Giants GM says team is looking for starting pitchers, more offense

Giants GM says team is looking for starting pitchers, more offense

The Giants have yet to make a splash this offseason, however, that doesn't mean they have been quiet. General manager Scott Harris is making it clear San Francisco still is looking to upgrade its roster. 

"Farhan [Zaidi] and I are just trying to acquire talent via any acquisition method possible," Harris recently said on MLB Network Radio. "I think so far this winter you've seen us pull off the Will Wilson trade, we've also been very active in minor league free agency and Rule 5 Draft." 

While stars like Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon signed lucrative long-term deals at the Winter Meetings, the Giants were busy adding to their roster in the short term and looking at the future.

San Francisco signed starting pitcher Kevin Gausman to a one-year, $9 million contract on Dec. 10. That same day, the Giants acquired infielder Zack Cozart from the Los Angeles Angels. In reality, the move was a salary dump in order to include Will Wilson, the No. 15 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. 

Cozart was designated for assignment Monday to make room for pitcher Jake Jewell. Harris did mention that he hopes to still get Cozart in a Giants jersey, though. 

"He was a guy that we've been targeting for a few months now," Harris said regarding Jewell, who had a 6.84 ERA for the Angels in 26 1/3 innings last season. "We think he's an interesting change-of-scenery guy if we can get him out of LA, bring him to San Francisco and put him in our pitching structure." 

Moves like Jewell and Gausman won't wow fans by any means. Perhaps a bigger move is on the way. 

"We're focusing on trying to upgrade our roster in a variety of different ways right now," Harris said. "We're actively trying to add another starter to our rotation, as well as find a way to bolster our offense, both in the infield and in the outfield." 

[RELATED: Giants projected to see win total drop by six games in 2020]

Aside from Gausman, the Giants also have Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Logan Webb, Tyler Beede and multiple other options they could use in their rotation. They also signed Drew Smyly on Thursday. Farhan Zaidi always has preferred rotation depth and clearly wants more on the Giants. 

The offense is where it gets interesting. The Giants have been linked to slugger Nicholas Castellanos, but those rumors have gone quiet in recent weeks.

Are there louder talks behind closed doors? We soon might find out. 

Jeff Samardzija laughs at Yankees trade rumors after Luis Severino injury


Jeff Samardzija laughs at Yankees trade rumors after Luis Severino injury

The MLB regular season doesn't start for another month, and Giants starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija already is dealing with trade rumors.

New York Yankees All-Star pitcher Luis Severino's recent injury history went from bad to the worst-case scenario Tuesday when general manager Brian Cashman announced Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery. After two straight seasons of playing in the Midsummer Classic, Severino only pitched a combined 20 innings between the regular season and playoffs last year. 

Now, the Bronx Bombers will be without their ace for the entire 2020 season. Could the Yankees and Giants be trade partners? Soon after Severino's upcoming surgery was announced, many people took to Twitter suggesting San Francisco's best two starters, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, could be shipped to the Big Apple. 

Samardzija laughed off the idea Wednesday, with a comedic jab at Derek Jeter and the Yankees. 

Samardzija deserves a slow clap for his response, however, it would make plenty of sense for the Yankees to explore a trade with the Giants for the veteran right-hander. New York has its ace in Gerrit Cole and two veterans behind him in Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ. But with James Paxton out multiple months after back surgery and Domingo German on the restricted list, the Yankees are left with young question marks. 

Manager Aaron Boone now might have to lean on Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Loaisiga at the end of the Yankees' rotation. Chance Adams, and even 20-year-old Deivi Garcia, could become options, too. 

The injury bug took a big bite out of the Yanks last season and already has done so this spring. A proven veteran like Samardzija might be a must for a team with World Series aspirations. But what could they offer the Giants in return? 

Samardzija, 35, will be a free agent after this season. His 3.52 ERA last season was his best since his All-Star campaign in 2014. Baseball America ranks the Yankees' farm system as the 17th best in the game. Garcia and young outfielder Jasson Dominguez are off the table in a trade with the Giants, but outfielder Estevan Florial, along with pitchers Luis Gil, Clarke Schmidt and Albert Abreu all would be intriguing options. 

[RELATED: How Hjelle impressed Zaidi in Giants spring training debut]

Perhaps the Giants would entertain a trade for a young, major league-ready outfielder. Clint Frazier still is only 25 years old but he once again seems to be without a job in New York. In just 69 games last season, Frazier hit 12 homers, 14 doubles and drove in 38 runs for the Yankees. 

Frazier is far from a sure thing in the outfield, but his age and powerful right-handed bat align with what the Giants want right now. While a Samardzija-Frazier swap hasn't been discussed publicly, it could make sense for both sides. 

Samardzija rightfully can laugh off any trade rumors right now in late February. At the same time, Cashman and the rest of the Yankees' front office should have their eyes on the Shark.

Farhan Zaidi loves how Giants' Mauricio Dubon has embraced versatility


Farhan Zaidi loves how Giants' Mauricio Dubon has embraced versatility

Mauricio Dubon had a Giants spring training debut to remember. The 25-year-old went deep on his first swing in San Francisco's Cactus League opener and followed that with an RBI single to center field. 

On defense, however, Dubon bobbled a ball at shortstop and was marked with an error. It just so happened he was set to have his player meeting with manager Gabe Kapler, general manager Scott Harris and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi after the game. Zaidi joked they were going to have to move him off shortstop after the bobble, but it was all in good fun. 

The reality is, Dubon won't be sticking at shortstop. Or second base for that matter. He'll be moved all around the field to keep his bat and athleticism in the lineup.

"He's a confident kid and we saw him do some nice things at shortstop last year," Zaidi said Monday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "He knows the more spots that he can play, the more options he's gonna give Gabe and the staff and the more at-bats he's gonna get, so he's fully embraced that." 

Dubon played 22 games at second base for the Giants and nine at shortstop after being acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers before the July 31 deadline. There were whispers in the offseason that the Giants could experiment with him in center field, too. 

Late last month, Dubon gave us a glimpse of what that could look like. 

"What you love about Mauricio, even as he saw us bringing in a couple guys that may get playing time at second base for us -- Wilmer Flores and Yolmer Sanchez -- he's really embraced that possibility of moving around," Zaidi said. 

[RELATED: Most nervous moment for four Giants rookies came off field]

Even in the minor leagues, Dubon has yet to move from the infield to the outfield. He strictly has played second and short in the majors, and also has 11 games under his belt at third base in the minor leagues. On Wednesday, the Giants will get their first look at Dubon the outfielder. 

Dubon is scheduled to take Billy Hamilton's place in center field at some point against the Brewers. It might not look perfect at first, but Dubon has the athleticism and work ethic to make this the best situation for both parties. 

Versatility is becoming the new norm in baseball, and Dubon's willingness to wear many hats should be of great benefit to the Giants.