Why Yasiel Puig trade from Dodgers to Giants might make sense

Why Yasiel Puig trade from Dodgers to Giants might make sense

Yasiel Puig could be the answer to the Giants’ outfield question.

No, no, no, hear us out.

The Giants badly need outfielders. In fact, new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi called adding to the position “a high priority” after he arrived Monday at the MLB Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.

The Dodgers have a surplus of outfielders, and the team could look to trade from its position of strength, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported.

Which brings us back to Puig possibly joining the Giants, who (for now) have Steven Duggar, Chris Shaw, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater and Mike Gerber as the outfielders on their 40-man roster.

It goes without saying that Puig is better than all five of those guys. And he just turned 28, so he’s theoretically entering his baseball prime, even after launching 108 homers in six Dodgers seasons. He had back-to-back years of 28 and 23 homers — totals that easily would’ve led the toothless Giants, who hit 133 round-trippers as a team in 2018.

Puig also owns a cannon for an arm, and an enviable contract situation from a team perspective. He’s arbitration eligible, and MLB Trade Rumors projected him to receive $11.3 million — a relative bargain for an outfielder with his entire package.

That entire package, of course, includes a volatile side, most notably his August brawl with then-Giants catcher Nick Hundley. But Puig is set to become a free agent in 2020, so the Giants would take one season to see if bygones can be bygones, and if the slugger’s bat flips, bluster and bravado look better in orange and black than they did in Dodger Blue.

If not, no big deal. Puig walks, and whatever little is traded to L.A. for a one-year rental, along with some money, is lost. But if it works? That Coca-Cola bottle in left field might need a new paint job after being peppered by Puig.

Zaidi seems content to let the outfield market develop, but he also knows Puig, having served as the Dodgers’ general manager during four of the slugger’s six seasons. One quick Zaidi phone call to his former employer might be all it takes to make Puig your friend, not your enemy, Giants fans.

Giants regress in postseason race after wild night at Wrigley Field

Giants regress in postseason race after wild night at Wrigley Field

You're forgiven if you lost track of everything that happened at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night for the Giants. 

A 12-11 loss to the Cubs was one of the wildest games of the year, one in which both starters got rocked, both bullpens buckled, and seven balls left the yard. It was the first time since 2002 that these two teams faced off and each scored double-digit runs. 

The final blow, a two-run shot by Kris Bryant off Reyes Moronta, decided the game and put the Giants in a difficult spot. Here are three takeaways from the second night at Coors Field By The Lake:

A Tough Spot

It's pretty amazing that the Giants played well enough for a stretch to get into the Wild Card discussion, but the climb is once again really, really steep. 

Even before this game, FanGraphs gave the Giants just a 1.4 percent chance of grabbing a wild-card spot, and they're further back after dropping the first two against one of the many teams they're chasing. The problem with trailing so many teams is that on any given night at least one or two of them is going to win. It's hard to make up ground, and the Giants failed to do so Wednesday. 

The four teams at the top of the NL Wild Card race all won Wednesday. The Cubs have the second spot currently, and the Giants are 5 1/2 games back. They're 6 1/2 back of the Nationals with just 35 to play. These guys did what they had to do against the Diamondbacks, taking three of four, but this series in Chicago was the big one on the trip, and so far the Giants have dropped two games to a team they need to catch. 

A Sneaky Timeshare 

It's gone under the radar, but Buster Posey and Stephen Vogt have come pretty close to splitting time this month. Vogt made his 10th start of August on Wednesday night and has 48 at-bats in the month. Posey has started 12 games this month and has 49 at-bats. 

Vogt has provided another power bat against righties and helped spur the sixth-inning comeback, ending a long at-bat against Yu Darvish with a two-run blast to right. He tied the game in the seventh with an RBI single up the middle. There's a reason he's playing so often. 

Another Find?

The Giants put Jandel Gustave on the 40-man roster in July but didn't call him up right away. They saw something in the right-hander and wanted to keep him in the organization, and lately, the rest of us have seen why they were excited. 

Gustave came one pitch away from throwing an immaculate inning and calmed things down with a perfect seventh. He struck out two, lowering his ERA to 1.32 in 10 appearances. 

[RELATED: Longo's homer has Samardzija in awe]

The 26-year-old primarily relies on a fastball that sits 97-98 most nights and led to three swinging strikes out of his 14 pitches Wednesday. He has allowed just eight hits in 13 2/3 innings since a promotion and has worked his way into a bigger role. With a few more like this one, he could be a true late-innings guy for Bochy down the stretch, and given the way the bullpen looks right now, maybe the Giants should take a long look and see what Gustave can offer for 2020. 

Giants Brandon Crawford talks childhood hobbies through Topps cards

Giants Brandon Crawford talks childhood hobbies through Topps cards

Editor's note: The Giants sorted through stacks of their own Topps baseball cards as part of the "In the Cards" series with NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic. The third edition is with Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.

When it comes to collecting cards, Brandon Crawford has been involved in the hobby since he was growing up, and even before that.

His dad got him started.

"Even back when he was a kid," Crawford told Pavlovic.

Crawford's dad showed him the ropes when it came to card collecting and he even had one of those impressive binder-full treasure troves of them. 

When the two-time All-Star first saw himself on card, it was before he even got his major league call-up -- he was just a freshman at UCLA.

His collection of memorabilia doesn't stop at cards, either. Crawford kept his All-Star garb as well -- just about everything down to the arm sleeve. 

But the best part of his interview was when Pavlovic pointed out how he has noticed Crawford will always make time to sign anything that's put in front of him by fans. 

[RELATED: Posey details MLB journey through Topps baseball cards]

"That was me as a kid, I wanted to come to the field early and get autographs if I could."

 You can watch the entire Topps "In the Cards" interview with Crawford in the video player above.