Larry Baer

Giants CEO Larry Baer optimistic shortened 2020 MLB season will happen

Giants CEO Larry Baer optimistic shortened 2020 MLB season will happen

Giants CEO Larry Baer understands the frustrations in baseball right now. He gets why fans want games back, he gets why players want to be safe amid the coronavirus pandemic and he gets why owners are playing their hand financially with revenue losses of a shortened season. 

Aside from all hurdles, Baer believes a season will be played

"I think if you look at the timelines that have been laid out, we're very hopeful, and personally, I'm optimistic -- I'm not involved in the negotiations, so I don't know the day-to-day -- but I think at the timelines that have been laid out, there would be ample time to get an agreement done to get the kind of season we're all talking about, which would be somewhere in that range of 80 games, 82 games, so, a half-season," Baer said Thursday on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" show.

First and foremost, players' health should be priority No. 1. This won't be easy with 30 teams all across the country. 

MLB already has proposed massive health changes to how players and coaches can act once games resume, including no spitting, high-fives, fist bumps or hugs, among other ways of the game in a 67-page document. And then you take into account how often players and coaches will have to be tested for the coronavirus. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

"We still, realistically, for this to be able to work from a health and safety standpoint, with the municipalities, we would need to socialize in 30 different markets, or 30 teams, 25 markets have to socialize [for] this to work, and that process has started," Baer said. "So I think even though we don't have a deal now, I think in order for the timelines to be executed, we don't have to have a deal today in order for this program to work, which I think people are pretty excited about the prospects of potentially, can we play in July?

"To do that, you're still working with the public health officials in all these markets and then have the workouts and that's going to be a three-to-four week period, and testing that can be done without taking testing away from the communities, make sure it's not impacting people."

[RELATED: Why Baer believes 2020 MLB Draft requires 'better scouting']

Along with health risks, there have been many financial issues as well with MLB returning. All of this has caused confusion and frustration, but Baer hopes fans stay patient and believes baseball is doing all it can to return soon in a safe fashion.

"I know it sounds frustrating, there's stuff thrown out in the press by both sides, I suppose, I would not be too disturbed or frustrated or angry," Baer said. "There's enough to be angry about or concerned about in the world. I'm optimistic that left to our own devices, something can get done."

Giants' Larry Baer believes 2020 MLB Draft requires 'better scouting'

Giants' Larry Baer believes 2020 MLB Draft requires 'better scouting'

The MLB draft is going to look completely different next month.

Instead of a 40-round draft, this year's format will consist of just five rounds. Players that aren't selected will be able to sign with any team for a max amount of $20,000.

In MLB owners' attempt to save money during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, they decided to cut this year's draft down.

For the players that might have been drafted in rounds No. 6 through No. 40, it puts them in a free-agency style frenzy where they will try to sign with a team as soon as the two-day draft concludes on June 11.

Giants president and CEO Larry Baer understands that there could be teams looking to exploit the "free agent" portion of the draft by possibly promising “under the table” incentives to entice a player to sign with them.

"Baseball is going to set up some restrictions," Baer said on KNBR 680 on Thursday. "And it's a little like NCAA recruiting, you're just going to have to have it policed so that it's fair so that there's no extra inducements or incentives that are outside the bounds, because you are going to have, depending on who you talk to, what scouting director, what general manager or head of baseball ops, where will clearly be more than five rounds of very high-quality players, for sure."

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

For the Giants, who hold the No. 13 overall pick and six other selections, the draft is a crucial aspect of their rebuild. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi counts on the yearly event to replenish the farm system.

Now, Zaidi and his scouting department will be competing against 29 other teams to sign undrafted prospects. They will have to quickly figure out who the best prospects remaining are, and prioritize which ones to offer contracts to.

"In some ways, it requires even better scouting because you have the ability after five rounds to sign a player," Baer said. "You're not going to be able to sign everyone, so who is the best player after five full rounds of selections? You go after them. Who knows? Maybe more local kids will get signed in that respect. More of the Hunter Bishops, the Brandon Crawfords because they grew up here and they want to stay and play for the local team. That could be a good result of it.

"But you're right, the rules of the road are going to have to be laid out and I'm confident baseball will make sure that the teams behave appropriately and cannot go outside the boundaries."

[RELATED: Giants got comp pick for Bumgarner]

Last week, The Athletic's Keith Law highlighted two players the Giants could target with their first pick on June 10 -- Turlock High School catcher Tyler Soderstrom and University of Tennessee left-handed pitcher Garrett Crochet.

The Giants also hold picks No. 49, No. 67, No. 68, No. 85, No. 114 and No. 144.

After that, it will be a free-for-all the likes of which we have never seen. Buckle up. It should be interesting.

Why Willie Mays, Willie McCovey are Larry Baer's two favorite Giants

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AP

Why Willie Mays, Willie McCovey are Larry Baer's two favorite Giants

Having grown up a Giants fan, CEO Larry Baer has seen just about every great player who’s donned on that cream jersey and taken the field in San Francisco.

Since first gracing the shores of the West Coast in 1958, the Giants have won three World Series titles and seen a handful of players be named the National League MVP.

While on KNBR 680 earlier this week, Baer was asked to give his list of favorite three Giants players, something that the show’s hosts had been doing in a previous segment.

“The first two would be Willie Mays and Willie McCovey,” Baer said on the “Murph and Mac” show. “They were my childhood.”

[RELATED: What former Giants GM thinks of Bart-Posey comparisons]

Baer then took care to say there were plenty of names in a tie for that third spot.

“So Willie Mays No. 1, Willie McCovey No. 2, and [a] 238-player tie for third,” he jokingly said.

Mays and McCovey both won MVP trophies in San Francisco in the 1960s, and each now rightfully resides in Cooperstown as a Hall of Famer.

It’s safe to say every Giants fan can’t wait to return to the Plaza and Cove that bear their names and take in a game in person at Oracle Park.