Giants

McCutchen Mailbag: What does trade mean for Giants' young outfielders?

McCutchen Mailbag: What does trade mean for Giants' young outfielders?

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants will introduce Evan Longoria on Friday at AT&T Park (we’ll be airing it and doing Facebook Live, so get ready) and at some point they figure to get Andrew McCutchen up on a podium with a brand new jersey. 

At that point, McCutchen can talk a bit more about his new team and his walk year. For now, let’s run through some questions about the trade and what might come next … 

How are you liking this move, Alex? I love it. — @DionTheDude

I was an advocate of taking a step back in 2018 and rebuilding a bit for the future, but the Giants were never going to do that. So, if you’re going to go for it, I think McCutchen is the perfect fit and a really savvy move. I also don’t think it cost the Giants very much. For my full thoughts, check out the Emergency Andrew McCutchen Podcast I did with Ahmed Fareed. 

Slater showed some promise with the glove last season. Do you see him as an option in center field? 566 career CF innings in the minors. — @BrooksKnudsen 

I do, and at the winter meetings, team officials talked about him playing all three outfield spots. At the time it seemed the emphasis would be right field, but with McCutchen now out there, I would guess Slater sees most of his time in left with starts in center, as well. A lot of people asked about Slater, Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson etc. Simply put, the Giants are now in a position that normal teams hope to be in. They don’t have to rush some of these guys into a ton of starts in the outfield. The ones who have options can ride the Sacramento-San Francisco shuttle and provide more talent than in the past when a player gets hurt -- and on this old team, players will get hurt. Parker is out of options, but you’ll see some other familiar names fill out the outfield in Triple-A. If you missed it yesterday, here's the plan for Steven Duggar. 

Could the Giants go the Dee Gordon route and just sign Eduardo Nuñez to play center? - @raj_sidhu_123

I liked what the Mariners did with Dee Gordon, but Nuñez was pretty rough in left field last year. Having said that, I recently asked about him as a potential February addition, perhaps on a minor league deal if his market just turns out to be completely dry. I was told, “Nuñey is going to be just fine,” so I assume that he has some solid infield offers in hand. 

How about some pitching? - @pablodiablow 

My friend, we’re on the same page. The bullpen has been bad for two years and just lost a promising arm in Kyle Crick. Hopefully Derek Law fills that void, but he’s coming off a down year. I think they need another bullpen arm and another starter, because it would be rather shortsighted to build a lineup that you think can contend, and then turn the back end of the rotation over to a bunch of rookies. I expect a veteran or two to be in camp to compete for an Opening Day job. 

Does this mean Billy Hamilton is still possible? - @Gaberino4 

In conversations with sources, I haven’t heard Hamilton’s name in weeks. It was McCutchen, McCutchen, McCutchen at some point. I think that ship has likely sailed, as the Reds set a high asking price and didn’t waiver. Per Zach Buchanan, one of their beat writers, Hamilton is expected to start the season in Cincinnati. 

Was hanging onto Belt a priority? Seems like that would’ve been an ideal contract to get rid of given their cap issues. — @JoshSessler 

Yes, I’m told Belt was made just about untouchable at the start of the offseason, and frankly not many teams have asked about him given his potentially scary concussion issues. But to a larger point, holding Belt should’ve been a priority. He’s a good baseball player. End of story. Sorry, Belt Bashers. Even with McCutchen and Longoria, if I had to bet on who will lead the 2018 Giants in OPS, I would choose Belt. He should benefit quite a bit from hitting lower in the order. 

Do you have an estimate of how much money they still have for a center fielder? - @PeteDeBoerWar 

According to Cot’s, the best tracker out there, the Giants have about $4.4 million until they reach the tax. They were helped by the Pirates picking up $2.5 million of McCutchen’s $14.75 million deal. I think the actual number is $3-4 million under the tax, so that’s the budget for a defense-first center fielder, if that’s the way they go. 

You think they should go for Lorenzo Cain at a reasonable price now even if they lose the second-round pick? - @pejvahdat 

I do not. Cain is still going to be very expensive and he turns 32 in April, so forgive me for immediately thinking about the years I’ve spent covering an aging Angel Pagan and Denard Span. Cain is a much better defender than either of those two, but still, I think he comes with a lot of risk. Plus, the Giants just traded two of their top five prospects and they have a poor farm system. They need to nail those second- and fifth-round picks next year and add to what appeared to be a very good draft in 2017. At some point, a rebuild is coming. 

Where are all the people wanting Bobby Evans’ head now? — @kmav88

Oh, they’re still on Twitter. I still hear from them every day. Make no mistake about it, if this doesn’t work and the Giants fall well short of the postseason again, this will all come down on the front office. But for now, Evans has to be sleeping better. At the end of the day, he came away from the offseason with Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen, and so far he’s kept ownership from paying the tax again and given them two new stars to sell. That’ll play. 

MLB rumors: Giants 'have two scouts' at Cubs-Padres game in Chicago

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USATSI

MLB rumors: Giants 'have two scouts' at Cubs-Padres game in Chicago

Could Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith or another Giants pitcher be headed to Chicago's North Side?

Chicago baseball analyst Bruce Levine reported on Saturday that the Giants had a pair of scouts in attendance for the Cubs-Padres game.

Levine also noted that the Giants' scouting presence at Wrigley Field goes back to May.

The Cubs lead the National League Central with a 53-44 record, and could be looking to add a significant piece before the July 31 trade deadline.

Adding Bumgarner could be tricky for the Cubs, who have five reliable starters at the moment: Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Cole Hamels.

But after trading lefty reliever Mike Montgomery to the Kansas City Royals for catcher Martin Maldonado, the Cubs could be looking to bolster their bullpen with Smith, Sam Dyson or Tony Watson.

[RELATED: Nationals 'have interest' in Dyson]

Why would the Giants be socuting the Cubs' big league team rather than their minor league squads? It's possible the Giants could ask for a young, controllable player off the major league roster.

Mets vs. Giants lineups: Donovan Solano in for Joe Panik for matinee

Mets vs. Giants lineups: Donovan Solano in for Joe Panik for matinee

The 10-inning game Friday night had just ended before prepping had begun for the third of a four-game series. Saturday's matchup has the Giants hoping they can continue to figure out the Mets.

The ending to the game was heartbreaking for the Mets, to say the least. Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith let a routine fly ball to left field drop, allowing Alex Dickerson to run around the bases and cross the plate in walk-off fashion

Jeff Samardzija takes the hill for the Orange and Black and hopes to keep the momentum going. He's improved his ERA to 3.93 this season -- across his last three starts, he's boasting a 1.66 ERA with 17 strikeouts and three walks.

Mets' Zack Wheeler would have been the starter on Saturday if it weren't for some shoulder fatigue. Walker Lockett will get those honors. His numbers aren't as impressive as Samardzija's, however.

The righty is making his third start of the season and currently has an 11.74 ERA. 

The San Francisco Chronicle's Hank Schulman reported pitcher Conner Menez was in the Giants' clubhouse, and manager Bruce Bochy announced that the 24-year-old left-hander will start on Sunday against the Mets in the series finale. Drew Pomeranz, who was scheduled to start, will move to the bullpen. 25- and 40-man roster moves will be announced Sunday.

Here are how the lineups look to shape up for the third game of the series:

New York Mets (44-53)

Jeff McNeil, RF
Michael Conforto, CF
Wilson Ramos, C
Robinson Cano, 2B
Todd Frazier, 3B
Dominic Smith, 1B
J.D. Davis, LF
Amed Rosario, SS
Walker Lockett, P (0-1, 11.74 ERA)

San Francisco Giants (49-49)

Brandon Belt, 1B
Buster Posey, C
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Alex Dickerson, LF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Mike Yastrzemski, RF
Kevin Pillar, CF
Donovan Solano, 2B
Jeff Samardzija, P (7-7, 3.93 ERA)