Giants

Giants reveal they’ll retire Will Clark's No. 22 jersey next season

Giants reveal they’ll retire Will Clark's No. 22 jersey next season

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have kept some numbers on the "unofficially retired" list over the years and have tried to quietly nudge players away from wearing certain ones, but on Sunday they made it official for one of the most important players in franchise history. 

Beginning next season, no Giants player will ever wear Will Clark's No. 22 again. 

The announcement was made Sunday as the Giants honored the 1989 team that went to the World Series in large part because of Clark's contributions. A Giant for eight years, Clark was a five-time All-Star and finished in the top five in MVP voting four times. 

He was the star of the late 80's clubs and a player who helped a new generation fall in love with the Giants. In recent years, Clark has been a special advisor for the club and a regular at Oracle Park. He has always been open about what the honor would mean to him. 

"I wanted to stay a Giant my whole life," Clark told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy G recently. "That's why I came back to the Giants. Let's just say that the talks have been starting, and hopefully it gets done. And with your help, fans, if you'd like to partake and put a little pressure on the Giants, I would love it, thank you. If No. 22 ever winds up there, it'd be really, really special."

The Giants previously retired 10 players' numbers, with Barry Bonds' No. 25 going up on the wall last year. Bonds is not in the Hall of Fame, and Clark said that helped his cause. 

"The Giants have always had a policy where the numbers that were retired were Hall of Famers," he said. "And then that changed last year when Barry got his number retired. He is not a Hall of Famer, so it opened a door."

Bonds' number had unofficially been taken out of commission, along with Tim Lincecum's No. 55. But 22 has been worn by 22 other players since Clark's time in San Francisco ended. 

The list includes some veterans like Jake Peavy, Andrew McCutchen and Mike Matheny, but also plenty of more random Giants, like Keiichi Yabu, Ryan Rohlinger and Dan Uggla. McCutchen was the last to wear it, with top prospect Christian Arroyo getting it the year before that.

When Arroyo was called up, he said he had talked to Clark, who had helped him in the minors, about taking his number.

[RELATED: Clark's heroics highlighted by local artist]

"He told me that I could have it because there are hits in it," he said. 

There were more than 1,200 of them for Clark as a Giant, but that line won't hold up anymore. The No. 22 will now forever belong to Clark.

Giants add interesting arm on way out of Winter Meetings

Giants add interesting arm on way out of Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- It'll be easy to tell when the Giants once again are elite on the field, but when it comes to the health of the minor league system and back end of the 40-man roster, the indicators aren't as clear to the public. One good measure of success will be the yearly Rule 5 draft, which provides an opportunity for struggling clubs to add talent to their big league roster by raiding loaded systems. 

The Astros lost three prospects in the first 10 selections Thursday morning. The Yankees, Nationals and Rays also lost players during the first four picks. That's a sign of health for those organizations, of depth the Giants hope to build. They've made strides but they're still far behind, so on Thursday they once again were on the selecting end. 

A year after they took two players in the Rule 5, the Giants used their lone open roster spot on Dany Jimenez, a 25-year-old right-hander who pitched in the Blue Jays' system last year. Jimenez has a live arm and better command than you usually see from Rule 5 picks. The Giants will throw him in the bullpen mix but must return him to the Blue Jays if Jimenez is not on their big league roster.

"We were happy he fell to us," general manager Scott Harris said. "As we talked about all week, we're trying to find talent. We're trying to find new creative ways. This isn't the most creative way but we got an arm we like."

The Giants selected Drew Ferguson and Travis Bergen last December and later acquired Connor Joe, who was their opening day left fielder. Ferguson was sent back to the Astros during the spring and Joe ended up back with the Dodgers after a few games. Bergen lasted a few months but eventually was sent back to the Blue Jays. 

Jimenez has a strong shot at making the opening day roster and has a better shot than most Rule 5 picks of surviving. It's easier to hide a pitcher in your bullpen all year, particularly with the rosters expanding and the Giants able to carry 13 arms throughout the season. Jimenez also has more experience than Bergen did. He reached Double-A last season and dominated, posting a 1.87 ERA and striking out 46 in 33 2/3 innings. 

Harris said Jimenez has a fastball in the upper 90s. He has averaged 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings in the minors and has kept his walk rate on the high end of what's acceptable. That might play in the big leagues, giving the Giants a free reliever at a time when their bullpen is undergoing massive changes. 

[RELATED: Three winners, three losers from the MLB Winter Meetings]

The Giants did not lose a player in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. In the Triple-A phase, they added Brewers catching prospect Bryan Torres to the River Cats' roster.

There was one other pick of note. Starting pitcher Stephen Woods was the fourth overall pick of the draft, going from the Rays to the Royals. Two years ago, the Giants sent Woods to Tampa Bay in the Evan Longoria deal. 

MLB rumors: Angels pursuing Madison Bumgarner during free agency

MLB rumors: Angels pursuing Madison Bumgarner during free agency

The Angels' search for an ace continues.

The Halos missed out on Southern California native Gerrit Cole, who couldn't turn down a reported record nine-year, $324 million contract from the Yankees. And Stephen Strasburg, who hails from San Diego, returned to the Nationals on a seven-year, $245 million deal. 

So, who will the Angels turn to now? They reportedly have their eyes on longtime Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. 

MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Wednesday night that the Angels are pursuing MadBum, among other pitchers as well. 

Bumgarner reportedly is being courted by several teams -- including the Dodgers --  but NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic reported Wednesday that the Giants still are in talks with the left-hander's camp. If Bumgarner does sign with the Angels, however, it not only would spell the era of an era in San Francisco, it would be bad news for the A's. 

[RELATED: Report: D-backs discussed offering MadBum $70M contract]

While Cole no longer is in the AL West, star third baseman Anthony Rendon reportedly agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract to join the Angels after years of starring on the Nationals. The Angels now feature a lineup of Mike Trout, Rendon, Shohei Ohtani and some guy named Albert Pujols. 

Add an ace like Bumgarner could be the cherry on top for the Angels. It also would be another hurdle for the A's to clear in their path to winning the AL West.