Photo: Alan Diaz, Associated Press
ORLANDO – As severe because the Giants say they’re about upgrading their lineup, they have to be simply as severe about upgrading their protection, significantly within the outfield.
“The outfield is really the focal point,” basic supervisor Bobby Evans mentioned. “Our outfield defense really struggled this year. When you play in a big ballpark, if we don’t protect our pitching with better defense out there, we’re going to pay the price.”
It’s the second day of the GM conferences in Orlando, and the Giants and A’s proceed to put the groundwork for bettering their rosters, and each groups want outfielders.
The A’s need a right-handed hitter to play a nook whereas the Giants want a defensive-minded heart fielder in addition to a nook outfielder, ideally a slugger.
By the best way, misplaced in Marlins proper fielder Giancarlo Stanton’s fabulous offensive season is the actual fact he’s an above common defender. He was a finalist for a Gold Glove amongst National League proper fielders together with the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig and Cubs’ Jason Heyward. Heyward received.
The Giants, who completed final within the majors in house runs, are focusing on Stanton, whose 59 homers led the majors. According to Joe Frisaro, who covers the Marlins for MLB.com, Giants outfield prospect Heliot Ramos has been talked about as a doable commerce piece. Ramos, 18, was the Giants’ first decide (19th total) within the June draft and hit .348 with six homers in 35 video games in rookie league.
Stanton has a full no-trade clause and would want to approve any deal. He’s owed $295 million over the subsequent 10 years.
If the Giants have a dream offseason and land Stanton and, say, Reds heart fielder Billy Hamilton, they’d most certainly platoon Denard Span and Hunter Pence in left. While the Giants already talked with Span about shifting to left subsequent season, the topic of a place change hasn’t been addressed with Pence.
All is contingent on which outfielder(s) the Giants purchase.
One long-discussed choice is shifting first baseman Brandon Belt to the outfield, particularly with the depth of accessible first basemen, however Evans mentioned that’s not taking place.
“It’s hard to move a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman to the outfield,” Evans mentioned. “We’re trying to improve our outfield defense, and that wouldn’t fit into our strategy. It’s not ideal. You like to see him play the position he’s best at.”
The Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported final week the A’s have curiosity in Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna and probably Christian Yelich, although Yelich bats left-handed. The Marlins’ new possession, led by Derek Jeter, is attempting to dramatically slash payroll.
Billy Butler lastly is off the books, so the A’s have extra payroll flexibility.
“There’s a little bit more room, again depending on where our payroll is at,” mentioned GM David Forst, including the precise price range hasn’t been decided. “We’re obviously trying to put together a long-term plan that gears toward the (proposed) stadium and recognizing where we are so that spending may be pushed back to later years.”
One free-agent outfielder the A’s don’t plan to pursue is Ichiro Suzuki. His agent, John Boggs, spoke with administration and hoped there can be a match with Ichiro’s shut relationship with Bob Melvin, who managed the long run Hall of Famer in Seattle.
John Shea is The San Francisco Chronicle’s nationwide baseball author. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @JohnSheaHey