Giants

Does Farhan Zaidi increase chances of Giants-A's trades?

Does Farhan Zaidi increase chances of Giants-A's trades?

SAN FRANCISCO -- Since taking a job as president of baseball operations at AT&T Park, Farhan Zaidi has been going back and forth from San Francisco to Los Angeles, where he served as general manager for four years. On his first night back in the Bay Area this week, Zaidi had dinner with a man who has been a rival for the Giants for years. 

Zaidi said Wednesday on KNBR that he got together with Billy Beane, who first brought him into a major league front office. Zaidi remains close with Beane and A's general manager David Forst, who was originally a candidate for Zaidi's new job but now finds himself on the other end of phone calls. 

Asked about trading with the A's, Zaidi left the door open for the first real deal in three decades. 

"It's nice to be in a situation where I do think if there's a deal that's mutually beneficial for the Giants and the A's, we'll be able to figure it out," he told KNBR. "Obviously I have a good relationship with those guys and not every baseball trade has to be one team pulling the wool over the other team's eyes. There's a lot of mutually beneficial potential deals out there. We see players differently but I think the A's and Giants have different rosters and different needs, so if there is a match to be made we'll make it.”

[RELATED: Some Madison Bumgarner trade reports not accurate, says Farhan Zaidi]

There could be a match this offseason. The A's have a roster filled with young position players, mostly outfielders, with more talent on the way. The Giants have had a difficult time developing outfielders and have just four on their 40-man roster, but they do have some pitching depth to potentially deal from.

Unlike the A's, they're in the financial position to trade cheap young pitching and then go out and sign veterans. 

It's possible there's a match now, but even if there's not, expect the two sides to get together at some point. Forst said at the GM Meetings that he has always been open to dealing with the Giants. The two franchises haven't been in the same transaction since 2004, when the A's purchased Adam Pettyjohn from the Giants.

The last player-for-player trade occurred 28 years ago. The A's traded Darren Lewis and Pedro Pena to the Giants in return for Ernie Riles.  

Zaidi made moves with the A's while with the Dodgers, but don't expect a Giants-Dodgers swap. 

"I actually think the toughest moves are within the division," he said. "So I'm going to give Billy the nod there."

Joey Bart impresses Bruce Bochy in first few weeks of spring training

Joey Bart impresses Bruce Bochy in first few weeks of spring training

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When the Giants announced their minor league coaches a few weeks ago, it certainly seemed no accident that longtime big league staffer Bill Hayes was the new manager of the San Jose Giants.

Joey Bart, the top catching prospect in the minors, will begin the season with San Jose. 

"I know we wanted to make sure we had a catching guy with him, so this worked out great," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Billy will be a great mentor .... to have him day in and day out will be helpful with his progress. That's going to be nice for Joey."

Hayes has been a roving catching instructor in the minors since being let go as first base coach. He previously was Bochy's bullpen catcher and is about to start his 20th season with the organization. 

Bart is in his first full professional season, and thus far has mostly kept his head down. There has been some ribbing from veterans -- they made Bart hit first against Madison Bumgarner in live BP in case Bumgarner felt like buzzing someone -- but Bochy praised the 22-year-old for the way he has handled his first big league camp

"He's an eager learner," Bochy said. "You watch him and he listens and wants to take in everything ... I love the way he's carrying himself."

Bochy has had his first extended look at Bart this spring. 

[RELATED: Giants' Joey Bart named top catching prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline]

"Very good mechanics. He has a strong arm and I think he has a good setup behind the plate," Bochy said. "He's a physical guy and you see the size of him, so there's no question he's going to be able to handle the workload behind the plate for a long season. And the power, it's impressive, you know."

Bart hit 13 homers in 45 minor league games last year. He has shown that pop in BP, particularly when going the opposite way, and he should soon get a crack at showing it in games. Bochy said he'll throw Bart into some early Cactus League games. The Giants kick off the exhibition season Saturday.

Giants' Kieran Lovegrove stands against racism in Black History Month shoes

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AP

Giants' Kieran Lovegrove stands against racism in Black History Month shoes

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- South African-born reliever Kieran Lovegrove is a new name to the Giants' organization -- he could even be a name you've never heard of. I'm not one of those people.

However, this was the first time I met Lovegrove in person. 

Despite spending many years following each other's careers on social media, I was never given the opportunity to interview the young pitcher. But when he posted a photo of some unique shoes recently, I was curious. Not only were these beauties, well beautiful, but they had a very special message behind them:

On the inner-tongue of the Converse shoes, "Equality" in yellow is printed with "BHM" on the front. "BHM" is also engraved on the side of the colorful shoes. 

Every year, Lovegrove tries to get one of the Black History Month pairs.

"Really, it's me wanting to continue to stand against racism," Lovegrove told NBC Sports Bay Area. "Especially as it exists today, it's just gotten so divisive against people -- that's all it is -- to show solidarity."

The 24-year-old reliever was modest saying the message may not "be much," since it's a pair of shoes, but it starts a conversation.

"Fashion is a way that you can stand for something without your words being misconstrued," he said. 

Four years ago, a teammate of Lovegrove's convinced him to get a pair of Jordan's. He was unsure about them at first, but ultimately he became the new owner of Spike Lee 40's, the Black History Month edition. After receiving numerous compliments, he wanted to continue showing his support whether in the form of a shoe, or otherwise.

[RELATED: Bochy impressed with Joey Bart after couple weeks]

"Not that I need more shoes," he laughed.

He's running out of room in his closet, and with his girlfriend moving to the area in May, it's imperative he makes room. But until then, he has no problem with his kicks taking up space -- especially when it sends such a powerful message.

"I'll celebrate the accomplishments of great black men and women in history overall."

Respect.