Giants

Giants

If you want Giants news these days, your best bet is probably Instagram. Logan Webb got engaged a few days ago, and Steven Duggar got married. Brandon Crawford is in Switzerland, Tyler Beede made a cameo in his wife's movie and Johnny Cueto's workout videos are providing consistent entertainment value. 

As for the actual roster, it has been, uhh, remarkably slow. 

The Giants have another month to make an impact, but as they did a year ago, they've been filling in around the edges. A starting pitching candidate here and catching depth there. You can expect them to once again try to lock up some veterans to non-guaranteed spring deals, but before the market hits that point, there are some big names that still need to come off the board. 

Here, in the first full week of January, let's take a look at what's remaining, and what might make sense for the Giants ... 

Outfield

Josh Donaldson is the best player still available, but the third baseman is not a fit for the Giants in any respect. They do desperately need outfield help, though, and Nicholas Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna and Yasiel Puig are still out there. 

Castellanos has been linked to the Giants a couple of times this offseason, but there has been no smoke in recent weeks. He reportedly is seriously considering the Texas Rangers, who have been trying to add a right-handed bat.

 

Castellanos is young enough -- he turns 28 in March -- that he would still theoretically be in his prime when the Giants are ready to contend again, but Farhan Zaidi hasn't given out a multi-year deal since coming over. Ozuna is 29 and brings similar thump, but he also figures to get three or four years at a healthy annual salary. 

Puig is a true wild card, as he has always been. Years of antics have cost him any hope of a long-term deal, so in theory he's a fit -- a right-handed power bat who can play right field and possibly would get just a one-year deal. But the Giants have spent the last two months talking about the importance of culture. Bringing Puig into Madison Bumgarner's old clubhouse would be an odd way to change the culture. 

After those three, it gets pretty shallow. Hunter Pence might be the next best corner outfielder. Kevin Pillar is the best center fielder remaining. Neither reunion is happening. 

Starting pitching

The market is pretty much aligned on veterans with some warts. The better ones get one year at around $9 million, and the next tier comes in at one year and $5 million to $6 million. The Giants are taking flyers on Kevin Gausman, Tyler Anderson and Tyson Ross, and they're probably not done. 

Ivan Nova, Alex Wood, Taijuan Walker, Jimmy Nelson and Felix Hernandez are among the veterans still out there. When you're a rebuilding club that figures to be a seller on July 31, you want to take bigger swings, so Walker and Nelson could be particularly intriguing. Nelson had a huge 2017 season but then needed shoulder surgery; Walker is a former top prospect who showed flashes in Arizona before having Tommy John surgery, and he's still just 27. 

Wood was an All-Star for Zaidi in Los Angeles but made just seven starts for the Reds last year. The Giants are awfully right-handed in the rotation, so Wood might make a lot of sense as starting depth for a team that signed Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz this time a year ago. 

Bullpen

Last February, Nick Vincent walked into the room well after camp had started. The Giants can follow that path again to add veterans to their very young bullpen mix, and there are plenty of established pitchers still out there. Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Jerry Blevins are among the group of relievers still looking for a home. 

Expect the Giants to add at least one established big leaguer, but there's no reason for them to do it in January. There will be relievers looking for a home and a fresh start as reporting day approaches next month. 

[RELATED: Why Krukow's 'excited' about Giants' improved farm system]

 

General depth

If you've been paying attention, it's not really a surprise that the Giants haven't made a splash. They want to give opportunities to younger players and avoid giving out any deals that will look bad in a couple of years, so the top of the market was never all that realistic. But they still could use backups in several areas, or else a few injuries to core players will leave them with a borderline Triple-A lineup. 

Brock Holt would be a nice choice as a utility man, and Ben Zobrist, Brian Dozier and Jason Kipnis are all free agents. Matt Duffy and Joe Panik are still out there, although a Panik reunion certainly isn't happening. A Duffy reunion might please a lot of fans who have given up on the team in recent months, though.

Zaidi wants flexibility with roster spots, so the preference certainly is going to be toward players who can start the year in Triple-A or be optioned back and forth. But manager Gabe Kapler could use more experience on his bench, and the 26th roster spot should make it a bit easier to carry another veteran.