Tuesday, October 18, 2016

State of the Giants 2016-2017: Roster Needs

In a previous post, we ran down the Giants current 40 man roster including financial commitments and departing free agents.  Here we'll take another look at the roster to identify specific holes or needs that need to be addressed before next season starts.  We'll start by projecting assignments based on an assumption of no FA acquisitions or re-signs and no trades and then focus on the areas where no player is assigned or where an upgrade is needed.  As a bonus, we'll list the player's 2016 fWAR and league positional ranking by fWAR.


C Buster Posey:  4.0/2
1B: Brandon Belt:  4.4/6
2B Joe Panik:  2.1/14
3B Eduardo Nunez:  2.7/14
SS Brandon Crawford:  5.8/4
LF Open(Williamson/Parker?):  0.5/0.2
CF Denard Span:  1.4/14
RF Hunter Pence 2.1/14


C  Trevor Brown:  0.2
IF Conor Gillaspie: 1.1
IF Tomlinson/Adrianza/Beckham:  0.8/0.2/-0.6.
OF Gorkys Hernandez:  0.2
OF Williamson/Parker: 0.5/0.2


Madison Bumgarner LHP:  4.9/9
Johnny Cueto RHP:  5.5/4
Jeff Samardzija RHP:  2.6/45
Matt Moore LHP:  2.2/51
Open(Matt Cain/Ty Blach?)


Closer- Open
Derek Law RHP:  1.1/37
Hunter Strickland RHP:  0.8/63
Will Smith LHP:  0.8/69
Cory Gearrin RHP:  0.5/95.
George Kontos RHP:  0.2/177
Steven Okert LHP:  0.1/255.
(Albert Suarez?)


5'th Starter(probably in-house)
LF(possibly in-house)
Reserves and non-closer relievers(probably in-house, settled in Spring Training).

In future posts, we'll move on to Scouting the Offseason and take closer looks at each of the open positions and positional battles to see how the Giants 2017 final roster may shake out.


  1. I'll post a comment here from yesterday's article, in order to hopefully kick up the conversation in your most recent post:

    There's a good article that I reread a little closer and gave me the needed insight - it's up on McCovey Chron if anybody pleases. Unfortunately, it looks like there's less salary $$$ room than we'd like, when you do the simple accounting - However, all of that changes if the new CBA significantly raises the cap space, which is pretty likely.

    Here's the math: Though the cap is $189mil, remember that there's an initial big hit for player's medical+benefits that's counted against the cap but isn't seen in the total contract dollar amount. Hence, the actual cap max is around $179. When you take the $142 MosesZD mentioned, it's not accounting for the AAV, versus the pure dollar amount in 2017, and probably isn't accounting for the remaining role players on the roster (bench + bullpen who are as-yet unsigned/arbitrated).

    When the author of the above article put it together on a spreadsheet only including the VERY probable members of the 2017 roster (Tomlinson, Gillaspie, full bullpen sans closer & no FA re-signings) the principal comes out to $163mil.

    So.... Yeah, dang! Hope the cap goes up because that's only JUST enough to grab a closer and little else.

    That's why I'm a big advocate for trading high cost contracts and leveraging them to get some big pieces. It's the only way to add talent, and one of Belt/Pence/Samardzia might have to go... Not that I'd like to see ANY of those three go!!!

    1. Yeah I keep forgetting about the bennies counting against the cap. The assumption of that article is that the Giants would absolutely not go above the Luxury Tax Threshold because the penalty rises to 40% in the 3'rd year of overage. I tend to believe they would go a few $ M over if they thought it was the difference between a replay of this season and a legitimate run at a championship. I do agree they won't go busting way above it to sign a frontline closer and a Cespedes type LF. So, it's probably one or the other with Closer taking priority unless they can swing trades for lower salaried players.

  2. what is the guess for the 2017 luxury tax and since we are in the 3 rd. year of overage, it's 40% of what?

    1. 2017 Luxury Tax cap will be determined by the new CBA. There are a lot of owners who don't want to see it go up from the current $189 M. None other than Arte Moreno, who is not shy about spending $$$ was quoted as saying it might even go down! My guess is it will go up to about $200 M with gradual increases over the life of the agreement.

  3. 2 names that I think would really fit what the Giant's will be looking for in the outfield are Carlos Gomez and Josh Reddick. Both of these guys are coming off down years statistically, but play a good OF. Each has a history in center field, but would be better served in LF or RF next year. Lastly, they won't cost a draft pick. Honestly, Reddick seems a lot more Giantsy, but I would really like to take a gamble on Gomez and hope he finds his 2014 form.

    Clint in Anaheim Hills

    1. I'd honestly rather take a chance on Mac Williamson than pay good money to either Gomez or Reddick.

  4. A jump from $189 to over $200 would pay for a closer. I'm with you, Doc. Let's hope they go with Mac/Parker and see if one can run away with the job. If not, they can always make a run at Braun mid season and absorb his contract.

  5. I would like to see Mac get the nod. I may be wrong, but my sense of him in each level of minor ball was he started out a bit on the weak side and then found his groove. I tend to see that having happened at the major league level as the game has slowed down for him. He'd be great in LF.

    I wonder what you do about Cain. He's not a true long guy and he seems to have finished his career as a starter. We keep getting teased but he falters. Given Blach's age and performance, I wouldn't be opposed to release Cain outright. I know that is not our style (although we did it for Rowand); maybe just put him on the 60 day and let him hang around as a player coach. I don't want to be disrespectful but I just don't see him adding the value. And if we've got a guy who is rookie scale taking his place, it isn't like we're paying that much more to have Blach be the guy (as opposed to signing a guy for a bunch more). I actually think Suarez is a really good long guy and should stay there.

    My only other thought is, especially if Blach starts, is now the time to go back to a 7 man pen and have 2 reserves in the OF. This would provide the opportunity to have both Parky and Hernandez. In that instance you have Strickland, Law, Smith, Okert (who finally turned it on), Suarez and one of Gearrin/Kontos. We've gone with an 8 man for along time, but given those 6 all can do 2 innings and you're balanced R/L, Bochy wouldn't have to do too much mixing and matching (ie, lefty specialist--I loved Lopez but his spot for 1-2 two outs was a very costly spot). Still leaves room for a closer too.

    1. I like the idea of a Parker/Williamson platoon + Gorkys resting/platooning Denard. So sign me up for 5 OFers.

  6. I would like to see Mac (or Parker) get the nod. Of the two, and really based on small samples, Mac seems to be the better fielder and has (from what I've read) the stronger arm. When he filled in for Pence, he played RF really well. In fact, there's a nice video on YouTube with his season highlights. Lots of them are defensive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko1wtGOjj_Y I also wouldn't mind them platooning (along with Hernandez) until one puts a death-grip on the starters role.

    Also, as PiLamBear said... Yeah, release Cain. The money is a sunk cost and the team needs better production out of his roster spot. We gave him 2014, we gave him 2015, we gave him 2016. I just don't see giving him yet another year and I'd rather the Giants get egg on their face because he finally turns it around rather than egg on their face because Cain is horrible and is costing the team.

  7. Something I imagine DrB will highlight in the more specific position posts, is what the prospect and contract situations are at each beyond the 2017 starters.