Giants add seven more position players on second day of MLB Draft


Giants add seven more position players on second day of MLB Draft

NEW YORK -- A few themes emerged on the second day of the 2019 MLB Draft. The Giants took seven position players, giving them nine through 10 rounds, which hasn't been done by the organization in 50 years. 

They also loaded up on shortstops, potentially giving the organization the first succession plan to Brandon Crawford. Finally, there was a late emphasis on brainpower, as the Giants took Simon Whiteman out of Yale and Armani Smith out of UC Santa Barbara, the Yale of the West Coast. 

With their first selection Tuesday, No. 87 overall, the Giants took Florida high school outfielder Grant McCray, an athletic left-handed hitter. He is the son of former big leaguer Rodney McCray. Shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald was next, giving the Giants their second Louisville player in four rounds. In the fifth round, the Giants selected first baseman Garrett Frechette out of Orange Lutheran High in Southern California. That was followed by Puerto Rican prep shortstop Dilan Rosario and Smith. 

The Giants selected position players with their first seven picks for the first time since 1969, when they took 10 straight position players to kick off the draft. This was the first time since 2008 -- the Buster Posey/Conor Gillaspie/Crawford class -- that the organization even took position players with the first four picks. There's very little hitting talent at the upper levels of the minors, and the Giants seem to have taken a clear shot at bolstering an organization-wide weak point. 

The first pitcher selected was eighth-rounder Caleb Kilian, a righty from Texas Tech. The final two selections on Day 2 were Whiteman and UC San Diego's Jeff Houghtby, both shortstops. 

The Giants do not have much shortstop depth in the system and have never had a plan in place in case they need someone other than Crawford, who is 32. While some of the shortstops will likely move off the position, it appears there was a plan to attack the hole in the depth chart. 

[RELATED: What does Giants' draft strategy say about Triples Alley?]

The eight players selected Tuesday join Hunter Bishop and Logan Wyatt, chosen Monday in the first and second rounds. Bruce Bochy said he has watched some video of Bishop, the 10th overall pick, and heard good reports from Brian Sabean, who went to Arizona State quite often to get a firsthand look. 

"He's a kid that's put up some big numbers and it looks like he really, really improved as a player and is on a fast pace," Bochy said. "Obviously we're excited to have him with his potential."

Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency


Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

The Astros are trying to soak in every start Gerrit Cole makes for them. As Houston sits two wins from reaching the World Series, they know their staff ace likely will be pitching for a different team next season. 

Cole is expected to possibly sign a record-breaking contract as a free agent this upcoming offseason. His teammates have an idea of which part of the country he will be packing his bags for, too. 

"We know he wants to be a West Coast guy," Astros outfielder Josh Reddick told Bleacher Report's Scott Miller

Cole, 29, grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA before the Pirates took him with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Could his future be in Northern California, though? 

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and Cole are brothers-in-law. ESPN's Jeff Passan also listed San Francisco in late August as one of nine destinations that are "positioned and motivated to explore adding Cole."

The three-time All-Star also told Miller that he has been to six or seven Giants postseason games in the past, including taking his grandfather to two of their World Series games in 2012.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has some big decisions to make regarding the roster this offseason. Longtime ace Madison Bumgarner will be a free agent, but Cole certainly would be an upgrade. The right-hander is a front-runner to win the AL Cy Young award this year after going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts over 212 1/3 innings. 

But Cole could be in line to sign a contract worth well over $200 million this winter. 

[RELATED: Maddon agrees to three-year contract to be Angels' next manager]

The Giants rode star pitchers like Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain to three championships this decade. Adding Cole to start off the next decade could be the perfect addition. A healthy Johnny Cueto is returning to San Francisco's rotation next season, along with Jeff Samardzija -- whose 3.52 ERA this year was his lowest since 2014. 

San Francisco will have plenty of competition if they do pursue Cole, especially from Southern California teams in the Angels and Dodgers. He certainly will be sought after from the Bay Area to Los Angeles and beyond.

Joe Maddon agrees to three-year contract to be Angels' next manager

Joe Maddon agrees to three-year contract to be Angels' next manager

Joe Maddon quickly found a new home. The former Cubs manager has agreed to be the next manager of the Angels, the team announced Wednesday. 

ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers reported Wednesday that Maddon's contract with the Angels is a three-year deal worth between $12-15 million. 

Maddon, a three-time Manager of the Year, seemed like he could never leave Chicago after leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in 2016, breaking a 108-year drought. But the Cubs did not renew Maddon's contract at the end of September after they failed to make the playoffs. 

Speculation quickly arose that Maddon could be a possible replacement for the retiring Bruce Bochy as the Giants' next manager. But as soon as those rumors swirled, it became clear he had his eyes on Mike Trout and the Halos. 

This isn't Maddon's first time with the Angels, either. He spent four seasons in the minors with the organization as a catcher and began his coaching career with them in 1979. He joined the Angels' major league staff in 1994 and was twice the team's interim manager. 

[RELATED: Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Venable for manager job]

Maddon has a career regular-season record of 1,252-1,068 as a manager between the Angels, Rays and Cubs. He also has gone 32-35 in the playoffs. 

This crosses one big name off the market among potential candidates for the Giants, as president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and the rest of the front office continues their search for a new manager in San Francisco.