Giants

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.

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

The carousel continues to turn for the Giants manager job.

Former Giants catcher Mike Matheny has drawn interest from San Francisco for its managerial position, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports.

Matheny played his final two MLB seasons with the Giants and retired from baseball in 2007. The four-time Gold Glove winner managed the Cardinals from 2012-18, finishing with 591 wins and 474 losses, good for a .555 winning percentage. 

He has spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals as a special advisor for player development. 

[RELATED: Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Venable for manager job]

It is important to note the Giants have not been reported to have reached out to Matheny or brought him in for an interview.

As the process continues, Matheny is not likely to be the last name we hear associated with interviewing to take over for Bruce Bochy in San Francisco.

Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

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USATSI

Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

The Astros are trying to soak in every start Gerrit Cole makes for them. As Houston sits two wins from reaching the World Series, they know their staff ace likely will be pitching for a different team next season. 

Cole is expected to possibly sign a record-breaking contract as a free agent this upcoming offseason. His teammates have an idea of which part of the country he will be packing his bags for, too. 

"We know he wants to be a West Coast guy," Astros outfielder Josh Reddick told Bleacher Report's Scott Miller

Cole, 29, grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA before the Pirates took him with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Could his future be in Northern California, though? 

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and Cole are brothers-in-law. ESPN's Jeff Passan also listed San Francisco in late August as one of nine destinations that are "positioned and motivated to explore adding Cole."

The three-time All-Star also told Miller that he has been to six or seven Giants postseason games in the past, including taking his grandfather to two World Series games in 2012.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has some big decisions to make regarding the roster this offseason. Longtime ace Madison Bumgarner will be a free agent, but Cole certainly would be an upgrade. The right-hander is a front-runner to win the AL Cy Young award this year after going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts over 212 1/3 innings. 

But Cole could be in line to sign a contract worth well over $200 million this winter. 

[RELATED: Maddon agrees to three-year contract to be Angels' next manager]

The Giants rode star pitchers like Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain to three championships this decade. Adding Cole to start off the next decade could be the perfect addition. A healthy Johnny Cueto is returning to San Francisco's rotation next season, along with Jeff Samardzija -- whose 3.52 ERA this year was his lowest since 2014. 

San Francisco will have plenty of competition if they do pursue Cole, especially from Southern California teams in the Angels and Dodgers. He certainly will be sought after from the Bay Area to Los Angeles and beyond.