MLB rumors: Giants have 'pretty high price' for Madison Bumgarner trade


MLB rumors: Giants have 'pretty high price' for Madison Bumgarner trade

If Giants new President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi trades star pitcher Madison Bumgarner, he's only going to do it if he receives premium talent in return.

Zaidi knows the cornerstone pitcher is his best trade chip, so he's not going to settle for a substandard package.

On Monday, Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reported that the Giants and Milwaukee Brewers have had "substantive communication" regarding Bumgarner.

Later in the day, Morosi appeared on 95.7 The Game and elaborated on the state of the trade talks between the two teams.

"Farhan Zaidi knows where he’s at in regards to the overall rebuild for the team," Morosi said. "I think they have a pretty high price tag out there for Bumgarner and now it’s just a matter of whether or not the Brewers match it. I think that’s probably the key question. I think the Giants are prepared to move Bumgarner in the right deal if in fact they get the right offer and now it’s a matter of whether [the Brewers are] going to match it."

As NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic reported in December, a Bumgarner trade is more likely prior to the July 31 trade deadline than now, during the offseason.

Morosi made it clear the Giants aren't going to trade Bumgarner just to trade him.

"If Farhan does not get the offer he wants, he’ll wait," Morosi said. "There’s no rush of a deal for the Giants and if they continue to underwhelmed by what the Brewers are offering, they’ll wait and hold him into June or July. But they also realize there’s risk in that strategy, there’s risk because if Bumgarner is not healthy for the first half, which was what the case was 2018 and also 2017, by the way, then they will have missed their best chance to move him."

Why Josh Harrison would fit Giants but isn't perfect platoon partner


Why Josh Harrison would fit Giants but isn't perfect platoon partner

With Farhan Zaidi now at the head of decision-making, the Giants want a more versatile roster. One player who fits the mold and has been linked to the Giants in recent months is Josh Harrison.

FanCred's Jon Heyman resurfaced the report Sunday, listing the Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Phillies and Rays as teams interested in the former Pirates second baseman. 

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has said he will embrace platooning players, and second baseman Joe Panik consistently has been talked about as a player the front office will look at as a left-handed hitter in need of a right-handed partner. 

So, could Harrison be the answer? Yes and no. 

Harrison, 31, certainly is the kind of multi-positional player Zaidi covets. While he spent 87 of the 89 games he saw in the field at second base, compared to just two at third base in 2018, he has played five positions -- second, third, right field, left field and shortstop -- over his eight-year career. 

The Giants could use Harrison all over the field, but is he the right platoon partner at the plate with Panik? Not exactly. 

Panik hit just .191 against left-handed pitching last season, compared to .282 facing right-handers. But Harrison, a right-handed hitter, also struggled mightily against left-handed pitching. He had reverse splits, hitting .262 against right-handers and just .219 against left-handers in 2018. 

Harrison's splits very well could be an outlier, though, making him more intriguing to the Giants. He hit .286 against left-handers in 2017, and is a .279 career hitter against southpaws. 

They'll have to hope his 2018 season isn't a sign for things to come, but Harrison makes plenty of sense for the Giants to at least entertain adding the utility man.

Why Dodgers might pick A.J. Pollock over Bryce Harper in MLB free agency


Why Dodgers might pick A.J. Pollock over Bryce Harper in MLB free agency

When the Dodgers traded Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Reds last month, it sparked speculation that the team was clearing space in its outfield to sign Bryce Harper.

What if it was for A.J. Pollock instead, though?

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that the Dodgers are interested in Pollock, who fits their player profile and needs in many ways.

Pollock has his issues -- he reportedly wants a five-year, $80 million contract, and he played more than 115 games just twice in seven seasons with the Diamondbacks. But, as Rosenthal noted, Pollock would provide the Dodgers with positional versatility and the right-handed bat they need. Harper, a lefty hitter who mostly plays right field, would do neither, and he’s rumored to be seeking a $300 million-plus deal.

While the Dodgers have big wallets, they could decide signing Pollock for about one-fifth the price of Harper is more prudent. That certainly would sit well with Giants fans, who don’t want to see their hated NL West rivals loading up for a run at a seventh consecutive division title.

And before you ask, no, Harper and/or Pollock aren’t options for the Giants, who also could use outfield help. It’s clear new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, who came from the Dodgers, values sense more than dollars as he tackles the huge task of making the Giants contenders again.