Giants fans seem to absolutely hate the Gabe Kapler hire

Giants fans seem to absolutely hate the Gabe Kapler hire

Gabe Kapler was a pretty polarizing figure in Philadelphia with a slight majority of fans disapproving of his managerial style and general demeanor as skipper of the Phillies. He had some progressive fans in his corner though.

Based on the reactions to the San Francisco Giants' announcement of Kapler as their next manager, you'd think he was the worst thing to ever happen to the game of baseball.

Fans were not pleased with the hire. Not one bit. From fans saying they're no longer going to be fans of the team after 40+ years of fandom to people saying they plan on canceling their season tickets, there was plenty of vitriol directed at the Giants. Here's a sampling:

And a check in from Philly:

Anyway, that's just a sampling. Go check out the Giants' actual tweet to see some of the brutal replies. And good luck to you, Giants fans. You will need it.

Lots of buzz about Madison Bumgarner joining one of Phillies' rivals

Lots of buzz about Madison Bumgarner joining one of Phillies' rivals

Many signs point to another top-flight starting pitcher joining one of the Phillies' NL East rivals. 

The Braves, connected to North Carolina native Madison Bumgarner for months, "have made Bumgarner a priority and planned to quickly communicate that to the left-hander," according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, who refers to the Braves as the Giants' biggest threat for Bumgarner.

Bumgarner is not the pitcher he once was, but he'd still be the No. 1 starter for about 10 teams and a top-two starter for all but a few. He came two innings shy of leading the NL in 2019, posting a 3.90 ERA with an excellent WHIP (1.13), walk rate (1.9 per nine) and his highest strikeout rate (8.8 per nine) since 2016.

Such a move for Atlanta would make obvious sense. The Braves are losing Dallas Keuchel and Bumgarner, a fellow lefty, would be an even better fit for that rotation. He would also provide the Braves another veteran voice, perhaps one that prevents the Braves from having as many hustle-related issues as they did down the stretch. Some take issue with Bumgarner's intensity, but pair him with Freddie Freeman and you should rarely, if ever, have festering clubhouse issues.

Bumgarner would be a great get for the Braves and it would sting for the Phillies. They'd have to not only face him on the mound a handful of times per year but also in the batter's box. Bumgarner had one of his worst offensive years in 2019, hitting .127, but he still homered twice. He's gone deep 17 times over the last six seasons, hitting .200 over that span. His bat adds value.

Another factor that makes Bumgarner such a fit in Atlanta is his expected price tag. While many are projecting Gerrit Cole's contract to land in the $250 million range and Stephen Strasburg's to check in above $150 million, literally nobody is predicting Bumgarner gets a nine-figure deal. Most projections are between $72 million-$90 million over four or five years.

That would make it more palatable for the Braves, who have exceeded $120 million in opening-day payroll one time in their history. For perspective, the Phillies opened 2019 above $140 million. 

Josh Donaldson's $23 million salary is now off Atlanta's books, same for Keuchel's pro-rated $13 million. That creates enough flexibility for the Braves to fit in Bumgarner, although they'd also love to bring back Donaldson.

If Bumgarner does end up with the Braves, it's just another high-quality arm the Phillies must deal with in their quest to end an eight-year playoff drought. J.T. Realmuto called the NL East the best division in baseball earlier this week and that wasn't just bias. Playing in this division, you draw about an ace a week.

Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, potentially Strasburg, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, potentially Zack Wheeler, potentially Bumgarner. Woof city. Wouldn't it be more fun to play the Tigers Royals 19 times apiece instead?

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More on the Phillies

Gabe Kapler drawing interest from multiple teams in search of a manager

Gabe Kapler drawing interest from multiple teams in search of a manager

In the four days since Gabe Kapler was let go by the Phillies, two reports have surfaced of teams set to interview him. First, the Giants, now the news Monday from the Chicago Tribune that Kapler will interview with the Cubs.

It shows that, despite how things ended here, Kapler is well-thought-of in major-league circles. Why wouldn't a few teams with openings bring him in to hear what he says, how he'd manage their club, and pick his brain for ideas? Not every team has as much of a preference for a seasoned skipper as the Phillies appear to. It makes sense for a few of the eight teams with vacancies to cast a wide net. There are plenty of examples of managers not succeeding at their first stop before settling in.

Kapler has ties to both the Giants and Cubs. San Francisco's baseball department is run by Farhan Zaidi, who worked with Kapler in the Dodgers' front office. Chicago's head man is Theo Epstein, who had Kapler as a player with the Red Sox from 2003-06.

Former Cubs catcher David Ross is viewed as one of the favorites for that job. Joe Girardi has been connected to the Cubs and Mets, and it is believed that the Phillies are speaking with him Monday in the New York area.

Fuld declines interviews

Sam Fuld, the Phillies' major league player information coordinator, declined managerial interviews with the Cubs, Mets and Pirates, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Fuld is an important and valued member of the Phillies' organization. A former player himself, he serves as a conduit between the analytics department and the players. Fuld is highly respected around the game and could one day be a manager or general manager somewhere. 

Could an opportunity with the Phillies be the reason he declined three interviews? Possibly, but it still seems more likely the Phillies go the route of an experienced manager. It could have more to do with Fuld's family situation, comfort in his current role and potential upward mobility in the Phillies' own front office.

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