Buster Posey on Giants potentially getting Bryce Harper: 'Sign him up'


Buster Posey on Giants potentially getting Bryce Harper: 'Sign him up'

SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Buster Posey has been part of the recruiting process for big-time free agents. He met with Jon Lester a few weeks before the lefty signed with the Cubs, and last season he was part of the contingent that flew to Los Angeles to woo Shohei Ohtani. 

Posey was not part of the small group that met with Bryce Harper this week, and he said he has not done any recruiting on his own. 

“I really haven’t,” he said, “Maybe it is superstition, because every time I seem to reach out, they go somewhere else.”

Still, there are other ways to make your feelings known outside of meetings and text messages. Posey did Friday when asked about Harper for the first time.

“Yeah,” he said quickly. “Sign him up."

Posey is generally not one to make waves, but it was notable that he retweeted a Bob Nightengale tweet earlier this week complaining about Adam Jones’ ongoing status as a free agent. The two were part of Team USA during the last World Baseball Classic and Posey has played on All-Star teams with Harper. 

When discussing free agency Friday, Posey made it clear that he would like additions. He turns 32 this spring, after all. 

“What team out there wouldn’t want a Bryce Harper, a Manny Machado, or a lot of the free agents out there?” Posey said. “As players, from the time you were five years old, you aspire to play against the best competition, whether it’s in your Little League game, high school, college, and the big league level. I think, as a fan myself, and fans that come to the game or watch on TV, I want when the Giants are playing X, Y or Z, fans to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to get the best competition. We know we’re going to get to see a great game tonight.’”

“We’ve got to figure out a way that each game, fans have the feeling that the competition is at its highest."

Posey was asked often about free agency on Friday. He’s one of the biggest stars in the game, and as players begin to prepare for the next round of collective bargaining, you can bet that guys like Posey will make their voices heard. The players want change, but they’ll have to wait.

For now, Posey hopes he won’t have to wait to see changes to his current roster. 

There has been no Andrew McCutchen this winter, or Evan Longoria. Another Johnny Cueto has not walked through that clubhouse door. The group that gathered Friday morning at AT&T Park was just about exactly the same as the one that walked out at the end of the 2018 season. Thus far, the front office has guaranteed only about $10 million to free agents.

[RELATED: Zaidi: Harper, Giants have 'mutual interest']

Perhaps Harper won’t be the addition. But Posey hopes to see one of some sort. 

“I’ve always felt very fortunate to be a part of an organization that tries to put a team on the field that has a chance to make the playoffs, to just get in and have that chance to compete in October,” he said. “I sure hope that’s still the case. That’s all I can hope for is that that still is the case.”

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski not taking anything for granted after breakout year


Giants' Mike Yastrzemski not taking anything for granted after breakout year

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants never talked of rebuilding in 2019, preferring instead to put the focus on being competitive as long as possible. But if you asked team officials for their true feelings, the sense was always that this past season was a transition year to 2020 and beyond. 

In that respect, there might not have been a greater development over the course of the season than the emergence of outfielder Mike Yastrzemski. He can be Farhan Zaidi's Northern California version of Chris Taylor or Max Muncy, older prospects who also flourished when given the opportunity to prove that they were everyday big leaguers. 

Yastrzemski isn't looking at it that way, though. 

"I'm trying to take the offseason and understand that there's a lot of work to be done still," Yastrzemski said at the end of his first season. "It's never being satisfied with where you are. You can't take it for granted. It's a time to get healthy and to get stronger and better."

The Giants gladly would take anything more Yastrzemski has to offer because this is a lineup that still has plenty of holes. Yastrzemski was one of just two Giants hitters -- along with Evan Longoria -- to be worth two Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball-Reference. Those also were the only two regulars to finish with an OPS+ that put them above league average as hitters. 

Yastrzemski led the Giants in both categories, which is part of the reason why -- despite what he might say about his offseason approach -- he enters the winter as a locked-in member of the lineup. The 28-year-old tied Kevin Pillar for the team lead in homers, becoming just the fifth big leaguer to do so after making his debut in May or later. He joined Pete Alonso, Yordan Alvarez and Fernando Tatis Jr. as the only rookies to hit 21 homers and post a .850 OPS in 2019. 

[RELATED: Report: Giants do phone interview with Astros coach Espada]

By any measure, it was a breakthrough, and Yastrzemski never slowed. He got really hot in July and matched his .926 OPS that month with another .926 in August. Yastrzemski finished up with a .848 OPS in September and a .376 on-base percentage that was his highest in any 2019 month. 

Yastrzemski said he would take a couple of weeks off to rest his body and mind before getting back at it, and once the work starts, the mindset will be the same as it was in April, when the longtime Orioles prospect was trying to work his way up from Triple-A Sacramento. 

"The only things I can control are what I do this offseason, how I approach it, and how I work," he said. 

MLB rumors: Giants interviewed Astros' Joe Espada for manager job over phone

MLB rumors: Giants interviewed Astros' Joe Espada for manager job over phone

While the Giants continue their search for a new manager, one opening was filled Wednesday morning. 

NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan confirmed the Cubs have named David Ross as their next manager. MLB Network's Jon Heyman first reported the news. 

And this could be good for the Giants, too.

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi might be zeroing in on a serious candidate to be the team's next manager, one who was a Cubs finalist. On Tuesday night, Heyman reported the Giants recently interviewed Astros bench coach Joe Espada over the phone.

With Houston in the World Series, Zaidi clearly wanted to have a serious talk with Espada about running the show in San Francisco. 

Espada, 44, seems to hit every box Zaidi is looking for. Though he hasn't managed in the majors yet, Espada has done just about everything else, and he does have managing experience at other levels.

Espada has experience in the big leagues as a bench coach, third base coach and infield coach. He also has been a hitting coach and infield coach in the minors, coached in the World Baseball Classic and managed in the Puerto Rico Winter League.

To add to his strong résumé, Espada has front office experience as well. He served as a special assistant to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. 

[RELATED: Report: Kotsay entered Giants manager interviews as favorite]

If the Giants view Espada as the favorite to be their next manager, they will have to wait until after the Astros finish the World Series. But, it looks like he could be worth the wait. 

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