Gabe Kapler's communication can help Giants transition, Ben Davis says

Gabe Kapler's communication can help Giants transition, Ben Davis says

For the first time since 2006, someone other than Bruce Bochy will manage the Giants on Opening Day next season.

San Francisco hired former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler to succeed Bochy on Tuesday. Kapler managed the Phillies for the last two seasons, going 161-163 in Philadelphia before being fired last month.

During that time, Kapler's work ethic impressed NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst Ben Davis. 

"You're gonna get a hard worker in Gabe Kapler," Davis said Tuesday of the new Giants manager on "SportsNet Central." "Gabe is a guy that I played against -- not only in the minor leagues, but in the big leagues -- and seeing him here in Philadelphia the last couple of seasons, just how hard he and his staff work, it's really something to be complimented. He's worried about the game at hand. He will think toward a potential series, but he is more focused on that game that night or that particular day than anyone I've ever seen."

Davis, who played in 486 MLB games, said Kapler values communication with his players, which he believes should help the manager as he inherits a veteran clubhouse. 

[RELATED: Zaidi addresses Kapler accusations after Giants hire manager]

The Giants' rebuild is underway, but they had one of the oldest teams in the majors last season. All of the returning players will have played for no other manager in San Francisco other than Bochy, and the entirety of the Giants' core came up with Bochy as a fixture in the dugout. 

Davis said Kapler's ability to communicate should help that transition. 

"I saw it with some of the guys here and how he treated them," Davis said of Kapler's time in Philadelphia. "He basically always has an open-door policy. [He says,] 'You wanna talk? We'll sit down and talk. We'll go over it. We'll discuss things.' So, I think that communication lines are always going to be open. It's something that he really strives for in that managerial position."

More on Kapler from NBC Sports Philadelphia

Leadership issues led to Kapler's firing
Kapler's reactions on final day of Phillies season
Bryce Harper's thoughts on Kapler's future
Kapler and Velasquez have miscommunication

MLB rumors: Yankees offer Gerrit Cole record seven-year, $245M contract

MLB rumors: Yankees offer Gerrit Cole record seven-year, $245M contract

Gerrit Cole is going to get paid. Everyone knew that headed into this offseason, but now we know the benchmark for his payday. 

The New York Times' Bob Klapisch reported Sunday that the Yankees offered the superstar pitcher a record-breaking, seven-year, $245 million contract. Those figures would surpass David Price's $217 million deal, and Zack Greinke's average annual value of $34.4 million per year. 

While Giants fans surely would love to see Cole pitching in San Francisco, it should be seen as a win if he does wind up in pinstripes. Cole, a Southern California native who just happens to be Brandon Crawford's brother-in-law, reportedly is being courted by the Dodgers and Angels as well. 

The Giants last faced Cole on May 22, 2018. The right-hander struck out eight batters over six innings in an 11-2 Astros win in Houston. In seven starts, Cole is 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA against the Giants. 

It's safe to say, the last thing San Francisco's front office wants to see is the 29-year-old returning to the NL to be a Dodger. The fewer times you face Cole in a season, the better. 

Cole taking his talents to the Bronx certainly would be a welcome sight for the A's, too. Sure, he still would be in the AL, but it definitely beats having him in the same division. 

[RELATED: What to watch for as Giants head to MLB Winter Meetings]

Oakland faced Cole twice last season, and he was brilliant in both starts, allowing only three earned runs over 13 innings to go with 15 strikeouts. He is 4-1 with a 3.08 ERA and 65 strikeouts over 50 2/3 innings in eight career starts against the A's. 

As Shohei Ohtani returns to the mound in 2020, the A's will have their hands full when they face the Angels. Adding Cole could be a disgusting cherry on top. 

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

With the Winter Meetings rapidly approaching, MLB free agency is heating up.

One of the top available pitchers -- Madison Bumgarner -- is expected to be in high demand, particularly now that Cole Hamels has signed with the Braves and Zack Wheeler reportedly has agreed to a five-year contract with the Phillies. For teams who scoff at Gerrit Cole's price tag, Bumgarner might be the logical compromise.

The Giants have been "in communication" with Bumgarner, but rumor has it another interested team has entered the mix.'s Mark Feinsand reported Thursday that the St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to Bumgarner, citing a source.

St. Louis already has brought back veteran Adam Wainwright on a one-year deal, and after he, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson, there appears to be an opening for Bumgarner in the starting rotation. Signing with the Cardinals would not only allow Bumgarner to continue pitching in the National League, but would also allow him to continue taking his own at-bats, which we know he loves so much. He also has been linked to teams such as the Twins and White Sox, but would forfeit his at-bats to a DH in each of those situations.

[RELATED: How Wheeler's reported $118M contract could affect MadBum]

While Bumgarner is expected to receive a contract in excess of $100 million, Feinsand suggests Wheeler's reported $118 million payday might serve to increase the total.