Giants

MLB rumors: A's Mark Kotsay 'hot new name' in Giants' managerial search

MLB rumors: A's Mark Kotsay 'hot new name' in Giants' managerial search

We've toasted former Giants manager Bruce Bochy to celebrate his illustrious career of over 2,000 managerial wins as he retired from baseball.

So now what? 

It's difficult to picture anyone else with the responsibilities other than Boch, but there reportedly are already names being thrown into the hat. One, in particular, already is attached to Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi:

The mention of Mark Kotsay makes sense. Zaidi was in the A's front office from 2005 through 2014, and Kotsay played for Oakland from 2004 through 2007.

Now, Kotsay's the A's quality control coach, and he recently told the San Francisco Chronicle managing interest him.

His background could create the perfect résumé and transition for such a position. 

As a quality control coach, one would take care of everything from preparing players for games to addressing front-office issues. With analytics playing a bigger role in the game, the position could be a conduit for advanced scouting as well -- both from in-person and the analytics department itself. In some cases for teams, ta quality control coach could even take an assistant hitting coach's place in helping with batting practice.

A league source told NBC Sports Bay Area Kotsay as the Giants' manager is a possibility.

"Hmmm ... maybe he could," the source said. "Especially since today, managers don't manage anymore -- the front office does. So you really just need someone who knows baseball, but is more of a people person and knows how to handle players."

After thinking about it for a moment, he was more confident in saying Kotsay would fit the bill. But he mentioned another current A's coach.

"I think they go old school like Matt Williams," the source said. "It doesn't go with the whole analytics vibe, but Kotsay could relate to younger guys easier."

[RELATED: Giants excited about future of young talent]

Zaidi said one of the main traits he seeks in replacing Bochy would be "relationship building," which he said was important when it comes to the players.

The source also said that one of a quality coach's main responsibilities was maintaining a rapport with the players because this individual is sometimes "the true glue guy between the front office and the guys in the field."

Rays designate popular ex-Giants infielder Matt Duffy for assignment

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USATSI

Rays designate popular ex-Giants infielder Matt Duffy for assignment

A Giants fan favorite needs a new home. 

The Tampa Bay Rays designated infielder Matt Duffy for assignment Wednesday, and they now have a week to trade or release him. Injuries limited Duffy, who played for San Francisco for parts of three seasons, to just 199 games with the Rays after being traded to Tampa Bay during the 2016 season.

“Wish that his health and his time with us would have gone different in that regard and we could have had him on the field more,’’ Rays general manager Erik Neander said (via the Tampa Bay Times). “He really is a special player and there’s the obvious stuff you can measure in how he impacts a game. His intangibles, his leadership, his influence on a younger impressionable clubhouse like we have is worth a lot. And that especially made this a very difficult decision and we’ll certainly miss him in that regard.’’

Duffy played in only 46 games, slashing just .252/.343/.327 and posting a career-low .670 OPS. Despite those struggles, Duffy's Rays career ended with eerily similar statistics to that of his Giants tenure. Duffy played 54 more games in orange and black than he did with Tampa Bay, but his .281/.326/.399 slash line with the Giants was not far off from his overall .284/.351/.357 line with the Rays. 

The pitcher Duffy was traded for, Matt Moore, is long gone from San Francisco. Could Duffy make his way back to Oracle Park, either through trade or free agency? It's difficult to imagine, given the construction of the Giants' infield depth chart. 

Duffy has played the vast majority of his career games at third base, and Giants third baseman Evan Longoria is under contract through 2022 and owed $53 million until then, making a trade unlikely. Behind Longoria is arbitration-eligible veteran Donovan Solano, who posted a career-best .815 OPS last season. Right-handed shortstop Mauricio Dubon, who the Giants acquired in a trade from the Milwaukee Brewers, will at least back up Brandon Crawford next season, and Dubon's status as one of San Francisco's most promising young players will give him the priority in terms of playing time. 

[RELATED: Would Cole be perfect fit for the Giants this offseason?]

Plus, Duffy's connections to the Giants are largely gone. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, general manager Scott Harris and manager Gabe Kapler were not in San Francisco when Duffy was. The Giants are no strangers to bringing back one of their own, but it remains to be seen if San Francisco's newly formed brain trust values that in the same way. 

The Giants opted not to make any changes to their 40-man roster Wednesday, and they would've had a chance to acquire Duffy via trade. Neander said the Rays were unable to find a taker, but perhaps a team circles back now that Duffy has been DFA'd. It just might not be San Francisco. 

Why Farhan Zaidi says he still has faith in Giants' aging veteran core

Why Farhan Zaidi says he still has faith in Giants' aging veteran core

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has made a multitude of personnel moves since taking over control of San Francisco’s roster. 

A handful of holdovers remain from the previous regime, many of whom were part of the organization’s three World Series trophies in five years.

Guys like Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and others are facing increasing competition for innings after several rough seasons in a row for the Giants.

Zaidi wants to continue the team’s rebuild but isn’t going to just jettison every guy who’s not in their prime.

“Sometimes I think the change does not mean a change in personnel,” Zaidi told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on “The TK Show” podcast. “But a change in outlook and perspective.

“Baseball is a game where development should never stop, whether you’re a 22-year-old rookie or a 33-year-old veteran.”

Zaidi is hoping that the infusion of fresh blood into the Giants clubhouse should give every returning player an opportunity to re-evaluate their own roles and abilities.

[RELATED: Would Cole be perfect fit for the Giants this offseason?]

“As I view it, being a change agent doesn’t mean just turning over the roster,” Zaidi said. “But it means everybody reassessing where they are in their careers, what they do well, what their roles are, and trying to progress further for the betterment of the team.”

Expect to see some familiar faces on the Giants next season. But Zaidi and his new general manager Scott Harris likely will continue making moves throughout the offseason and even in-season, as we saw frequently in 2019.