Giants

A deep look at what it would take for the Giants to make the playoffs

A deep look at what it would take for the Giants to make the playoffs

SAN FRANCISCO — As he packed up at Chase Field a week ago, Bruce Bochy was asked about the odd end-of-season schedule. The Giants still will visit Cincinnati, New York, Milwaukee and St. Louis, but they’re done with their trips to Phoenix. 

Bochy noted that, given his team’s situation, he would rather see teams in the division. That’s the easiest way to make up ground, and the Giants will get another opportunity over the next three days with a series at Dodger Stadium. Logic and history say this season is pretty much already over. The Giants, who won 4-3 on Sunday, would like you to hold on a bit longer. 

“No one has gotten really hot in our division. We’re beating up on each other,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I thought that would be the case. I think it’s going to be real tight, I do. We’re all balanced in our own way and have strengths and weaknesses and have dealt with injuries. I think it’s going to go down to the wire.”

The Giants remain six back of the Diamondbacks, who won Sunday. They are five back of the Dodgers, who got walked off for a second straight game. Complicating matters: The Giants are also 4 1/2 games behind the Rockies. They’ll need three teams ahead of them to go in the tank.

It helps to control your own destiny, and the Giants will for three days. If they can put a dent in the Dodgers, they get three with the Reds, four with the Mets and three with the Rangers. That is a soft landing spot, but realistically, this team needs to come pretty close to running the table over a 10-game road trip. 

The numbers, both basic and advanced, tell the same story. According to FanGraphs.com, the Giants entered play Sunday with a 0.4 chance of winning the division and 1.0 percent chance of winning a Wild Card spot. FanGraphs has put four NL clubs at zero percent already — including the Reds and Mets — and the Giants are in position to be the next to get there. No other team took the field Sunday between 0 and 14 percent.

There’s a more traditional way to look at this, too. The NL West champ has won at least 91 games in each of the last five seasons. It has taken at least 87 wins to sneak into the Wild Card Game over that span, with the Giants getting in at 88 in 2014 and 87 in 2016. So let’s say that’s realistically the best case scenario, a road game as the second Wild Card. The Giants are 59-60 and still would need to go 28-15 to get to 87 wins. At no point this season have they been more than five games over .500.

It’s tough sledding, but Dereck Rodriguez and an opportunistic lineup brought excitement to AT&T Park on Sunday, capping a rough homestand. Rodriguez is a certified Rookie of the Year candidate, which will be worth rooting for down the stretch. If the rest of the Giants can’t find some way to dominate this road trip, though, that’ll be just about all that’s left to monitor.

MLB rumors: Live Winter Meetings free agency, trade news on Day 3

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USATSI

MLB rumors: Live Winter Meetings free agency, trade news on Day 3

Baseball fans waiting for big deals should stay glued to the 2018 MLB Winter Meetings on Wednesday.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain free agents, and the Dodgers still have their surplus of outfielders, but it only takes one major move for the dominoes to fall. Those deals typically happen as the Winter Meetings close, if past years are any indication.

[RELATED: News, rumors on Day 2 of the MLB Winter Meetings]

As for the Bay Area teams, the Giants reportedly are less likely to trade Madison Bumgarner now, but they're possibly seeking help at second base and at catcher. The A's have made some minor moves, but they desperately need starting pitching, so is this the day they'll find it?

Keep it here throughout Day 3 of the Winter Meetings for the latest live news, rumors and trade chatter from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It could be a busy one.

5:35 p.m. PT: After trading Tanner Roark to the Reds, the Nationals now have an open spot to fill in their rotation. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal points to Anibal Sanchez as a possibility for Washington.

The 34-year-old Sanchez had a terrific 2018 campaign, posting a 2.83 ERA and 1.08 over 136.2 innings pitched. The veteran right-hander could be a potential veteran fit for the A's, who we know are scouring the market for starting pitching help.

4:09 p.m. PT The Reds announced a trade for Nationals RHP Tanner Roark for RHP Tanner Rainey -- as reported by C. Trent Rosecrans.

4:07 p.m. PT: Jeff Passan announces Justin Bour and the Angels have agreed to a deal pending physical. 

4:01 p.m. PT: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers acquired Lance Lynn:

3:38 p.m. PT: Speaking of Tatis. The middle infielder was in talks with the Mets about a possible scenario with Noah Syndergaard.

3:33 p.m. PT: Don't forget about the Padres. 

The team is looking for a utility infielder until Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready -- he will be competing in camp. Until that happens, there are a few options available and of interest to the team:

According to Dennis Lin, Marwin Gonzalez is of interest as well

2:09 p.m. PT: Ken Rosenthal reported a Reds and Dodgers note that if there was a possible trade between the two teams, Homer Bailey would need to approve it:

12:55 p.m. PT: Charlie Morton and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a two-year, $30 million deal according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan:

The righty had a sensational campaign this past season. In 167 innings, he bolstered a 3.13 ERA with a 15-3 record. Those numbers earned him an All-Star selection.

12:38 p.m. PT: Another Boras nugget hot off the stove: Left-handed pitcher Yusei Kikuchi will meet with teams later this month. According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, expect the Giants to get a meeting.

Sung Min Kim broke down Kikuchi's game to NBC Sports Bay Area's Jessica Kleinschmidt, and this is a pitcher who should excite Giants fans. 

12:12 p.m. PT: Scott Boras held court in Las Vegas, and the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser asked Boras if top A's prospect Kyler Murray could play football and baseball.

Forgive the pun, but Boras punted.

12:10 p.m. PT: "The Reds remain active in trade discussions for Sonny Gray and Marcus Stroman" according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi:

10:45 a.m. PT: About that A's opening at second base. Oakland is reportedly talking to the Texas Rangers about a trade for Jurickson Profar, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

Profar is coming off of the best season of his career. He set career highs in ... literally every offensive category, and has the positional versatility the A's love. At 26 years old and with another year of team control beyond 2019, he fits age-wise. The A's and Rangers have traded together before, too, so this is a possibility to monitor.  

10:35 a.m. PT: The Giants are still looking to add (at least) a couple of outfielders, but one option could soon have an offer elsewhere. The Atlanta Braves are reportedly preparing to make an offer to former Arizona Diamondback A.J. Pollock. 

The Braves don't seem to be in much of a rush, so this doesn't rule out Pollock as an option for the Giants. 

9:25 a.m. PT: The A's are looking for a second baseman, and Cleveland is shopping second baseman Jason Kipnis. Still, there reportedly hasn't been much interest in the former All-Star, according to Cleveland.com's Paul Hoynes.

Hoynes noted that the amount of second baseman available in free agency is driving down Kipnis' trade value. He's coming off of two down years, and his contract ($13.5 million this season) may be too rich for the A's, but Kipnis' own pending free agency could make him an option down the line.

8:04 a.m. PT: Not so fast on J.A. Happ to the Yankees. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and others are reporting there isn't an agreement in place with the New York Yankees yet. 

Happ is likely out of the A's price range, but his signing should set the market for other pitchers Oakland could pursue. 

7:15 a.m. PT: We have our first deal of the day ... well, reportedly, at least. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is reporting the New York Yankees have an agreement with lefty J.A. Happ.

Financial details were not immediately known, but Happ's signing takes one top-end starter off the market. Might the dominoes start to fall on the mound for the A's? 

Giants' Steven Duggar 'making some really big strides' in shoulder rehab

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AP

Giants' Steven Duggar 'making some really big strides' in shoulder rehab

Steven Duggar's Clemson Tigers could be playing in the Bay Area at Levi's Stadium for the College Football National Championship on Jan. 7, 2019, but the Giants' center fielder will likely be in Scottsdale instead of Santa Clara. 

Duggar is rehabbing his left shoulder at the Giants' spring training facility in Arizona after tearing his labrum in late August. On Tuesday, Duggar gave an update on the rehab process. 

"Shoulder's doing really well," Duggar said to KNBR. "[I've been] making some really big strides the last couple weeks." 

Duggar's injury happened in a 1-0 win over the D'backs. After drawing a walk, the rookie reached back to second base when he took a wide turn on a single and it was clear something was wrong. But, he stayed in the game and scored the winning run. 

The recently turned 25-year-old said he the injury was "definitely disappointing to say the least" and he knew his shoulder was out right away. The severity of the injury is a whole different story. 

As far as rehab goes, everything sounds positive so far. 

"Obviously, the first part of that surgery and that rehab you just gotta kinda let it heal. There's not a whole lot you can do at the beginning," Duggar explained. "The range of motion is starting to come back. I'm right on schedule with that.

"The shoulder strength and range of motion with that, everything's gone really well. Definitely excited with where I'm at. Definitely excited to keep it rolling and be ready for camp." 

All signs point to Duggar being ready for spring training where he's projected to be the team's starting center fielder, though the Giants did claim outfielder Mike Gerber off waivers from the Tigers to add depth and injury insurance.