Why Giants signing Marcell Ozuna in MLB free agency would make sense

Why Giants signing Marcell Ozuna in MLB free agency would make sense

It seems like the Giants enter every offseason in search of a power-hitting outfielder. Could this be the winter when they finally land one?

While San Francisco has its own pending free agents to consider, the Giants surely will be looking for ways to upgrade their roster. MLB Trade Rumors predicts they'll sign outfielder Marcell Ozuna, which surely would be a step in the right direction.

Ozuna, 28, spent the last two seasons with the Cardinals, and is coming off a year in which he slashed .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI over 130 games with St. Louis. He also was a two-time All-Star and won a Gold Glove over his five seasons with the Marlins. 

MLB Trade Rumors forecasts Ozuna to sign a three-year, $45 million contract with San Francisco. While his production dipped with the Cardinals, his Statcast numbers provide reason for optimism.

"Ozuna’s average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage were both in the 93rd percentile or better this year, suggesting that his current skill level will produce better results in the future," MLB Trade Rumors wrote. "Plus, he turns 29 this month, so he’s young enough to present some upside. Assuming Ozuna turns down his qualifying offer from the Cardinals, he’s expected to sign elsewhere. The Giants, Marlins, Reds, Padres, Indians, Tigers, and Royals could make sense."

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As mentioned, Ozuna was given a qualifying offer by the Cardinals, so if the Giants signed him, they would have to forfeit a draft pick to St. Louis. However, it would not be San Francisco's first-round selection, which comes in at No. 13 overall.

Giants' Mauricio Dubon needs jersey number after Gabe Kapler took his

Giants' Mauricio Dubon needs jersey number after Gabe Kapler took his

Gabe Kapler had his introductory press conference as the Giants' new manager, and he's chosen his uniform number as well.

The skipper has chosen No. 19 to sport this season, which means young infielder Mauricio Dubon will have to choose a new number -- and he needs your help.

He recently took to Twitter and asked what number he should wear now that he has to make the switch: 

No. 21 appeared to stand out from a Milwaukee Brewer's fan account, since Honduras became a country in 1821. Dubon was born in Honduras in 1994 (sorry to make you guys feel old).

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Five-time All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent also sported the number with San Francisco.

We shall see ... 

Giants continue Triples Alley construction, moving bullpens off field

Giants continue Triples Alley construction, moving bullpens off field

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gabe Kapler and Scott Harris both went through the same drill earlier this week, standing near the home dugout at Oracle Park as a team photographer grabbed shots from their first days on the job. Behind the two new members of the brain trust, construction workers continued the work that started last month.

The Giants plan to make an official announcement about the changing dimensions of their ballpark, and the new locations of the bullpen, soon, but those who attended the press conferences this week -- and a TopGolf event the park hosted last week -- got a sneak preview. 

A chunk of the bleacher seats in right center have already been ripped out to make room for the new bullpens, and some seats have also been taken out in left center to accommodate other changes to the ballpark. But team president and CEO Larry Baer said the changes won't be drastic for hitters. 

"Triples Alley will still be Triples Alley, just with some refinements," Baer said. 

The Giants are still figuring out some of the exact details, but they know the bullpens will be side-by-side in center and right center. The kale garden will remain, although it sounds like there will be some changes to the dimensions out there because the center-field wall is coming in about six feet, which should please hitters. 

The deepest part of the park -- the nemesis for Brandon Belt and other left-handed hitters -- is 421 feet and will ultimately be closer to 410 feet when the construction is done, the Giants think. The Giants put a bar underneath the new scoreboard last season and plan to have additional changes, including a terrace, out there this year, continuing a trend around the game -- seen across the bridge in Oakland -- of having more gathering spots for fans. 

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Even as they held two press conferences last week, the Giants remained coy about their exact plans for the dimensions, but they expect to take out about 400 seats.

Some of those may be made up for in other spots. There is a short wall separating the old bullpens from the first row of seats and about 80 feet of that wall has been taken down on both sides of the park, which would seem to indicate that the Giants are going to add some premium seating in some of that territory.