Giants

MLB free agency: It's Feb. 1, and these marquee names remain unsigned

MLB free agency: It's Feb. 1, and these marquee names remain unsigned

Welcome to February, where a majority of MLB free agents have yet to be signed. Baseball will take place this month in Arizona and Florida as spring training gets underway, and some of the biggest names in the game remained unemployed.

Yes, the two major names that haven't signed the dotted line yet are Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but there are so many others.

Nationals closer Sean Doolittle and the Giants' own Evan Longoria were very open about the frustrating offseason and lack of signings.

With that being said, just how many guys are available? Well, let's take a look.

Dallas Keuchel, SP

Keuchel was the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner and despite a bit of a hangover in 2016, he managed to make his way back with the Astros and help them win a World Series in 2017. His strikeouts per nine innings dropped last season, but his 3.74 ERA is not a characteristic of the type of pitcher he is. 

Note: On Thursday, the Astros signed pitcher Wade Miley to a one-year, $4.5 million deal. And it was reported the team is still interested in bringing Keuchel back to Houston: 


Craig Kimbrel, CL

It's Craig Kimbrel. This guy makes most pray for the batter when he runs out to the mound from the bullpen. He earned his seventh All-Star selection last season with a 2.74 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 62.1 innings. He's going to want a lot of money -- an astronomical amount of money. And what pitcher doesn't?

But he has to be one of the best closers you've ever seen.

Marwin Gonzalez, OF

Watching Marwin Gonzalez in 2017 with the Astros was a true pleasure. He finished that season with a .303 batting average and a .226 ISO. He turns 30 in March, which, unfortunately, could be a way to talk teams out of signing him to a multi-year deal, but the guy is oozing with talent. 

Nick Hundley, C

Giants fans are very familiar with Nick Hundley -- and not just from that one Yasiel Puig confrontation. He spent his last couple seasons with the team, and while he's never had numbers that stood out (besides a stint with the Rockies in 2015, but I'm sure you'll say "Coors") he's always managed to have a job.

Adam Jones, OF

I had to do a doubletake. I forgot Adam Jones was a free agent since talk of former Orioles has been centered around Machado, but Jones is a sensational player. 

Jones loves Baltimore. So much so, he actually purchased Cal Ripken Jr.'s former home in the area in addition to his house in his hometown of San Diego. Before you get in my mentions about him buying a house in a place where he played half of his games each year, it's more than that. He and his wife, Audie, who grew up in Baltimore, are very active in the community. 

The O's are coming off a terrible season (47-115 in 2018) so having him go back to the team seems farfetched. And him to the Padres? Well, maybe not. But, MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal did say on Thursday that a lot of teams are taking time and it's possible it's because of the Harper signing -- or lack thereof.

Sergio Romo, RP

Romo pitched as a member of the Giants for nine seasons where he earned an All-Star selection in 2013. He was known for coming out of the bullpen and being dominant, but he did make his first career start in his major league career with the Rays last season. against the Angels. He tossed one inning, striking out three.

It's a small sample size, but it shows he's up for anything. A one-year deal for him to boost the bullpen could happen.

Carlos Gonzalez, OF

CarGo is 33, but when it comes to him, his age is not a factor by any means. The guy plays like he's still in his 20's. He spent a decade with the Rockies, and by taking a look at his splits, I could see it being scary for a team not named the Rockies wanting to acquire him. A .323 batting average at home and a .251 average when he's on the road.

Still, the three-time All-Star had a difficult outfield to roam, just ask Larry Walker -- covering Coors isn't anything easy.

He needs to be signed.

Brett Anderson, SP 

Yes, Brett Anderson is funny on Twitter, but the guy was pretty impressive last season when he was back with the A's. He lowered his ERA to 4.48 which is exceptionally better than most of his previous seasons. 

The A's were one of the recent teams to show interest in the lefty again and he could provide some depth, but at the moment, nothing has come to fruition.

Bartolo Colon, SP 

We all want Barolo Colon to play for our favorite team. If not now, you will eventually -- even just to sell tickets.

It appears the 45-year-old refuses to hang up his cleats, and after throwing 146.1 innings last season with the Rangers, he's pretty resilient. And he wants to come back in 2019

Hunter Pence, OF

In an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area in December, Hunter Pence was very open in a reunion with the Giants and a few teams have reached out. But he spoke to Larry Baer personally, and he's been working hard in the offseason to make sure he has a chance to play again. 

Gio Gonzalez, SP

A guy also familiar with the Bay Area is Gio Gonzalez who spent four seasons with the A's. In his final season with the green and gold, he earned his first of two career All-Star selections and was in the Cy Young Award talk a couple times throughout his career.

The list continues ...

Devin Mesoraco, Rene Rivera, Logan Morrison, Andrew Romine, Josh Harrison, Logan Forsythe, Danny Valencia, Matt Joyce just to name a few ... 

There are many more still left, waiting to get the call a team wants them. Concurrently, there are plenty of spots to fill on major league rosters and they may have to wait until spring training has already begun ... 

MLB rumors: Giants to hire Reds' Donnie Ecker as new hitting coach

MLB rumors: Giants to hire Reds' Donnie Ecker as new hitting coach

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are hoping to see a youth movement in their lineup over the next couple of seasons. They're apparently going with the same approach on their coaching staff. 

Cincinnati Reds assistant hitting coach Donnie Ecker will be named the Giants' hitting coach, according to Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. The Giants did not immediately confirm the hire. They are expected to announce their staff next week at the Winter Meetings. Ecker, 33, is just five years removed from being the baseball coach at Los Altos High, his alma mater. 

The Giants have spent the last month putting Gabe Kapler's staff in place, and they have not looked in traditional corners. They have worked to surround Kapler with coaches who take a more modern approach and can help develop the next Giants contender, and Ecker certainly qualifies as an interesting hire. 

Ecker spent just one season as assistant hitting coach in Cincinnati. In 2018 he was the Triple-A hitting coach for the Angels, and before that, he coached in the minors for the Cardinals for three seasons. Ecker's coaching career began in 2013 when he took a job at Los Altos High, where he was a two-sport star in baseball and football. Ecker was a 22nd-round pick of the Rangers in 2007 but got just 97 minor league at-bats. 

Ecker certainly is a bit of an out-of-the-box hire, but that might be just what the Giants need after years of struggling to put together a lineup that can hit at Oracle Park. Ecker's bio with the Reds stated that "his teaching methods incorporate human movement research and technology-based applications to the body and swing." He is described as someone who is an "integrated movement specialist."

[RELATED: Where Giants' core players stand as Winter Meetings near]

Once confirmed, Ecker will join third base coach Ron Wotus as members of Kapler's staff. The Giants also have hired Brian Bannister as Director of Pitching but it's unclear if that role will have him in the dugout. 

MLB rumors: Giants targeted Georgia's Sean Kenny as next pitching coach

MLB rumors: Giants targeted Georgia's Sean Kenny as next pitching coach

The Giants' coaching staff under manager Gabe Kapler is starting to take shape. 

The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly reported Sunday that San Francisco was in negotiations with Indians defensive coordinator Kai Correa, and sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic on Wednesday that Brian Bannister, a former big leaguer who spent the previous five seasons with the Red Sox, will join the Giants as their director of pitching

Speaking of pitching, the Giants appear to be on the hunt for a new pitching coach. And their search seems far and wide. 

D1Baseball's Kendall Rogers reported Wednesday that the Giants targeted the University of Georgia's pitching coach Sean Kenny for the same role in the big leagues. But, UGA made sure Kenny stayed in Athens. 

Kendall says the Giants have looked at several candidates from college and the pros, and Kenny looks like a prime coach on the rise. The former 17th-round pick of the Mets became Georgia's pitching coach before the 2018 season and instantly made a huge impact. 

Georgia's pitching staff lowered its team ERA 1.05 points to 3.97 in Kenny's first year on the job, and set a school record with a .236 opponent's batting average. That number dropped to a lowly .200 last season, as UGA's ERA fell to 3.24 while setting a school record with 601 strikeouts. 

[RELATED: Report: Twins, White Sox 'heaviest suitors' for MadBum]

The Giants haven't formally announced that Curt Young will not return for a third season as their pitching coach, but it was expected that Kapler would bring in several new coaches. The only known coach to come back next season is Ron Wotus, who will be in his 33rd year with the Giants organization.

Bench coach Hensley Meulens has joined the Mets, and hitting coach Alonzo Powell accepted a job in Japan in the same role.