these guys has been a pleasure every day. It’s a wonderful place to live and play, and the opportunity to win the World Series here is as great as in any place in the league. If everything works out, I’d love to be back.”
Hundley ended up appearing in 101 games last season, hitting nine homers and 22 doubles while providing right-handed pop off the bench. He was basically the starting catcher down the stretch as Posey moved to first base following Brandon Belt’s season-ending concussion. Hundley also was named the winner of the prestigious Willie Mac Award.
Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available, but Hundley’s addition should not alter other offseason plans. The Giants had just one other catcher — prospect Aramis Garcia — on their 40-man roster and needed the depth, and they had always planned to fold Hundley back into their limited budget.
The Giants re-instated reliever Hunter Strickland from the 60-day DL Saturday ahead of their game against the Reds.
In corresponding moves, Dereck Rodriguez has been placed on the 10-day DL and Pablo Sandoval has been transferred to the 60-day DL.
Strickland missed the last two months with a fractured right hand after losing his temper in a blown save against the Marlins. After being taken out of a 5-4 loss at home, Strickland went into the dugout and punched a door with his throwing hand.
The Giants could certainly use Strickland out of the bullpen in the thick of a playoff race. Strickland is 3-3 with a 2.84 ERA and has 13 saves on the season.
On Friday night, the Giants lost in extra innings as Phillip Ervin took Ray Black deep in the 11th. The Giants (61-61) are seven games back in the NL West and 6.5 games back in the wild card race.
The first night at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati wasn’t what you would expect. The Giants and Reds took a 1-1 tie deep into the night in one of the league’s best hitters parks before Phillip Ervin took Ray Black deep in the 11th.
The Giants lost their second straight after a hot start to this trip. They are 2-2 on what they felt would be a trip that could get them back into the NL West race. Here’s what else you need to know from a disappointing night...
—- The lineup did absolutely nothing against Anthony DeSclafini, who entered with a 4.46 ERA. He was finally knocked out in the eighth when the Giants put two on with two outs, but Buster Posey tapped out to short.
—- The Giants couldn’t have asked for much more from Casey Kelly, an emergency starter after Dereck Rodriguez strained his hamstring. Two days after pitching the 12th in Los Angeles, Kelly gave up one run over 4 1/3 innings. He allowed nine hits — eight singles — but repeatedly wiggled out of trouble. It helped that he picked Billy Hamilton off.
—- Kelly shared a cool moment with his dad, Pat, the bench coach for the Reds. The two made eye contact before the first pitch and saluted each other.