Giants

Giants should trade for Mitch Haniger after Mariners-Mets blockbuster

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Giants should trade for Mitch Haniger after Mariners-Mets blockbuster

Well, it’s happening: Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz will be members of the Mets, pending physicals, according to multiple national reports. They’re leaving Seattle in a blockbuster trade and that means a lot.

The Mariners weren’t supposed to trade Diaz unless they were “super overwhelmed to consider a deal for him." 

This “overwhelming deal” turned out to be the Mariners acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce plus prospects Jarred Kelenic, Anthony Swarzak, Justin Dunn, and Gerson Bautista.

With that said, it’s possible the Mariners are going to continue to do Mariner-like things at the hands of Jerry Dipoto. And we haven’t even arrived at the Winter Meetings yet.

Still, this doesn’t mean bad news, especially for Bay Area baseball fans.  As bizarre as some of the trades the Mariners GM makes are, the Giants could use that to their advantage. That means an outfield that possesses Mitch Haniger, another Mariner who was thought to be out of trade talks but very well could be now.

Hometown boy

For starters, the outfielder is a Bay Area-native which means he wouldn’t mind revisiting his old stomping grounds. He was born in Mountain View, attended Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, and went to Cal Poly. 

Sure -- those are just the feel-good storylines that you put to a “homecoming” theme song during a video montage, but there’s more. 

The Giants really  need him

Another important reason would be the fact that well, the Giant are starving for outfielders like Dipoto is starving to make weird trades. So why not take advantage of it?

At the moment, the depth chart for the Giants looks as follows:

A bit young, right? 

Yes, we know the “rebuilding” phrase is going to be used over and over again. But that doesn’t mean someone with years under his belt roaming the outfield and being one of the most underrated players in the league shouldn’t be considered. If anything, he’s needed. 

[RELATED: Giants rebuild could be full year away]

No stranger to NL West

OK, before you get all in my mentions about how he performs at AT&T Park -- we don’t really know. It’s a ridiculously small sample size: Seven at-bats and nine plate appearances in two games. In those few outings, however, he did slash .286/.444/.286. 

But …

He played in 34 games with the D-backs in 2016. And while it’s still a relatively small sample size, it’s not like this will be a complete culture shock for him. He’s had enough time in the NL West to hopefully feel comfortable. 

The FA outfield market … or lack thereof

Alex Pavlovic reminded us that the market for outfielders isn’t filled to the brim with moments to gather them up like a bushels of apples. So, in order to get the type of talent the team needs, it’s important to acquire the Haniger-types in deals like this. 

And with the Hot Stove at a mere simmer, sometimes you have to light that baby yourself. 

Would Dipoto be “overwhelmed” with a package centered around Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos or Shaun Anderson? Perhaps, but you never really know with Dipoto. 

Ramos has the highest ceiling of any Giants prospect since Buster Posey -- so it goes without saying he’s good. Can the outfielder take the place of Haniger? Well yes, but not now. The 19-year-old still has a few years to be spent in the minor leagues, but it’s certainly something to think about.

The Mariners outfield will be just fine

Yes, the Mariners outfield situation would take a hit, but they’ve got plenty of talent covering space at Safeco.

Ben Gamel can come through in the clutch when he’s needed. The team has a hidden gem in Kristopher Negron, and Mallex Smith is fast and dominates defensively when he’s playing right field. And remember -- the team is getting Jay Bruce. 

So, perhaps -- see you soon, Mitch Haniger? 

Shaun Anderson's first-inning problems are a head-scratcher for Giants

Shaun Anderson's first-inning problems are a head-scratcher for Giants

LOS ANGELES -- Giants rookie right-hander Shaun Anderson has a problem, but it isn't what you would expect. 

Anderson is a young starter who was a closer in college, so it wouldn't be a surprise or at all concerning if he had issues getting deep into games. The head-scratcher thus far, though, has been that Anderson is struggling mightily with the first inning. After that, he tends to cruise. 

Joc Pederson hit a leadoff homer on Tuesday night and the Dodgers followed with two more hits and another run, kicking off what would become a 9-0 win behind Clayton Kershaw. 

The homer was the second leadoff blast Anderson has allowed in seven starts and the fourth he has allowed in the first inning. Opponents are hitting .438 off him in the first with four homers, four doubles and seven runs. In all of his other innings, Anderson has allowed just one homer and posted a 2.56 ERA. 

"I do need to bear down a little in those first innings," Anderson said. "This isn't the first time it has happened. I'll look into it."

Anderson said it was simply a lack of execution to start, and manager Bruce Bochy wasn't all that concerned. There's a trend, and he said the Giants will discuss potential changes to Anderson's pre-start routine, but they won't make too big a deal of it. 

"You know what, the kid is throwing well," Bochy said. "So it's not like we want to do a lot."

Anderson is not alone in this issue. The Giants as a team have had serious first-inning woes all season long, but Anderson has shown an ability to get past any early wobbles. He pitched into the sixth Tuesday, allowing just one more run. 

The problem was that the Giants had no margin for error. Kershaw did what he always does to them, and while Anderson kept it close for a while, this one turned into a blowout in the seventh. Enrique Hernandez's grand slam off Trevor Gott capped a six-run inning. 

[RELATED: What can Giants get in MadBum trade? Kurkjian answers]

With the blowout, the Giants have now been outscored by 90 runs this season, the third-worst differential in the Majors and worst in the National League. Anderson might be having an issue with the first inning, but for the team, the problems go much deeper. 

Giants vs. Dodgers lineups: Shaun Anderson opposes Clayton Kershaw

Giants vs. Dodgers lineups: Shaun Anderson opposes Clayton Kershaw

On Monday, Tyler Beede got a win in his first-ever start against the Dodgers. On Tuesday, Giants rookie right-hander Shaun Anderson will attempt to do the same.

Anderson (2-1, 3.97 ERA) enters Tuesday's start at Dodger Stadium on a roll. He's coming off three consecutive outings in which he went at least six innings and gave up no more than three runs, and he's picked up two victories over that span.

Anderson will face a significant challenge in his first-ever start at Chavez Ravine, not just in the formidable Dodgers' lineup, but in Giants' nemesis Clayton Kershaw. While Kershaw (6-1, 3.13 ERA) took his first loss of the season on June 7 against the Giants, he has dominated San Francisco throughout his career, and enters Tuesday's start with a 22-11 record against the Giants with a 1.72 ERA over 330 1/3 innings.

[RELATED: Beede relieved to get first big league win against Dodgers]

First pitch for Dodgers vs. Giants is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT with pregame coverage beginning at 6 p.m. You can follow all the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online and on the MyTeams app.

San Francisco Giants (31-39)
Donovan Solano, 2B
Brandon Belt, LF
Tyler Austin, 1B
Buster Posey, C
Evan Longoria, 3B
Kevin Pillar, RF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Steven Duggar, CF
Shaun Anderson, RHP (2-1, 3.97 ERA)

Los Angeles Dodgers (48-25)
Joc Pederson. LF
Alex Verdugo, CF
Justin Turner, 3B
Cody Bellinger, RF
Max Muncy, 2B
Matt Beaty, 1B
Chris Taylor, SS
Austin Barnes, C
Clayton Kershaw, LHP (6-1, 3.13 ERA)