Giants

MLB free agency debate: Where will Patrick Corbin sign this offseason?

MLB free agency debate: Where will Patrick Corbin sign this offseason?

Editor's note: Each day this week, Giants insider Alex Pavlovic and A's reporter Ben Ross will debate where one of the top five free agents might land this offseason. Friday's free agent to discuss is Patrick Corbin, a left-hander who had a career year at the perfect time and could be looking at the biggest deal for any pitcher this offseason.

ALEX: At some point, Patrick Corbin is going to sign a $100 million deal somewhere. When he does, he should send a nice catered meal -- or at least a couple dozen bags of Chick-fil-A -- to the Giants' spring clubhouse. They did more than anyone to help him get to this point.

Corbin faced the Giants six times last year, posting a 2.27 ERA and holding their hitters to a .176 average. Nearly 20 percent of his innings in his huge walk year were thrown against a bad Giants lineup, and he took full advantage. If you throw those Giants starts out, he had a 3.37 ERA. Good but not elite.

But good for him. They were on the schedule, and he dominated.

Here's the question: Do you really think he's the top guy on the market, or would you prefer Dallas Keuchel or Nathan Eovaldi? 

BEN: I have to admit I hadn’t thought of it that way before! Maybe the Giants should sign him just to make sure they don’t have to face him again.

I still think Corbin is the top pitcher on the market. 246 strikeouts in 200 innings is impressive, to say the least. It seems like the Yankees are the favorites to land him. Where else might he end up?

ALEX: The Yankees are the favorites, for sure. It sounds like the Phillies are going to spend a ton of money this winter, and maybe they'll turn to pitching if they strike out on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

In your division, I think the Angels have to be in on all the pitchers, just to make sure they give Mike Trout a real shot at the postseason before his contract expires. And I wonder if the Astros will go big to make up for Keuchel and Charlie Morton being free agents and Lance McCullers having Tommy John. The Braves could use an ace, too, which is why they're a popular Madison Bumgarner destination. Corbin will have a robust market.

Am I missing anyone? 

BEN: I think those are all realistic options. I think the Nationals will have some interest as well. Is there any chance he returns to Arizona? What about the Giants? Or are they done giving big money to free agent pitchers?

ALEX: They should be after giving out $220 million to two guys who are currently injured. Plus, the Andrew Friedman-Farhan Zaidi Dodgers tended to go for three-year deals for veteran pitchers, and Corbin is going to try to get twice that.

I don't see him back in Arizona, given all the talk there about trading Zach Greinke and possibly Paul Goldschmidt -- it sounds like they're taking a real step back. I'm going to go with everyone else and predict he ends up with the Yankees. Let's say, five years and $110 million. 

BEN: I'm picking the Yankees, too. He's used to pitching in a hitter's park, although Chase Field isn't quite Yankee Stadium. But he's a strikeout pitcher, so the ballpark shouldn't matter a ton.

The Yankees need starting pitching, and they have plenty of money to spend. I'll say he gets five years, $105 million.

Editor's note: This week across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, we'll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top free agents in baseball. Friday is dedicated to free agent pitcher Patrick Corbin.

 

 

 

Madison Bumgarner explains what's 'special' about being Giants player

Madison Bumgarner explains what's 'special' about being Giants player

Before the season started, Madison Bumgarner not only was the main topic of trade conversation for the Giants, but he was one of the main subjects to discuss in all of baseball.

What would the ROI be for an experienced guy with MadBum’s list of accomplishments? Where would he end up? The questions were endless.

And the thought of him no longer being a Giant was becoming more of a reality as the season trickled by.

During a recent interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez, the three-time World Series champion was asked what it was like to be a Giants up until this point after receiving a heartwarming comment from a fan.

"It means everything," he said. "My career up until this point has been here, and we've done a lot of special things here -- man, it's so many good memories -- and some bad ones too, but you got to take the good with the bad. But this is a special place. Unbelievable fans, and it's really special and means a lot."

[RELATED: Will Smith on Twins' trade radar, not MadBum]

It's no secret how much Bumgarner loves playing for the Giants, and he's kept rather hush-hush on what the future holds for him. Despite knowing he more than likely won't be with the team for much longer, the memories he possesses are something that cannot be duplicated. 

Giants present spunky new lineup vs. Rockies, but it's not enough in loss

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USATSI

Giants present spunky new lineup vs. Rockies, but it's not enough in loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was a different look on Wednesday afternoon, and for three innings it was a pretty spunky one.

Bruce Bochy went with lefties -- mostly not the familiar ones -- atop the lineup and the Giants had some success against tough right-handed pitcher German Marquez, who nearly no-hit them earlier this year. It wasn't enough to overcome a grand slam given up by Jeff Samardzija, but as Bochy desperately searches for solutions at Oracle Park, perhaps he has stumbled onto something. 

Brandon Belt hit leadoff and the plan is for that to continue for a few more games, at least. Mike Yastrzemski hit second and scored in the first before doubling while leading off the fifth. Pablo Sandoval had an RBI double and solo homer while hitting third. Alex Dickerson had an RBI double in the two-run first and later drew a walk. Stephen Vogt, batting fifth, had hits in his first two at-bats. 

This is not at all what the Giants planned. Belt hit leadoff one time in his career before Tuesday. Yastrzemski and Vogt started the season in Triple-A and Dickerson was with the Padres. Sandoval, who has turned into Bochy's most dangerous hitter, ended a nervous spring thinking he would get mostly pinch-hit at-bats. 

But for about an hour there Wednesday, the lineup looked somewhat dangerous and worked Marquez hard. Bochy said he could take a look at that lefty-hitting group again depending on the matchups. 

"We had some great at-bats," he said. "We hit a lot of balls hard. I thought it was one of our better days offensively even though we only scored three runs."

The Giants will wait and see what they have in Yastrzemski and Dickerson, and while Vogt has seen more time of late, he won't be supplanting Buster Posey. Belt is the one with easily the tightest hold on a starting job, but Sandoval may not be far behind now given his play. He has started 13 games in June and isn't slowing down. The homer tied him with Kevin Pillar for the team lead at 10, and the double left the bat at 114.7 mph, a season-high for the Giants. The OPS is back above .900. 

[RELATED: Ramos ends slump in a huge way]

"He's got his rhythm and timing right now," Bochy said. "He's seeing the ball well and it's jumping off the bat."

Sandoval will continue to see time near the top of the order. Given where the team is, the rest of the guys who made up the upper half Wednesday probably should, too.