Thursday, February 11, 2016

Will Arroyo Pull A Panik? Top 100 Prospects

 The Super Bowl is over, the winter is almost shot, and pitchers and catchers start to rock and roll soon.  So its almost time for the various rankings to be ov-ah.

Giants have a lot of depth that would fall outside the consensus top 100s, this has been the case for a few years now.  They do have a couple players who will make noise this year.

Christian Arroyo is the obvious call, he might make the back end of a few of these lists.  Funny... Here are a couple of comments when he was drafted: 

"This was my least favorite draft class this year, as they took only one player I rated in the top 100 in this draft class: first-rounder Christian Arroyo (25), whom I ranked 99th overall as a potential average regular at second base. He has more upside than their 2011 first-rounder Joe Panik did, due to his youth and better swing." - Keith Law, ESPN

"There's still a ton, a ton, of good players left in this draft. You can thank the Giants for that. That was mean. I'm sorry." - Chris Crawford, ESPN/MLB DraftInsider

"Which team with multiple picks do you believe failed to optimize their opportunities?
KG:  I can’t think of a team that failed outside of the Giants
MG:  Ditto that.  I’m sure there is a plan there, but I don’t see it." - Kevin Gallo/Matt Grubusky, Big League Futures

"A bit of a reach here for the Giants. Arroyo is an undersized grinder, but the Giants like his ability to hit" - Baseball America

Are there others?  I would say Aramis Garcia has a chance to sneak up the mid season lists, he is most likely one guy due to position scarcity that can zoom.  He gets good reviews on his bat, and often times it takes a couple of years at the catcher position to really get comfortable.  That can effect the bat as well.   Hunter Cole has hit everywhere he has gone since being drafted as a sort of later day draft-and-follow (Cole didn't sign until the end of the deadline, went to the Cape Cod and raked).  He won't get ink, but he might just show up.  

One reason I doggedly supported Matt Duffy and made big proclamations might be a tad peculiar: Duffy posted OPS scores that hung with bonus babies.  There aren't a lot of good OPS scores from 2015 in Los Gigantes organization, you have Parker/Duvall in the PCL, a notorious hitters league, you've got Shaw/Hinojosa/Vizcaino in the Short Season league (college bats!), you have a couple of DSL kids you can't really know anything about til they're stateside (Rodriguez, Coronado, Geraldo, Modrano), you've got some more seasoned minor league vets (Lollis, Adrianza, Tomlinson) and then you have Arroyo and Williamson.  And Garcia lagging back, due to a bad rough start (774 OPS).  You've also got Dillon Dobson sneaking around in rookie ball, as well as Tyler Brown.  Augusta late bloomer Christian Paulino had a slash of 299/371/467, worth a quick mention.

Who's rising up?  Arroyo and Mac Williamson (back from TJ, not quite getting the loft in the swing the Giants want).  And Cole.  And Garcia, if you can forgive the slow start.

Arroyo: 304/344/459 for 803 OPS (High-A)
Williamson: 275/368/433 801 OPS (AAA)
Cole: 301/358/474 833 OPS (3 levels)
Garcia: 264/342/431 774 OPS (2 levels)
What did everybody miss about Joe Panik?  Because everybody did miss.  They missed the elite contact rate, and the BB/K ratio being 1/1.  Its hard to find prospects who can do that.  The Giants don't have any upper level guys currently who can.  Why are the Giants pulling these guys?  Is it a grand plan?  They're always signing old vets!  Well... If you follow close enough, you can see they employ a placeholder technique.  Whining about the Orlando Cabrera's or Miguel Tejada's (and who would NOT want to whine about them?) or Dan Uggla being signed mid season for a second ignores the deeper significance: the G's leave room for the guys they believe in.  Are they going to hand them the job and annoit them the 2nd coming?  Nope, and I think that's quite deliberate and wise.
Real quick, because I have a long memory:
From Winter 2011:
Bill (Albany): How close was St Johns SS Joe Panik to making your top 50? How does he compare to UNC's Michael Levi?
KLaw: Not close. More 3rd-4th round type.

Yep, that's the guy everybody loves to fawn all over.  Multiple occasions he put down one of the 10 best 2B in the majors.  Hey, in his defense, not many get excited about 2B.  I do!  Got your utility guy right here.

So... Will Arroyo pull a Panik?  There are obvious comparisons, but now... Arroyo has to bust onto a team where there are 8 spots on the field, and 5 on the bench... and with the Bochy led Gigantes... maybe 4.  Tough rough bidness!  It appears LF might be his best chance.  So what does he have to do?  Hit the hell out of the ball!  But his path may become harder than Panik's.

Crawford and Panik both underwhelmed in the Eastern.  What a lot of people forget or don't even realize is they were nursing injuries, and it is a rough adjustment.  We'll see what happens with Arroyo.

Keep an eye on Williamson (obviously, a guy who had a cup of coffee, is a year removed from surgery now, and has some serious power tools and athleticism), Garcia (premium position, line drive bat with pop, learning how to play defense) and as a wild card Cole, because he has hit everywhere he has gone.  I don't think there is any chance of Williamson or Cole getting top 100 recognition, but I do think Arroyo and Garcia will both rise up this next year.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Giants Down To One Big Arbitration Case

George Kontos settled at 1.15MM, midpoint between 850K the Giants filed and 1.35MM that Kontos asked for.  Giants went 50K over, and that's pretty standard practice for the Monks.

Kontos has quietly been an excellent reliever for Los Gigantes.  He is stingy with hits the past 2 years, he's allowed 10 HRs in about 100 IP the past 2 years, his K/BB has improved, he has low K/9 numbers and he allowed 13 of 54 runners to score (24.1%, 14th in the NL). 

The guy Kontos was traded for, Chris Stewart, has had 2 solid years for the Yanks and 2 solid years for the Pirates.  But it evens out pretty well with the shiny WAR scores, Kontos at 2.0 and Stewart at 2.3.  Backup catchers and relievers are both essential components of a baseball team. 

Which brings us to... Brandon Belt.  There hasn't been an extension a la Brandon Crawford, so what are we looking at here?  Giants filed at 5.3MM, Belt at 7.5MM.  So they are 2.2MM apart.  I'd imagine a settlement at 6.6MM for Belt and we'll move on without any drama.  Are stats nerds looking for drama?  There has been a lot of tears shed over Belt in the past few years.

Just remember he is the Giants guy, the guy who snagged him is Doug Mapson, the Giants have liked him for a long time, even mean Bruce Bochy.  The Monks get the credit for Brandon Belt, not top ten list makers, nor stat nerds who think Bases on Balls are really, really cool.

Belt's OPS+ scores are fairly excellent, even in his rookie season. 
2011: 103 (63 games)
2012: 123 (145 games)
2013: 139 (150 games)
2014: 114 (61 games... and the postseason)
2015: 129 (137 games)

Belt has 2043 MLB PAs, he has a slash of 271/347/456 which translates to 803 OPS and 126 OPS+.  He plays excellent defense.  The stats don't agree, he has negative dWar scores every year, although in small amounts totaling -1.2 over the years.  He has struck out 499 times, so we're right at 25% of the time, and that gets some grumblings.  Three true outcome?  200 Bases On Balls, or 10%.  HRs?  63.  Is that light?  I would say that's a tad light.  Is the park messing with him?  Maybe.  113 2Bs and 16 3Bs, as well as a sneaky 32/42 SB/CS.  Belt is sneaky fast, he's a good baserunner, no matter how ackward he looks out there.

Belt is holding out for a Freddie Freeman like deal.  Was that a wise deal for the Braves?  Freeman has 3K at bats, a 285/366/466 slash, 129 OPS+ and 104 HRs.  643 Ks, about the same %, 329 BBs, so roughly the exact same numbers, with a little more BA/OBP/SLG but not a ton.  If Belt hadn't had all these various injuries would he be right there?  Most likely actually.  But I'm not sure a 8/135MM for a 1B is a wise idea.

1B is one of the easiest positions to fill, Sabean was very content to have JT Snow at the position for years, lighter on the hitting, superior with the glove.  Belt has 2 years left before he's a FA.  Is long term still possible in French Vanilla?  I'd say yes, but I doubt the Giants are going to go over a Pence type deal.  Belt is 28 this year, 29 the next and will be looking for security for ages 30-34 on a standard 5 year deal.

The question for me is this: can you find that type of slash line?  271/347/456 ish?  Is that something truly special?  I've been a Belt fan from the beginning, but in the high stakes game of big long term contracts, position scarcity might be working against him.  Working for him is his defensive chops, 2 more years to possibly break out, and the fact the Giants are generally going to reward their own.

I'd be pretty shocked if this goes to arbitration.  Predicting a settlement just over the midpoint.  Sometimes the Giants combine the two offers for 2 years and throw in a signing bonus.  I don't think that's happening here as Belt and his agent will hope for that breakout season.  Again. 

His numbers aren't flashy but as you can see from the OPS+ comping the position, he's been quite good, from the start. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Non Roster Invitees

Getting excited for pitchers and catchers reporting?

Giants said hello to 21 extra guys who are not on the 40 man to come try and break down the door.

Let's check these cats out:

Pitchers: Tyler Beede (Richmond or Sacto!?), Sam Coonrod (should be SJ), Chase Johnson (welcome to the Big Bad Eastern), Braulio Lara (tough lefty with lefty issues, spent last year in Sacto), Vin Mazzaro (just to spite Trader Billy), Ricky Romero (never give up on a lefty) and Albert Suarez, who weighs 235 and is the heaviest of the bunch.  Suarez!

Catchers (Never can have enough catchers): Aramis Garcia (might zoom up prospect lists with a good season of hitting), newly signed George Kottaras (Suck it Trader Billy), Ty Ross (longtime watched by me, glove first catcher) and Matt Winn, who the Giants gave some aggressive promotions to.  They join Posey, Susac and Brown. 

Infielders: Christian Arroyo (#1 prospect in the system, big year coming up), Kyle Blanks (plays a bit of OF when he's not hurt), Grant Green (suck it Trader Billy), Ryder Jones (a little bit of a surprise, but I expect him to keep up with young Arroyo in the promotion schemes), Hak-Ju Lee (never liked him much despite my man Casejud from trying to convince me), Rando Moreno (sleeper central) and old man Ramiro Pena, who is most likely there to goose Adrianza and shuffle to AAA for depth.

Outfielders: Junior Arias, Gorkys Hernandez and old pal Ryan Lollis.

Looking for the next Vogelsong?  Blanco?  Andres Torres?  Santiago Casilla?  Remember for each of those you sift through some guys who hang around just a bit... Chad Gaudin.  Or Sandy Sand Sand Man Rosario. 

Looking forward to the year.  Will Tyler Beede start striking fools out?  At the expense of his ground ball ratio?  Will Arroyo just start to hit everything in sight?  Who might pull a Brandon Belt this year and tear through the system?  It doesn't happen every year, but its been a little while.  Will Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker make things interesting?  What's going on in LF?  How's Angel Pagan? 

Mainly I am looking forward to pictures of Johnny Cueto on a horse.  Of course.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Connect the Dots

Very excited to see Darren Span working the presser.  That's every guy's dream, getting talked up while signing a big contract to set the family up for all time.

Scott Boras got his respect, got to sit on the podium as well.  Said very nice things about the Giants. 

Last Boras client to sign with the G's: Barry... Zito...

Span got 3 years from the G's because they a) value CF defense b) recognize the free agent market in the near future and c) recognize their acute need for good defenders after this year as the contracts run bare (Pagan, Blanco) and the age starts to be a factor. 

Now... Pence is a FA in 2019.  RF.  Guess who else is?  I'll give a clue: Scott Boras client.  I'll give one more clue: current Washington National.  I'll give one more: said very nice things about SF, the city, the fans, AND the org (the best org in baseball). 

Yep.  Giants are set up to go snag Bryce Harper in 2019.   Sounds like a long time away.  Be patient.  The Nats aren't re-signing him, that's for sure.  Harper has a keen sense of baseball history and knows which orgs treat their players right. 

the Giants have excellent discipline on stacking player contracts since the Zito/Rowand disasters (which were most likely ownership driven).  They stagger, they balance with home grown and reclamation, and they go out now and go toe to toe with the big hitters in baseball to take down the big names. 

It's a great time to be a Giants fan.  If you're worried about 3 years down the line... That's what just might happen.  Will it be a huge contract?  We'll see... lots of things can happen.  But I do think that Harper and the G's are a match made in heaven.  Harper will be pretty damn mature by then, and he's well on his way already. 

FA woo'ing is a two way street.  The G's have one of the best reps in the game, and it was in full effect today.  I'm very psyched to see D Span for the next 3 years.  While there's a chance it'll be a DeRosa situation, it might be a Marquis Grissom situation where he kills it.  Good bet from the front office.  The best front office in the game.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Giants Sign Denard Span

Pending a physical...

3 year deal.

Span's B/R Page

it's all about the health.  If he's healthy, that seems like a good amount of years.  32-33-34 is what the Giants have with Pagan right now, and it hasn't been exactly rosey.  So health is paramount.

In this post just two days ago I identified Span and Cespedes as the two guys I'd go small and go big on.  Span is pretty much the only true center fielder out there.  And I think that is the big driving force behind 3 years instead of 1.  CF is a big need for the Giants, its a big need throughout baseball.

This allows the G's to hang onto Susac, Arroyo, Williamson, et al.  And that lefty Mejia.

And there's the moneys... 3/31MM, 10.33MM a year.  That sounds pretty good in todays economy.  287/352/395 over his career, over the past 3 he's been 292/345/404 109 wRC+ in 1605 PAs, 14 HRs.  He put up 6.8 WAR the past 3, 24 WAR over his career.

I've been heckling for more African-American players on Los Gigantes, so I love that aspect of it.

Will he stay healthy?  That's the big risk.  That kind of BA/OBP combo at the top, with CF defense, that's a nice look. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Draft Gamin' GM Powers... Activate!

So the word is that Alex Anthopoulos has signed up with the Dodgers.  Wowza!  How many GMs do these fools need?   Are you keeping score?  You've got...
Andrew Friedman
Farhan Zaidi
Josh Byrnes
and in senior adviser roles... Gerry Hunsicker and... Ned Coletti
Stan Kasten was never a GM in baseball, but was one back in the day for the Atlanta Hawks.  He was the youngest in NBA history, maybe that's why he likes all these young guys huddling up. 

Friedman and Anthopoulos are both aggressive "stock the draft" guys, manipulating to gain extra picks any way they can.  Friedman emptied his bullpen back when Type B guys existed, and AA would do wacky things like trade for Miguel Olivo only to decline his option for the draft pick.  Friedman has been very aggressive paying off salaries for draft picks.

AA has also been very aggressive drafting HS pitchers and getting into contentious negotiations.  In a coincidence, the Giants have twice drafted former bonus babies who declined to join the Blue Jays: Tyler Beede and Phil Bickford.

AA ended up drafting two college guys the next year: Marcus Stroman and Max Pentecost.  While I feel that not signing your draft picks is a huge waste of everybody's time, I did like both of those picks, a lot.  Stroman has made the show, Pentecost has had to deal with severe injury issues.

Let's look at AA's tenure with the Blue Jays.  Does the man know how to evaluate?  Does he know how to keep his best talent?  It's a strange trip for AA, the Jays break one of the longest playoff droughts in the majors, he went in big time trading for Tulo and David Price, Joey Batts has the Flip Heard Round the World, but the Jays World wasn't big enough for AA and Shapiro. 

AA was hired as "scouting coordinator" in late 2003.  In late 2005 he was promoted to Assistant GM.  After JP Ricciardi was fired (Vernon Wells contract) in 2009 he was promoted to big cheese.  So he's had his beak in the drafting end of things for a long while. 

From 2004-2015 the Jays had 15 supplemental first round picks.  If you want a quick comp, the Rays under Friedman only had 9.  The G's have 7 during that period.  (AA is also known for making flurries of waiver claims, something that Friedman is apt to do as well). 

Who is the most successful first rounder in Toronto under AA?  Ricky Romero.  9.7 WAR and unfortunate injuries.  Followed by Brett Cecil, Travis Snider and then... Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and James Paxton (another no sign). 

Draft tendencies in the first round: 15 college, 15 HS.  Well what do you know, maybe I had some stereotypes going.  10 position players, 20 pitchers.  Of those pitchers, 6 were lefties. 

Wheeler dealer types are hard to track down, for example Jake Marisnick was originally drafted by the Jays, but is now with the Astros.  Thor with the Mets (as well as Travis D, multi traded) might be a big loss in 10 years time if he keeps doing what he's doing.  AA is known for dealing Vernon Wells (but also dealing Mike Napoli instead of holding), known for his big Jose Reyes snag from the Marlins (Marisnick is part of this), trading away Roy H for prospects (Kyle Drabeck, Michael Taylor and D'Arnaud), and assisting the Cards with their 2011 title run.  But they aren't all bad, he absolutely robbed Billy Beane on the Lawrie-Josh Donaldson jobby, and we'll see if the Jays miss Jeff Hoffman, Daniel Norris (I bet they will!) Matt Boyd (one of my favorite sleepers for multi draft seasons) from the all-in go for it trades for Price and Tulo. 

Does he have a good record of drafting?  Later round hits include Adam Lind, Casey Janssen, Ryan Goins, Mark Rzyddjldkjs, Kendell Graveman, Aaron Loup and... Yan Gomes (the best by WAR and traded away by AA for Mike Aviles).  None of these guys are franchise types really, but its not a bad record of spot the talent.  I would argue he's not so good at hanging onto talent as the wheels and deals come out to play.

This is similar to Friedman, who benefited from two great early picks with Longoria and Price, had a great trade for Ben Zobrist, had good pitching development.  The draft manipulation however... Didn't really pan out at all, and is actually a bunch of hyperactive gamesmanship for not much in the way of results (of course, one Blake Snell pans out and it might be a different story...)

More later, just wanted to note this. 

Oh, and the Dodgers have yet another contract held up by arm issues.  Are they gunshy after getting burned by Brandon McCarthy?  Methinks a bit, yes.  The Dodgers playing value b-ball while pissing away all this money in fines and no-plays is hilarious.  "We're a bunch of smart guys!  We're ANALYTICAL!  SMART!  We're SMART!"

So now they have another "smart" guy in the mix.  Too many cooks?  I'd take a look back at the actual results of all the manipulatin'... of course this is always a body of work in progress... but draft manipulatin' ain't all its cracked up to be.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Giants Outfield Depth

So with the Starting Pitching all wrapped up for big money (and my son running around yelling Johnnny... Cueto!... in his best fast talk Spanish accent)...

All eyes turn to the outfield.

(Come on now, how cool is it that Cueto announced his signing with the G's by posting a pic of Marichal with no comment? Very cool, that's how cool)

(And come on now, Madison Bumgarner has a right handed clone with Jeff the Shark - Gints are serious literal Giants these days... their Shortstop is 6'3 for crying out loud)

Anyways... Back to the Outfield.  Let's look at who got the at bats through the years...

(Juan Marichal is 7th all time in career WAR for Los Gigantes)

2008: Randy Winn, Aaron Rowand and Freddy Lewis had the most PAs (along with Bengie).  And you wonder why they sucked.  Serious.  Winn=667 PAs and 105 OPS+, Rowand=611 PAs and 94 OPS+ and Lewis=521 PAs and 105 OPS+.  The issue also lies in their SLG, (426, 410 and 440).  Lewis was famously fueled by a early hot streak, Rowand was tepid from the start and Winn was famously signed for his late season hot streak.  Blah.  (Other OF PAs: John Bowker (also at 1B): 350, Dave Roberts: 130), Nate the Great 81.  Schierholtz slashed 320/370/493... I always says beware of those September numbers!

2009: Winn=597 PAs and 76 OPS+, Rowand=546 PAs and 92 OPS+, Freddy Lew=336 PAs and 93 OPS+ and Schierholtz=308 PAs and 82 OPS+...  And you wonder why their offense sucked???   Sandoval and Juan Uribe were the only regulars with over 100 OPS+ (Sando 144 with 25 HRs, Uribe 112 with 16 HRs).  Winn, Rowand, Lew and Nate slugged 353, 419, 390 and 400.  Andres Torres popped his head in for 170 PAs and a 270/343/533 slash line.  533?  Did you say 533? 

2010: Aaron Rowand got hit by a baseball.  You want the start of the whole "Giants are lucky" nonsense?  There it is.  Andres Torres=570 PAs and 122 OPS+, Rowand=357 PAs and 78 OPS+, Pat the Bat=341 PAs and 136 OPS+ (and several very memorable HRs off Los Doyers), Nate=252 PAs and 85 OPS+, Jose Guillen (yeah yeah)= 139 Pas and 89 OPS+, Mark DeRosa= 104 PAs and 48 OPS+, John Bowker=90 PAs and 65 OPS+ and much blogger rage when he got shipped out for a sidearming Loogy.  Oh, and Aubrey Huff played a fair amount of LF, so let's put him up as well: 668 PAs (Most on the team) with a 142 OPS+.  Huff might have regressed heavily, but he was huge in 2010.  And last but certainly not least, Cowboy Cody Ross with 82 PAs and 122 OPS+.  If only Mean Bruce Bochy played him just a little more and Guillen a little less the Giants could have clinched in...

2011: The year of the injury.  Cody Ross was hurt early, paving the way for Brandon Belt and all that silliness, he put up 461 PAs to lead the OFs, 107 OPS+.  Torres had 398 to a 84 OPS+.  Schierholtz had 362 for a career best 114 OPS+.  Rowand stunk up the joint for the last time with 351 and a 76 OPS+ before taking his bad attitude along with Miggy Tejada to the woodshed.  It only cost Bow Tie Bill his jobby is all... Pat the Bat had big time foot issues, 219 PAs for 115 OPS+ and then a retirement, we'll put Belt in because he played a bit of LF: 209 PAs for 103 OPS+ (not bad for a rookie with a broken bone!) and of course Don Carlos Beltran had 179 PAs and a sterling 159 OPS+ once he deemed himself healthy enough to play, mashing against September Coors pitching.  I was not impressed.  2011 was a frustrating season...

2012: Angel Pagan 659 PAs 120 OPS+, a great revenge trade for Sabean, Melky Cabrera 501 PAs and 157 OPS+, he refused batting title for Posey, some other stuff happened.  Does anybody remember Johnny Sanchez these days?  We do!  We like to watch the Utley HBP playoff game a lot around these parts.  Fantastic Gregor Blanco with 453 PAs and 92 OPS+, as well as a silky silky glove.  Hunter Pence, only the best.  trade.  ever.  had 248 PAs and a dismal 90 OPS+.  One of the guys shipped, Nate the Great, had 196 PAs and a 109 OPS+.  Now if I was a stat nerd that didn't follow closely... I might think that was a bad trade...  I know, I know, small sample sizes...

2013: Pence led the team with 687 PAs, 133 OPS+.  Blanco had 511 and a 99 OPS+.  Pagan 305 and 113 OPS+, Andres Torres 300 and 84 OPS+, Juan Perez 97 PAs and 86 OPS+.  This year the Giants had 3 guys up in the top range of offensive production (Belt and Posey), the offense went great guns.  It was the pitching that faltered.  (Well... and a Fat Panda, but that's another story).

2014: Pence led the team with 708 PAs, 121 OPS+.  Mike Morse!  Played some 1B, kicked the ball around, had 482 PAs, 130 OPS+.  Blanco had 444 PAs and 103 OPS+, Pagan had 413 and a 110 OPS+.  Tyler Colvin contributed yes! yes! yes! and had 149 PAs and 84 OPS+, Juan Perez had 109 PAs and a dismal 41 OPS+, but you remember a couple of those catches he made don't ya?

2015: with Pence out the OF suffered, Posey/Duffy/Crawford/Belt led the way, Pagan had 551 PAs at 77 OPS+ (and yes, the league's worst statistical defense), then Aoki with 392 PAs and 104 OPS+, Blanco with 372 PAs and 117 OPS+, Maxwell with 274 PAs and 70 OPS+, Pence with 223 PAs and 120 OPS+, weird seeing him cheerlead for so much of the year, Byrd had 156 PAs and 108 OPS+, De Aza had 75 PAs and 110 OPS+.  The Gints were forced to throw down a couple trades to fill in due to some bad breaks/dirty plays depending on how you view it.  So it was goodbye to a couple live arms in the system.

What does 8 (EIGHT!) years of OFs in the system tells us?
1.  Hope and pray that Hunter Pence is fully healthy to start the year and back to his ironman ways.

2.  Angel Pagan is quite the whipping boy these days, but it IS a contract year.  The Giants believe in those contract years.

3.  Gregor Blanco (and Andres Torres before him) has been a quiet gigante strength, an OF who can play all over the place, work counts, run some, etc.

Given the history, I think I would lean towards a bigger bat in LF over a defensive whiz.  You have Blanco for that.  I thought the Morse signing was genius.  Did anybody keep track of his actual blunders in the field versus the big hits?  Personally I think it was about a 2 to 1 ratio.  Of course that might not have held up if he didn't switch to 1B due to Belt's injury.

So who's on the 40 RIGHT NOW!
Pence, Pagan, Blanco - hey!  Consistency!  Same guys for the past 4 years.

Minors/Cusp: Williamson and Parker.  I'm a big Williamson guy and a big doubter in Parker due to his K rates.  Its a big jump though, and the Giants aren't about to hand Mac the job. 

Any others lurking in the lower minors?  Well... I would have to say look out for a wild call up of Christian Arroyo if he rakes in the Big Bad Eastern come trade deadline.  And I would also look out for Hunter Cole some.  Strictly LF both of those, it might be far fetched, but Los Gigantes have quite the history of promoting the guys they like.

So what to do?  Are you dreaming of Dreamy Dexter Fowler?  I've never been a fan.  I'll try to say something nice.  The Dodgers will throw a lot of lefties, he is a switch hitter with a 303/392/438 slash line against lefties when he bats from the right side.

However, Fowler on the type of deal (also costs the draft pick) he wants... Ugh.  If you can get him on a 1 year saddle contract...

How about a trade for Jay Bruce? Bruce has 2 piss poor years on his jacket, one more year on his contract with a buyout.  Very little trade value, and the Giants-Reds have a history of trading a ton lately!  How about a live armed reliever Walt J?  Er... whoever is running the ship in name?  Bruce is a lefty bat with bad stats against lefties, and Los Gigantes already have 3 lefties penciled in with Craw, Belt and Panik...  Plus Blanco.  Hmmm...

OK, let's play the Saber game.  I'm going to go 3 year stats, and do Player A,B,C etc. with all the FAs out there.  Ready?  I'll even use the "superior" wRC+ that some stat nerds get all hopped up about.

Player A: 267/348/428 115 wRC+ in 1765 PAs, 52 HRs and a positive defensive rating
Player B: 262/344/470 127 wRC+ in 1904 PAs, 82 HRs and a negative defensive rating
Player C: 265/309/481 116 wRC+ in 1895 PAs, 83 HRs and a positive defensive rating
Player D: 262/338/412 109 wRC+ in 1901 PAs, 41 HRs and a negative defensive rating
Player E: 292/345/404 109 wRC+ in 1605 PAs, 14 HRs and a positive defensive rating
Player F: 262/361/406 112 wRC+ in 1687 PAs, 37 HRs and a negative defensive rating
Player G: 241/341/420 117 wRC+ in 1581 PAs, 53 HRs and a negative defensive rating
Player H: 268/313/469 115 wRC+ in 1760 PAs, 72 HRs and a negative defensive rating
Player I: 265/311/416 101 wRC+ in 1397 PAs, 36 HRs and a positive defensive rating
Player J: 265/319/382 96 wRC+ in 1797 PAs, 25 HRs and a neutral defensive rating
Player K: 242/287/330 69 wRC+ in 1087 PAs, 10 HRs and a positive defensive rating
Player L: 259/322/402 99 wRC+ in 1568 PAs, 32 HRs and a negative defensive rating
Player M: 286/353/369 105 wRC+ in 1615 PAs, 14 HRs and a negative defensive rating
Player N: 237/303/433 97 wRC+ in 1891 PAs, 74 HRs and a negative defensive rating
Player P: 273/320/408 96 wRC+ in 1826 PAs, 33 HRs and a negative defensive rating

OK... enough!  A couple things: this is just one way to evaluate, if it was the only thing you looked at you'd be in serious trouble.  The fangraphs guys are really fond of doing this, plus a standard formula of regression.  Personally I find that a miserable way to analyze anything.  Second, we don't know age here or money demands.  That is the point actually, its a blind look, and I do appreciate that once in a while (although mostly I find this type of thing pretty silly).  Third, its evaluating what the player has been doing the last 3 years...  How much do you value that personally?  I'd rather look at a 3 year average weighed against age when thinking of a multi year contract personally.  4th...  I think that wRC+ overrates OBP just as saber nerds feel that OPS+ overrates SLG.  Personally I like to overrate SLG, a lot.  You can't argue with HRs.  They are a finality.  And they DO effect the game big time.  That's just me, those are my biases.

OK now: who are our batting average guys?  Only 2 stand out in this category, and they are both light bats (Players E and M)

OBP darlings?  A, F and M are the standouts with a couple others in the 340s.  (Spoiler: M is Aoki, somebody the Gints could have maintained... BA AND OBP!  On a 1 year!  These Greybeards...)

SLG!  I like power, and I like to say power in a Russian accent.  Only 3 guys slugging over 450: B, C and H.  Wouldn't you like to know the name of H...  How about raw HR numbers - A & G add 50 HR power, and N keeps up with B, C and H with 70-80 HR (25-30 HR power a season).

The best wRC+ is obvious... And I'll spoil it and tell you its Justin Upton.  Who doesn't like hitting at Pac Bell and is sort of a Momma's Boy.  Remember BJ Upton?  What a grenade that was?
Remember that entire offseason?  Nick Swisher anybody?

The answer for me is pretty clear: get whomever you can get on a 1 year deal, don't sweat CF as there isn't really any good replacement for Pagan currently.  None of these raw stats stand out as excellent, some of these are quite expensive in years and $.

What about trade you ask?  Well... I sprinkled in 4 trade candidates: Hamilton, Bruce, Ozuna and Brett Gardner.  And here is where not knowing youth is a factor obviously.
In addition, there are 3 guys the Giants had under contract last year. 
If I could pick one without regard to money, I'd take C in a heartbeat.  C stands for Cespedes...
The grenade?  I'd have to say J.  J stands for Jackson...
And finally... CF?  If you could get Player E, and he is healthy, for a 1 year prove it deal... You could do worse than Span.  But is he healthy?  And would he take a 1 year?

Player A: (Gordon)
Player B:  (Upton)
Player C: (Cespedes)
Player D: (Gardner)
Player E: (Span)
Player F: (Fowler)
Player G: (Granderson)
Player H: (Byrd)
Player I: (Ozuna)
Player J: (Jackson)
Player K: (Hamilton)
Player L: (De Aza)
Player M: (Aoki)
Player N: (Bruce)
Player P: (Parra)

I think the answer lies elsewhere, hasn't revealed itself yet, and is somewhere in the trade market mid season... If the Giants home growns haven't panned out.

Stand pat Bobby!