Giants

Source: Stephen Vogt, Giants close on signing minor-league contract

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Source: Stephen Vogt, Giants close on signing minor-league contract

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has turned to a familiar face in his quest to add catching depth.

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt is close to signing a minor-league contract with the Giants, per sources.

The deal is pending a physical, which is no formality for the 34-year-old, who had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder last May. According to Janie McCauley of The Associated Press, Vogt feels good but is not yet throwing from the crouch.

Zaidi has been looking for a veteran catcher all offseason, but the Giants shied away from incumbent Nick Hundley, who signed with the A's on Monday morning. The Giants were seeking more competition for young backup option Aramis Garcia, and starter Buster Posey is coming off hip surgery.

"Buster is feeling great, but having some additional depth there is going to be important for us going into the season," Zaidi said Friday.

[RELATED: Bryce Harper speaks highly of Posey during Vegas meeting]

Vogt, a left-handed batter who also can play first, was a two-time All-Star with the A's. He last played in the big leagues in 2017 with the Brewers. He had shoulder issues last spring and re-injured it while playing in a Double-A game in May.

Bruce Bochy, Ned Yost reflect on touching moment after 2014 World Series

Bruce Bochy, Ned Yost reflect on touching moment after 2014 World Series

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few minutes after his team lost the 2014 World Series in a heartbreaking way, Royals manager Ned Yost walked over to the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium and quietly slipped into Bruce Bochy’s office. With champagne still flying through the air and players getting deep into their celebrations, Yost and Bochy shook hands and had a brief conversation.  

The show of class and sportsmanship meant a lot to the winning side. That moment meant even more to Yost. 

“I’ve still got that picture hanging in my office,” he said recently. “I don’t have many pictures that I put up, but there’s that one of me and him shaking hands afterward. That one is special to me. It was a hard time because he was trying to celebrate, but I just wanted to tell him congratulations.”

Yost’s Royals will face Bochy’s Giants today in Cactus League action, and it will almost certainly be the final matchup between their teams. Bochy has announced his intention to retire, and neither team is favored to reach the postseason.

That 2014 matchup was a memorable one, though, and it still leaves Yost shaking his head. A day after Bochy announced that 2019 would be his last season, Yost, at an MLB event, recalled thinking he had gotten the better of Bochy. 

“I just remember him sending Bumgarner out in Game 7 and I just thought, ‘Okay, we’re going to kill him.’ And it just didn’t turn out that way,” Yost said. “Even to send Bumgarner out there in the ninth, it was like, ‘whoa,’ but it worked out perfectly.”

Yost and the Royals would win the next year, getting their own moment in the sun. But on that cold October night in Kansas City, Yost watched Bumgarner get out of a jam in the ninth. He watched Bochy celebrate, and then he went over to congratulate a manager he says is a surefire Hall of Famer. 

[RELATED: Bochy announces he will retire after 2019 season]

“I just have the ultimate respect for him. I’ve always admired him, his longevity, and what he has been able to do,” Yost said. “The one solace I can find, as tough as it was to lose a World Series, especially when you’re 90 feet away, is just that I lost it to my boyhood team and to a manager who I probably have more respect for than any other present manager in the game. 

“He’s right behind Bobby Cox for me. He’s accomplished everything that every manager looks to accomplish.”

Bryce Harper explains hitting at Oracle Park wasn't a factor in decision

Bryce Harper explains hitting at Oracle Park wasn't a factor in decision

When it was first reported the Giants were interested in acquiring six-time All-Star Bryce Harper, we checked the numbers on how he performed at AT&T Oracle Park.

Across his career thus far, Harper boasts a .164/.305/.284 line with just two home runs in 19 games.

Not great, but he knew that. It's also well documented that Oracle Park is one of the toughest places to hit in all of baseball.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal recently asked Harper if the difference in parks offensively was an issue. Harper said that wasn't a concern -- he did the homework just like you and I did.

“I saw my (home-run) overlays on each park — Nationals Park, L.A., San Fran, Philly. The overlays weren’t as crazy as people would think," Harper said in an interview with FS1.

“Hitting the ball to left-center in San Francisco, it’s a little bit of a jet stream. And I hit my balls to left-center a lot. Of course, you factor in wind and cold weather, things like that. But that was never really a factor."

Oracle Park is a terror to hitters not named Nolan Arenado or Gerardo Parra. but it can be a pitcher's best friend if said pitcher is able to take advantage of that.

But Harper seemed to indicate he would have enjoyed the challenges of playing in a pitcher's park, even telling Rosenthal it would make him a more refined hitter.

“I’m not scared of ballparks. It was kind of like, ‘If I go into San Fran, it will make me a better hitter because I’ll have to stay on the ball.’ You have Triples Alley to right. But if I stay on the ball and hit the ball to left, then pull homers to right, the line drives to left would have played. So ballpark-wise, it wasn’t that big of a decision to me.”

[RELATED: Giants offer Harper 12-year, $310 million]

We will see if that confidence still resonates with him when he and the Phillies come to Oracle Park later this summer