Monday, January 23, 2017

Hot Stove Update: Giants Sign Jae-Gyun Hwang; Dodgers Trade for Forsythe

The Giants had been rumored to be interested in Korean League 3B Jae-Gyun Hwang, which usually means they actually aren't interested, but this time they got the deal done.  Here's the numbers:

Jae-Gyun Hwang, 3B.  DOB:  7/28/1987.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 185 lbs.

2016 Lotte Giants:  .335/.394/.570, 27 HR, 25 SB, 522 PA.

There are several videos of Hwang out there.  I really like the looks of this guy.  Well proportioned, athletic body.  Plays with some flair(routinely epic bat flips) and generally looks like he could more than hold his own against MLB competition.  Although the KBO is well known to be an extreme hitter-friendly league, several Korean players have done well in MLB.  I mean, let's say his numbers take a hit and he "only" hits .280 with 18 HR.  Those are still pretty good numbers.  Even better, the deal is risk free in that it is a minor league deal with $1.5 M contingent upon him making the Opening Day roster.  There is another $1.6 M available in incentives.

I really like this signing by the Giants, which opens up all sorts of possibilities including potential trades.


The Dodgers finally traded for a 2B, but it wasn't Brian Dozier.  Instead, Andrew Friedman went back to the Tampa Bay well for Logan Forsythe and got him for just Jose Deleon in a 1 for 1 trade.  Numbers:

Logan Forsythe 2B.  DOB:  1/14/1987.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 205 lbs.

2016(Rays):  .264/.333/.444, 24 2B, 4 3B, 20 HR, 6 SB, 567 PA.

Forsythe is not quite as scary as Brian Dozier, but he's a solid player who will upgrade the 2B position for the Dodgers.  The Dodgers lose another pitching prospect, but hang onto Julio Urias and 1B prospect Cody Bellinger.

The Cubs signed LHP Brett Anderson. The deal is for $3.5 M if he passes his physical with incentives up to a total of $10 M.  Anderson only pitched 11.1 IP last season and has had trouble staying healthy with only has 2 seasons out of 8 in which he has made more than 19 starts.


  1. Just what I was on about, dig it, very exciting.

    However, what's the deal with this deal? If Hwang succeeds, what's the configuration of this contract after year 1? Perhaps, since it's a minor league acquisition, they have rights & options after this season? Obviously there must be more to the contract than $3mil for 1 season.

  2. Now, is the next move to continue to bolster the bullpen? There's still work to be done there, to reestablish an elite pen as in the golden days of yore.

    I'm going to start purusing pen stats from the perennial non-contenders; their best move is to flip short term volatile commodities (ie pen arms) for future potential when they'll be relevant again (Reds, Phillies, Tampa, Atlanta, Milwaukee..). Value to be had there.

  3. Jae Gyun is an exciting addition to the roster, and as you say relatively risk free. More depth is good, but he also adds DINGERS. Compared to Rollins, Adrianza, and Tomlinson this is a huge power upgrade on the bench/3b and 2016's team.

    Also if he can establish himself stateside, that can give me an excuse to get a Lotte Giants cap. His mere signing is an opportunity to learn more about Busan, Korea. Hooray for globalized baseball!

    As a former "Giant" does this qualify Hwang for former Giant prospect magic? OR does Morse (or even Gillaspie?) own that for this year? He is a former teammate of Ryan Sadowski, so that has to count for something. /s

  4. It goes without saying, but here it is anyway: the Giants know far more than most of us (especially me!) about the players they have been adding to take a look-see next month.
    Although Jae Gyun may not be one of them, some are head scratchers, but, are Will Smith and Mark Melancon enough to bring stability to the fractured bullpen that cost the Giants a good shot at 4-in-7 last year?
    The season was not lost at third base or in left field or even CF after Hernandez brought some balance (and relief) for Span.
    The 2017 relief corps, other than Smith and Melancon, looks a lot like same-ole-same-ole that didn't get the job done in 2016.
    There will be time, in April and May to address deficiencies, and maybe that's what the brains up there are thinking, but it is the same guys who didn't address Casilla's obvious deficiencies -- a time when the fans collectively were out front of the front office geniuses.

    1. There is an excellent Fanpost on McCovey Chronicles addressing this issue with stats. The Giants had one of the best bullpens in the majors last year except in Save situations. Melancon should fix the problem, unless he gets hurt, of course.

    2. I hope you're right. I don't know the intricacies of stats, but a lot of the blown saves came before the 9th, and 15 blown saves were by Strickland, Gerrin, Osich, and Lopez. The rest of the staff blew more than twice as many as Casilla.
      And for head scratchers: Nick Hundley? So Brown will be back in Sacramento, thank you very much, and Ehire is the odd man out. Obviously the brain trust felt the team was deficient in catching!

    3. The Giants blew 30 saves last year. The median blown saves in the league is 20.

      Casilla blew 9 saves and Melancon blew 4. So that's minus 5 already. Plus a full year of Will Smith and another year of maturing from Osich, Strickland and Law should at least get Giants to league average.

      And don't forget the Giants might be better offensively this year with a healthier Panik and Pence to erase some mistakes. Plus a stronger all-around starting pitching should give the relief corp additional rest as well.

    4. Not everything was bad about the Giants' bullpen last year. As a group:

      ERA was 15th. FIP was 11th. XFIP was 14th. BABIP was 7th. LOB was 16th. This was despite Casilla blowing 9 saves and losing 5 tied games. It didn't help that Lopez got caught by father time and was just flat-out bad last year, generating a -0.6 fWAR. Osich was pretty erratic all year.

      On positive side I think we retained a very, very solid core including our five best (over-all) performers from last year:

      Law is outstanding and I really am very happy with him.
      Strickland continues to be a solid reliever though I think he may have lost the 'future closer' shine on his penny.
      Will Smith was excellent for the Giants last year and has shown himself to be a solid reliever over the years.
      Gearrin had a bad July/August while he was trying to pitch through a shoulder strain, but was very solid before the injury.
      Kontos had a few 'bad days'in May but was solid every other month of the season.

      So, with Melancon added to the pen, that's 6 of the 8 relievers I expect we'll carry on opening day. All of whom I feel that Giants fans can have confidence in. That leaves long-relief/spot-start and the second left-handed reliever slots.

      I think long-relief/spot start will be Cain or Blach with an outside chance of Stratton or Suarez.

      Second lefty is a bit more problematic. Osich fell apart last year. Okert rebounded from his terrible 2015 and was competent in his limited appearances. I just don't know if either will step it up or we're going to need to find a second lefty reliever from the prospects or trade or free agent...

  5. Very enthusiastic second from me to DrB's praise of Kevin Roche's (kevinroshay) analysis of the Giants' pen in 2016, in the Fanposts section of McCovey Chronicles. Roche shows that as to strand rate, runs allowed, and inducing softer contact, for example, the Giants were at or very near the best in MLB, despite their pen's facing unusually high leverage situations. What sank them was having a very large number of save situations with the second-worst success rate.

    Roche also argues that such competitors as the Cubs, Nats, LAD, and Mets will have weaker pens in 2017 than in 2016, while the Giants have strengthened theirs. This is a remarkably fine piece, I think, that rosterbating Giants fans would profit from, and delight in, reading.

    1. Yes, it's good, but a little too deep in fine stats, at least for my old brain.
      It's funny how so much can look good and the team still fail.
      But, that's baseball!

  6. Not much comment on the De Leon-Forsythe trade!
    Wonder if LA was wanting to get rid of De Leon. Giants surely wouldn't give up Beede for Forsythe, would they?
    De Leon is high on MLB's RHP prospects, seems like a lot to give up for 2 years of a recently good 2Bman.
    Dodgers got nothing for Kendrick and he compares reasonably with Forsythe (except 2016).
    Would the Giants give up Panik for De Leon, not that such a trade would happen. Seems like the Dodgers feel well stocked on pitching, and maybe desperate for a 2B upgrade.