Giants

Giants veterans would be greatly impacted by MLB's proposal to players

Giants veterans would be greatly impacted by MLB's proposal to players

This is a short week for most workers in the United States, but for the two sides trying to get baseball back on the field, these could be their longest days of the year. 

Major League Baseball and the Players Association are trying to come to an agreement on a deal that could put players back on the field in July, but Tuesday's developments weren't positive. According to multiple reports, the proposal that MLB made Tuesday included a significant cut for the highest-paid players. The two sides already had agreed to a deal that prorates salaries, although MLB maintains that the financial situation has changed since it has become clear fans won't be allowed into games, significantly limiting revenue. 

The proposal was met with immediate backlash, with just about every national reporter tweeting that the union was disappointed and discouraged. It's easy to see why. Such a deal would have a huge impact on some of the game's biggest stars, including members of the Giants organization. 

Having missed out on Bryce Harper, the Giants don't have anyone in those highest price ranges. But they do have six players on contracts that were supposed to pay them at least $10 million this year -- including Buster Posey and Johnny Cueto above $20 million -- and 14 who would have made more than $1 million.

Most of their veterans would be taking a big cut. Jeff Samardzija, for instance, was supposed to make just under $20 million in the final year of his five-year contract. Per that proposal, he would instead play this season for just about $5 million. Cueto, who signed a few days after Samardzija, was due $21 million this year; the proposal cuts that to a little more than $5 million.  

MLB's proposal would benefit players making closer to the minimum of $563,500, just about making them whole on a prorated basis, and it does a sneaky job of potentially pitting different factions of the union against one another. But for a team like the Giants, just about everyone would be harshly impacted. There are players like Mike Yastrzemski, Mauricio Dubon and Logan Webb still breaking in, but the majority of the set roster has already gotten into arbitration years or signed lucrative free agent contracts. 

[RELATED: Giants would make faster evaluations if MLB has short season]

What's the next step? Well, it doesn't sound like MLB is ready to back down at all:

Everyone knew this would be a nasty negotiation, and Tuesday's developments provided a reminder of just how much ground there still is to cover before players can start booking those flights to Spring Training 2.0. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Giants' Logan Webb embraces any role after offseason mechanics change

Giants' Logan Webb embraces any role after offseason mechanics change

In a game won by adjustments, the slightest change can go a long way. Giants pitcher Logan Webb already has felt the results after a correction to his mechanics.

Webb spent the offseason in Arizona, frequenting the Giants' spring training facility in Scottsdale. He stayed there after camp was shut down due to the coronavirus, throwing numerous bullpens. But then he felt stuck. His progress was at a plateau, that is until he and pitching coordinator Justin Lehr turned on the tape. 

"Me and Justin Lehr started watching some videos and I noticed something with my posture in my throwing mechanics," Webb said in a recent phone interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. "I was kind of bent over more than I wanted to be. I really started working on that and having better posture, and ever since that it feels back to normal again.

"It was just a little tiny switch, and since then I’ve been feeling good."

This wasn't about adding a new pitch or changing his grip. The problem was quite common actually. In reality, it's a fix that I myself could use to avoid trips to the chiropractor while working from home.

Webb went on to talk about how he believes having better posture is incredibly important. Whether you're a pitcher, hitter or everyday worker, it can be life-changing. Literally. For the young Giants pitcher, he quickly noticed the difference. 

"Just a little more upright when I’m starting to go down the mound," Webb explained. "Honestly, you just feel stronger in general."

Buster Posey could see the difference right away, too. The veteran catcher was highly impressed by Webb's first bullpen against live hitters on the second day of Summer Camp, saying the showing was "really, really good." 

"His stuff was electric," Posey said to reporters. "I thought a tick or two up from the spring." 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Webb dominated in the minor leagues last season, going 2-4 with a 1.85 ERA over 12 appearances (10 starts). He then made his MLB debut in August at only 22 years old and went 2-3 with a 5.22 ERA in eight starts. Before spring training came to a stop, Webb got only two starts in and was determined to prove himself once the season resumed. 

His first impression couldn't have gone much better, and Posey's words went a long way. 

"Hearing that he said that was cool, and he said he was excited when we were done," Webb said. "When you hear that from one of the best to ever do it, it’s pretty cool.”

The Rocklin native said he and Shaun Anderson joked about the number of bullpens they've thrown the past few months. Webb counted he has thrown at least 20 or 22, but was excited to finally face hitters. On Wednesday, Webb was among the group of pitchers who took the hill in the Giants' first intrasquad game and he continued to impress. 

Over two innings pitched in the simulated game, Webb struck out four batters and only allowed one hit. Among the eight Giants pitchers on the day, he easily was near the top performers.

"Logan Webb continues to impress with the shape of his breaking ball and in the fastball and a lot of confidence," manager Gabe Kapler said to reporters.

[RELATED: Giants' list of prospects in camp has many intriguing names]

Kapler has big plans for Webb this season, too. Going into the year, it was expected Webb would be on an innings limit. There even was the real possibility he started the season back in Triple-A Sacramento to monitor his workload. With the 162-game season out the door, plans have completely changed. 

The 60-game season actually could be perfect for the right-hander. He certainly was looking forward to his first full season in the big leagues and was preparing to do so. But Kapler's biggest emphasis right now is on pitchers who can adapt, pitch multiple innings and be effective as either a starter or reliever. 

That sounds perfect for Webb. There's no playbook for this sprint of a season, and he's ready for any role. 

"I’m willing to do anything," Webb said. "... That mentality that I do have, I do feel like this could be the perfect situation."

Webb spent two seasons in Short-Season Class-A with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. He last did so in 2017 and had a 2.89 ERA in 15 games as a reliever. To get ready for such a, well, short season, Webb is using his experience with the Volcanoes. 

"It is a sprint and you have to take every game seriously," Webb said. "It’ll be fun because every game will feel like a playoff game. You’re going to have to win every single game. I don’t really know what to expect for it, but all I know is I’m excited for it. 

"I’m one of the most competitive people ever. That excites me. I’m excited for that."

While he has come a long from Salem-Keizer, that competitive edge always has been there for Webb. It certainly will be this year as the Giants look to shock many in the short season, and the pitcher never has felt stronger thanks to a simple fix of bettering his posture.

Buster Posey misses third Giants workout for personal reasons, per Gabe Kapler

Buster Posey misses third Giants workout for personal reasons, per Gabe Kapler

The Giants went through their sixth day of work at Oracle Park on Thursday. For the third time, the longtime franchise star was not in the building. 

Buster Posey again missed the workout Thursday for personal reasons and "is still working through some things," per manager Gabe Kapler. 

"Buster is still working through a personal issue, and I want to respect his privacy," Kapler said. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Posey reported to camp Saturday and spoke with reporters, admitting he still had some reservations about playing this season during the coronavirus pandemic. The Poseys have two young children and he noted he would pay attention to how things looked at camp but also around society in general. 

During an appearance on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said earlier Thursday that the Giants would respect any decision Posey makes. 

"I think he's continuing to evaluate things on a day-to-day basis and frankly I think there's a few guys in that boat, certainly guys with young families, and certainly Buster is in that boat," Zaidi said. "It's something else to think about. I don't want to get into other personal things that he may be thinking through. Ultimately we're going to respect the decisions that our players make."

Posey isn't the only player mysteriously missing from camp. Center fielder Billy Hamilton and left-handed reliever Jarlin Garcia were both expected to be on the Opening Day roster, but neither has been seen and both were placed on the 10-day Injured List. Kapler has said a couple of times that he cannot reveal more information about the two. 

"That's all I can share on that front," he said Thursday after confirming they were on the IL for medical purposes.

Teams are not allowed to reveal any information related to COVID-19 tests if players do not give permission, although it's not totally clear what the situation is with Hamilton and Garcia. In Posey's case, the initial tests came back negative, and he was a full participant in workouts over the weekend. 

[RELATED: Giants' list of prospects in camp has many intriguing names]

Like Zaidi, Kapler reiterated that the Giants will back any decision Posey makes, regardless of what that means for a team that currently doesn't have a clear favorite to even back up Posey. Rob Brantly and Tyler Heineman are fighting for that job

"Because of what we're up against right now, we're going to take a family-first approach to this," he said. "We will take it on as a responsibility to scramble as necessary but we don't want to rush these personal decisions and we want to respect and honor the stresses that people have that we may not be seeing."