Bruce Bochy discusses Giants' need to rebuild, trade championship core

Bruce Bochy discusses Giants' need to rebuild, trade championship core

The Giants have been one of the most successful teams this decade.

Winning World Series championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014 made the Giants the preeminent franchise in Major League Baseball. But times are different in 2019.

The Giants haven't made the playoffs since 2016, when their road ended with a loss to the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series. The championship core, while still intact, has aged and likely will be sold off either at the trade deadline or in the offseason. Manager Bruce Bochy announced before the season that he would be retiring at the end of the 2019 campaign.

The Giants sit at 17-23 through 40 games. They are 8 1/2 games back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. Their offense has been punchless and their rotation has been getting beaten around like a pinata at a kid's birthday party.

It's time for the Giants to rebuild, but that doesn't make it easy for Bochy.

“This is not the way I wanted to go out," Bochy told Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.

“I have a deep appreciation for what these players have done, and I feel indebted to them, because they’ve accomplished so much this decade with the championships. But these last couple of years has been difficult. Losing is not easy, trust me, especially when you’re used to getting to the postseason.’’

Chances are high that Madison Bumgarner will be traded in the coming months to try and restock the Giants' farm system. Relievers Will Smith, Tony Watson and Sam Dyson also are likely to be moved.

While Bochy had hoped to have one more year of winning with the Giants, he understands rebuilding is what's best for the franchise, even if he won't be around to reap the benefits. He does, however, want to bring one thing back to Oracle Park before he hangs up his uniform.

“I’m good with whatever the plan is,’’ Bochy said, “but the tough part is knowing this is my last year. If you’re in a rebuilding situation, that can be a fun challenge if you’re there for the rebuild. But I’m not going to be here.

“So, what would make me feel better would be to get the winning culture back here in San Francisco. But it’s a little difficult where we are now.’’

Bumgarner has pitched better than his early-season stats would indicate, and he'll be in high demand in the coming months. The ace left-hander reportedly has a no-trade list of eight teams, which will give him more leverage in a potential trade.

[RELATED: Giants to use opener for first time]

As for the rest of the veterans on the club, it's unlikely that Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria or Jeff Samardzija will be traded this season due to the remaining length on their contracts.

It's not the way Bochy wanted to go out, but it's the reality of the Giants' situation as his Hall-of-Fame career comes to a close.

Buster Posey misses third Giants workout for personal reasons, per Gabe Kapler

Buster Posey misses third Giants workout for personal reasons, per Gabe Kapler

The Giants went through their sixth day of work at Oracle Park on Thursday. For the third time, the longtime franchise star was not in the building. 

Buster Posey again missed the workout Thursday for personal reasons and "is still working through some things," per manager Gabe Kapler. 

"Buster is still working through a personal issue, and I want to respect his privacy," Kapler said. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Posey reported to camp Saturday and spoke with reporters, admitting he still had some reservations about playing this season during the coronavirus pandemic. The Poseys have two young children and he noted he would pay attention to how things looked at camp but also around society in general. 

During an appearance on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said earlier Thursday that the Giants would respect any decision Posey makes. 

"I think he's continuing to evaluate things on a day-to-day basis and frankly I think there's a few guys in that boat, certainly guys with young families, and certainly Buster is in that boat," Zaidi said. "It's something else to think about. I don't want to get into other personal things that he may be thinking through. Ultimately we're going to respect the decisions that our players make."

Posey isn't the only player mysteriously missing from camp. Center fielder Billy Hamilton and left-handed reliever Jarlin Garcia were both expected to be on the Opening Day roster, but neither has been seen and both were placed on the 10-day Injured List. Kapler has said a couple of times that he cannot reveal more information about the two. 

"That's all I can share on that front," he said Thursday after confirming they were on the IL for medical purposes.

Teams are not allowed to reveal any information related to COVID-19 tests if players do not give permission, although it's not totally clear what the situation is with Hamilton and Garcia. In Posey's case, the initial tests came back negative, and he was a full participant in workouts over the weekend. 

[RELATED: Giants' list of prospects in camp has many intriguing names]

Like Zaidi, Kapler reiterated that the Giants will back any decision Posey makes, regardless of what that means for a team that currently doesn't have a clear favorite to even back up Posey. Rob Brantly and Tyler Heineman are fighting for that job

"Because of what we're up against right now, we're going to take a family-first approach to this," he said. "We will take it on as a responsibility to scramble as necessary but we don't want to rush these personal decisions and we want to respect and honor the stresses that people have that we may not be seeing."

Giants' tentative 2021 MLB schedule includes odd Opening Day quirk

Giants' tentative 2021 MLB schedule includes odd Opening Day quirk

Have you fully digested the 2020 MLB schedule that was released on Monday? Good, because here comes the 2021 schedule! 

MLB released full schedules for next season, and the Giants once again open on the road, but this time in unfamiliar territory. For the first time in club history, the Giants will begin the season in an interleague park with a series in Seattle starting April 1. The Giants play their home opener April 9 against the Rockies. Here's the full schedule:

This will be the 12th consecutive season that the Giants open on the road, something they generally ask for so that they can finish the season at home and have more dates at Oracle Park when kids are out of school over the summer. They will begin the 2020 season in Los Angeles in two weeks (maybe).

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The 2020 season kept teams in their own region as much as possible, which means that the Giants will play the AL West two consecutive years. They were supposed to play the AL Central this season. The Giants will visit the Texas Rangers' new park next June and also have road series in Anaheim and Oakland, in addition to that opener in Seattle. The schedule includes the usual slate of trips to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc., so MLB is at least planning for the likelihood that society and travel are a bit more back to normal next year. 

If fans are allowed back into Oracle Park, there are a few series that stand out. 

[RELATED: Everything to know about the MLB season restart, Giants]

Mike Trout and the Angels visit May 31, Madison Bumgarner's Diamondbacks come for the first time on June 14, and the Houston Astros visit July 31 if you have a lot of pent-up booing you would like to do at some point in 2021.