Friday, February 17, 2017

Hot Stove Update: Giants Sign Aaron Hill

Aaron Hill, 2B/3B.  DOB:  3/21/1982.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 2015 lbs.

2016(2 Teams):  .262/.336/.378, 14 2B, 10 HR, 4 SB, 9.6 BB%, 13.8 K%, 429 PA.

The Giants signed yet another veteran player to a conditional minor league contract with a spring training invitation as they promised to pay Aaron Hill $2 M if he makes the Opening Day 25 man roster.  Now, I have to say Aaron Hill had kind of dropped off my radar screen, so I was surprised to see his Fangraphs stat line and find that he actually had a pretty good season last year.  He was even a slightly plus defender while covering 2 positions.

So, I don't have a problem with bringing in a guy like Aaron Hill in isolation.  The problem is the Giants have signed a whole lot of these kinds of deals this winter and it's becoming increasingly difficult to see how they sort it all out.  I totally get that depth is a good thing and competition is a good thing, but this is starting to look like a train wreck waiting to happen.  The Giants now have, what, 4 veteran players in camp whose primary position last year was 3B?  Even after you factor in injury probability, option every player you can and complete the 25 man roster, you have at least 10-15 players left who are going to get released.

Spring training performance is already a dubious tool for making regular season roster decisions.  The sample size is very small by baseball standards.  The conditions, especially in Arizona, are not typical of regular season conditions and the level of competition for many of those innings is questionable at best.  Add in the need to find innings for all of these players who are fighting for a job and you have high likelihood of making a bad decision based on inappropriate criteria.


  1. The Giants can put 8 guys on the field who have major league experience and did NOT play for the Giants last year.
    But why?
    Because they can?
    So that the "regulars" can play a couple innings every day to get things in order without pushing anyone (read injuring them) then finish fresh?
    To play an split squad every day?
    You've often said, Doc, that ST is too long, so this is a way to shorten it -- let the NRIs shake it out 'til the dust settles.
    May the best man (or 2) win the last 2 position player slots!

  2. I think other moves are coming but the other direction...Maybe moving Panik and/or Nunez. Seen it before most recently with Duffy. There is a plan here because, as you point out, there is no reason to have as much depth as they do. Stay tuned.

    Billy Baseball

  3. Yeah/No-I don't get this signing either with all of the other vets they have coming to camp. I was just looking at his stats the other day only because he was a guy that used to be pretty good back in 2012-13 for Arizona. Last year he hit 5 Hrs in May, but dropped off in 2nd half. What does this type of move put guys like Tomlinson? Says to me the Giants don't put much hope in Kelby.

  4. With Crawford at the WBC, we are going to see some old short stops and some converted second basemen at short. Witht eh hard Arizona ground... expect some fielding calamities this ST. And maybe Kelby, Calixte, and Nunez get a lot of shortstop time and look real good by comparison.