Giants

Giants’ Farhan Zaidi shuts down latest Madison Bumgarner trade rumors

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Giants’ Farhan Zaidi shuts down latest Madison Bumgarner trade rumors

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Friday he expects the team to make a roster move via free agency or a trade "in the next three or four days."

It sure sounds like that won't be the Giants trading ace starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner.

Earlier in the week, MLB.com's Jon Morosi reported San Francisco was discussing a Bumgarner trade with the Brewers. Zaidi emphatically shut down the notion.

"I can tell you who I haven't talked to, and that's Jon Morosi," Zaidi said on KNBR. "I don't know where he's getting this stuff, but it's not from me."

Ever since Zaidi joined the Giants in November, he has been hounded with trade rumors regarding Bumgarner. The former World Series hero is entering the final season of his contract with the Giants, and the sides have been in contact throughout the offseason. 

"I have been able to communicate with him [Bumgarner], both directly and through his representation. I know how badly he wants to be here," Zaidi said. "And again, we have a goal of being competitive in 2019. He's a huge part of that." 

It's no surprise that teams would call for Bumgarner. The Giants have a thin farm system, and from the outside looking in, the team does not look close to title contention at the moment.

One thing is clear from Zaidi, though -- teams are calling the Giants, not the other way around. 

"We spent this offseason having to be realistic with where we are and being willing to listen on anything," Zaidi said. "But it doesn't change the fact that Madison Bumgarner is a very central cog to this team. 

"Nobody is making any outgoing calls on Madison Bumgarner. If a team calls about any of our players, we're in a position where we have to listen." 

The Giants very well could dangle Bumgarner at the trade deadline if they're not in position for the playoffs. But from the man making the decisions himself, Bumgarner isn’t going anywhere.

At least for now.

What does Giants' division look like after quiet offseason?

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What does Giants' division look like after quiet offseason?

The last big piece came off the board early Monday morning, when Nicholas Castellanos signed a four-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds. 

Castellanos had been a target for the Giants, who now seem likely to head to Scottsdale with Kevin Gausman as their biggest free agent acquisition of the offseason. That's not unexpected -- it's what happens when you're taking a step back, as the Giants are. 

But Farhan Zaidi has also repeatedly said that he intends to be competitive as late into the season as possible, and the Giants certainly would like to get Gabe Kapler's tenure off to a solid start after the way his hire was received locally. They have plenty of ground to make up to reach that goal, with Madison Bumgarner, Kevin Pillar and other key contributors now gone from a roster that finished 29 games behind the Dodgers and eight behind the Diamondbacks. 

The Giants won't win the NL West this year. Even they would tell you that. But how close can they stay? Where might they actually finish? Here's a rundown of what the other four teams in the West did this offseason and how they're looking as we approach that magical day when pitchers and catchers finally report ... 

The overwhelming favorite: Los Angeles Dodgers

Winners of the division for seven consecutive seasons, there's no reason to think they won't make it eight. The Dodgers lost Hyun-jin Ryu to the Blue Jays and Rich Hill to the Twins, but they keep churning out young talent, a sustainable model the Giants are trying to follow. In Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, they have more than enough young depth to fill out the rotation, and they added a couple of guys who seemed to make more sense for a team like the Giants -- Alex Wood and Jimmy Nelson. Neither is far removed from All-Star caliber pitching, and if the Dodgers hit on one of those veterans their rotation again will be a strength. 

Blake Treinen was another reclamation project who made sense for the Giants, but the Dodgers gave the former A's closer $10 million to see if he can find his 2018 form. If he does, the Dodgers may finally solve their biggest problem. 

There was a strong run at Gerrit Cole and a brief flirtation with Anthony Rendon, and the Dodgers reportedly still are sniffing around about a Mookie Betts trade, but ultimately they seem to be betting that they can make their big move in July, and why wouldn't they? The lineup was already a powerhouse and top prospects Gavin Lux and Will Smith are set for a full season. This team should be easily headed for a playoff spot by the trade deadline, allowing Andrew Friedman to take another crack at adding the type of impact talent that can help the Dodgers end a drought that might have ended three years ago if the Astros had played it fair. 

The new rival: Arizona Diamondbacks

For once, the Dodgers won't be the NL West opponent that brings the most intrigue to Oracle Park. Every time the Diamondbacks visit, they'll bring Bumgarner with them, and there's a good chance the Giants will have to face their longtime ace four or five in 2020. 

There are plenty of reasons Bumgarner chose the desert, and a desire to play competitive baseball is high on the list. The Diamondbacks very quietly won 85 games last year and will count on Bumgarner to lead a young rotation. They'll also lean on Stephen Vogt, who turned a strong season as Buster Posey's backup into a $3 million deal with Arizona. Vogt is as good a clubhouse guy as there is in the game today, and he'll join Bumgarner in taking direct aim at the Dodgers. 

Giving Bumgarner $85 million was the big splash, but the Diamondbacks also signed Kole Calhoun to a two-year deal, adding an outfielder who had 33 homers last season. Hector Rondon, a former closer with the Cubs and Astros, was added to the bullpen. 

Adam Jones, who had some nice moments for them early last year, is in Japan now, but that's about the only noteworthy loss for a team that traded Paul Goldschmidt last offseason and Zack Greinke in July. 

The end of the rebuild: San Diego Padres

Rival players and officials have been waiting a couple of years for the Padres to finally become what A.J. Preller has envisioned, and they have continued to be aggressive in a bid to end a lengthy rebuild. It was no surprise when The Athletic reported they were after Betts; they're in on plenty of big names these days, but this was a quieter offseason after a couple of previous splashes that brought Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado to town. 

The Padres really could have used hometown kid Stephen Strasburg, but he stayed with the reigning champs. Their big free agency splash ended up being Drew Pomeranz, who sneakily had one of the greatest bouncebacks of 2019. The lefty signed a $1.5 million deal with the Giants, pitched his way out of the rotation, started throwing 97 mph, dominated for two months in Milwaukee, and signed a four-year, $34 million deal to return to San Diego. The new repertoire looked real and sustainable once Pomeranz switched to relieving, but that's still a risky contract to give a bullpen piece. 

The Padres will count on a young rotation -- led by Chris Paddack and potentially top prospect Mackenzie Gore -- but they still could use more consistency here (it'll be interesting to see if Bumgarner opens up about his options; he would have been a great fit for the Padres). Veteran righty Zach Davies is in and lefty Eric Lauer is now a Brewer. 

The lineup will have a much different look. Tommy Pham, an on-base machine, came over from the Rays in a deal that cost the Padres Hunter Renfroe and prospect Xavier Edwards. Young outfielder Trent Grisham was added in a trade with the Brewers, who got second base prospect Luis Urias. The Padres filled that hole by acquiring Jurickson Profar from the A's. 

A Betts deal seems unlikely and the Padres still could use pitching, but they're hopeful this is the year if finally comes together. A healthy Fernando Tatis Jr. would go a long way towards guaranteeing it does. He turned 21 earlier this month, and it wouldn't at all be a surprise to see him standing as one of the top five players in the National League by the end of the summer.  

[RELATED: Could young Giants starters end up in bullpen?]

The mess: Colorado Rockies

How do you screw things up with Nolan Arenado so badly that he's texting beat writers and expressing his frustration with management? That was the highlight of the offseason for the Rockies, who whiffed badly in previous attempts to spend -- Ian Desmond, Wade Davis, etc. -- and basically sat out the the last three months (seriously, MLB's official page shows five transactions for the Rockies in December and January and four of them were for players being moved off the active roster). 

The Rockies went 71-91 last year (finishing six games behind the Giants), haven't signed a player to a guaranteed Major League deal this offseason and have a bloated payroll. It's hard to see how this ends with anything but an Arenado trade and a full rebuild. 

MLB rumors: Nicholas Castellanos, Reds agree to four-year contract

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MLB rumors: Nicholas Castellanos, Reds agree to four-year contract

In an offseason full of small moves, the Giants missed out on another big fish in a sea of free agents. 

Nicholas Castellanos reportedly has agreed to a four-year, $64 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

Castellanos to the Reds was first reported by The Athletic's Trent C. Rosencrans and Ken Rosenthal. MLB Network's Jon Heyman first reported terms of the contract.

The Giants first were rumored to be interested in the power-hitting outfielder in early December. Some even viewed San Francisco as the top bidder for Castellanos during the Winter Meetings. But those rumors cooled off more and more as the weeks passed. 

Castellanos made plenty of sense as a target for the Giants with his age (27 years old), connection to general manager Scott Harris and his ability to hit the long ball as a right-handed bat. He hit 27 homers last season and has hit at least 23 in the last three seasons. 

San Francisco currently has a plethora of options in their outfield that could make an interesting competition in spring training in beyond. Those options include Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, Steven Duggar, Jaylin Davis, Chris Shaw and Darin Ruf. 

[RELATED: Report: Ex-Giants GM Evans interviewed for open Astros job]

There is some good news, though, for those who might feel Castellanos is the one who got away. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Castellanos has an opt-out in his contract after the 2020 season. He could, once again, be a free agent next offseason. 

While many Giants fans might have been hoping to see Castellanos wear a black and orange SF hat, there still could be a chance in the near future.