Giants

Farhan Zaidi expects Giants roster move 'in the next three or four days'

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USATSI

Farhan Zaidi expects Giants roster move 'in the next three or four days'

When you think of a big name in baseball, you're probably not imagining Mike Gerber.

What about Breyvic Valera? Travis Bergen? Add in Drew Ferguson and Pat Venditte ... and those are all the players Farhan Zaidi has added since becoming the Giants’ president of baseball operations in November.

Even in a slow market, Zaidi understands the frustrations of some Giants fans. Don't worry, though. It sounds like a move is coming soon.

"I would expect in the next three or four days here, we're getting close on some things, so we're hopeful to have an announcement on a signing or trade here in the next couple of days," Zaidi said Friday morning on KNBR.

That move won't be to add second baseman DJ LeMahieu. The Giants reportedly were interested in the former Rockies All-Star, but he agreed to a two-year deal with the Yankees on Friday.

It could, however, involve the Giants trading a reliever. The Giants avoided arbitration with closer Will Smith on Friday, but there's certainly a chance he'll be on a different team on Opening Day. San Francisco reportedly has been in contact with the Angels on a possible Smith trade, as well as fellow left-handed reliever Tony Watson.

The Giants soon could make headlines as Zaidi suggests, but it's also clear he's in no rush.

"It has been slower, and again, we're gonna do things at our own pace and make sure we're vetting everything out and making the moves that are going to be best for us, not only in 2019, but in the long run," Zaidi said.

Coming over from the Dodgers, Zaidi has taken over a roster that has lost 187 games the last two seasons. He knows this won't be an overnight fix.

Now he needs to convince Giants fans to be just as patient as he is.

Farhan Zaidi knows Buster Posey's backup is big decision for Giants

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AP

Farhan Zaidi knows Buster Posey's backup is big decision for Giants

Joey Bart is not making the Giants' Opening Day roster, no matter how well he does this spring in big league camp. It's simple as that. 

San Francisco's top catching prospect likely will start the season in Triple-A Sacramento. He might be the Giants' most talented catcher behind Buster Posey, but the backup job will have to go to someone else. 

The Giants' battle to be Posey backup currently consists of 30-year-old Rob Brantly and 28-year-old Tyler Heineman. Both players spent the majority of last season in Triple-A and haven't played many games in the big leagues. That's a huge step down from Stephen Vogt, who had a great season for the Giants last year. 

And Farhan Zaidi knows it. Zaidi, the Giants' president of baseball operations, recently showed belief in the two catchers but made it clear the front office might make another move. 

"That backup catcher role, if you're playing once or twice a week -- having a guy who can give you quality at-bats is really important," Zaidi said Monday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." Both of those guys can do that. 

"They both have legitimate shots, but we also told those guys, 'Hey, we may go out and get somebody else. Either somebody else who's in the competition or maybe even jumps to the front of the line.' So those guys are aware of that, and we'll keep an eye out. We'll keep looking for the best possible option."

With only a handful of spring training games in the book, it seems a move isn't imminent. 

"I don't want to diminish the in-house chances that these guys have to win that job," Zaidi continued. "Again, they're not necessarily the most proven options at the big league level, but we like what we've seen so far." 

[RELATED: Bochy praises Bart, will have large role in minor leagues]

Posey caught 101 games last season, and 88 the year before. He still is one of the best defensive catcher in baseball, but as he turns 33 years old in one month, manager Gabe Kapler would be wise to limit Posey's innings behind the plate. Quietly, backup catcher is one of the most important positions on the Giants. 

Bart is expected to be in San Francisco at some point this season. That won't be right away, though. Either Brantly or Heineman figure to be on the roster next month. That is, unless the Giants make a move. 

Help eventually is on the way, but the Giants have a big decision to make in order to get the best out of Posey and the rest of their roster.

Giants excited to see Yolmer Sanchez's revamped swing, fun celebration

Giants excited to see Yolmer Sanchez's revamped swing, fun celebration

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When Derek Holland was designated for assignment last July, the Giants lost their best celebration. Holland’s water jug became a staple of walk-off wins, so much so that a couple of teammates grabbed jugs to cap the walk-offs that occurred after Holland had been let go. 

This year’s team will have a new set of signals and celebrations, and the Giants have a new infielder who seems well-positioned to earn fan-favorite status. Yolmer Sanchez takes walk-off wins to a different level:

Sanchez said he started dousing himself because he simply likes to have fun, and he pointed out that you never know how long your big league career will last. You have to make the most of it. 

“I try to enjoy my time and enjoy everything that we do as a group,” he said. “I did it and the fans liked it so I continued to do it.”

The Giants are hoping Sanchez is doing more than just celebrating big hits. They are confident in his bat and the adjustments he’s making, and they’re counting on him to add production to the infield. 

Sanchez won a Gold Glove at second base last year -- he said his goal is to repeat and also win the Platinum Glove given to the league’s best defender -- and the Giants already have seen his slick feet and quick hands in action this spring. But they were more encouraged by what they saw in an early live BP session, when he pulled a homer comfortably over the wall. 

“That was kind of cool to see him square up a fastball and be on time with his swing and drive the ball to the air on the pull side,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “One thing we always know about Yolmer is his defense is always going to be there, so to the degree that some of those swing changes can take effect, we see him as being a really impactful player for us.”

Like most in camp, Sanchez is making subtle changes with a new Giants hitting coach. But his version of the story has a twist. He started working with hitting coach Justin Viele earlier this offseason when Sanchez was still with the White Sox and Viele was a minor league coach for the Dodgers. The two have reunited at Scottsdale Stadium, continuing to work on a new swing path that ideally will have Sanchez hitting more balls up the middle and to the gaps.

“I think that’s one of the things that was exciting about coming here,” Sanchez said of Viele. “He knows what I can do. If I feel good, if I feel comfortable, I believe in my talent and I believe I can do way better than last year, and I’m going to prove it.”

The 2019 numbers were low enough that the White Sox, who spent heavily over the offseason, non-tendered one of the league’s better defenders. Sanchez had a .638 OPS and just two homers, and his OPS+ was below league average for the sixth consecutive season.

But the Giants see some stretches in Sanchez’s past that could make him a good fit for their infield. He had a .738 OPS against lefties last year and was at .724 with eight homers the year before against righties. If the switch-hitter swings that way from either side, he would fit the platoon-heavy roster. 

Regardless, the glove work is so elite that Sanchez has been worth 8.2 WAR over the past three seasons. That should put him in the middle infield mix with Brandon Crawford, Mauricio Dubon, Wilmer Flores and Donovan Solano.

[RELATED: Bochy praises Bart, will have large role in minor leagues]

Sanchez turned down big league offers to come to San Francisco as a non-roster invitee. He’s hoping to win an everyday job and provide some production for the lineup, but if he’s in the dugout when the winning run is scored, Sanchez will be ready to contribute in a far funnier way. He smiled when asked if the Gatorade dumps will make a comeback. 

“We’ll see, that’s something that I don’t practice,” Sanchez said. “But I think at the right moment, I will do it, yeah.”