SAN FRANCISCO — Hunter Pence got to give a speech and ride off on a scooter. For other Giants, the end might have come without anyone knowing it, but two key veterans hope that’s not the case.
Pitcher Derek Holland reiterated before the game that he wants to return to San Francisco next season. Afterward, catcher Nick Hundley said the same.
“This is an amazing place, a one-of-a-kind organization,” Hundley said. “Obviously we didn’t win a whole lot of games this month, but we were right in the thick of it up until the end of August. If we’re healthy, this team is capable of winning a World Series. If I’m able to add to that, I would definitely take the opportunity.”
The Giants do need to shake things up, but these are two decisions that could be easy. Hundley had a one-year, $2.5 million deal and something similar should be in the works. The staff is excited about Aramis Garcia and believes he could handle backup duty, but with Buster Posey rehabbing from major surgery, the preference is to have a veteran in-house, too. Holland made $2 million and gave the Giants a 3.57 ERA in 171 1/3 innings. He’s due a raise, and could be in line for a multi-year deal, but a reunion makes sense.
--- The Giants finished 73-89 a year after losing 98 games. They’ll pick 10th in the draft. That’s a slot where they previously picked up Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum. This wasn’t how they wanted to end it, though. This was embarrassing. They gave up 14 runs in the first five innings.
“No question, that’s the last way we wanted this thing to go out,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
--- Hunter Strickland replaced Andrew Suarez in the third and continued the fireworks, giving up three earned in 1/3 of an inning. Strickland started this season as the closer and did a pretty decent job before punching a door and putting himself on the DL for two months. He finished it with diminished velocity and a 3.97 ERA. Strickland made $1.55 million in arbitration this season and is due a small raise for next year. Will the Giants want to pay a couple million for a right-hander who was stuck in mop-up duty down the stretch?
Earlier in the day, Brian Sabean spoke with reporters and did not seem to indicate that the Giants plan to non-tender anyone notable, but the new VP/GM will get to make that decision. This will be an interesting one.
“He never really got in sync when he came back,” Bochy said. “I mean, we’re talking about our closer and he just wasn’t quite right. It just looks like he needs a winter off to get completely healed up.”