Greek Giant

Last week the Giants signed former Reds outfielder TJ Hopkins for cash and a player to be named later. He turns 27 next month and spent most of his career in AAA Louisville while batting .171 in limited action with the Reds.This is the classic Zaidi pickup meant to give the Giants depth in the outfield. With Hopkins here is the list of the Giants outfielders on the 40-man roster:

• Jung Hoo Lee
• Michael Conforto
• Mike Yastrzemski
• Mitch Haniger
• Austin Slater
• Blake Sabol
• Tyler Fitzgerald
• Brett Wisely
• Luis Matos
• Wade Meckler
• Heliot Ramos
• TJ Hopkins

As you can see it’s a loooooong list and it is expected the Giants will carry five outfielders on the Major League Roster. My bet is at least three and maybe four of those players will not be on the Opening Day 2024 40-man roster. So, what will become of all these players? Well, the obvious answer is that one or more will be dealt in future trades. It is also likely one or more may be released entirely. Lee,Yaz and Haniger are not going anywhere, in all likelihood. Same with Conforto. Ramos and Matos represent interesting options for youth and may make the 25-man roster on Opening Day, if they are not traded. What are we to make of Blake Sabol? It’s hard to see a future for him on the Giants with the team just signing a back up catcher. Wade Meckler figures to do the Sacramento-SF shuttle along with Tyler Fitzgerald. Lee will likely be the everyday center fielder, of course. So barring injury, it means the Giants will be a bit over-loaded for the outfield spots.

There is another scenario brewing that involves a trade where Yaz and/or Conforto are dealt by the Giants. It could happen. Same for Haniger. Here’s the scenario illustrated by Grant Brisbee in a recent article on this issue:

Haniger will be 33, and he is owed $35.5 million over the next two seasons. It’s possible that the Giants could pay that down to $10 million or $15 million over the next two seasons, but at those prices … don’t you just want Haniger? If he were a free agent and the Giants signed him to a two-year, $10 million contract, I’d be right here, telling you why it’s a good idea.

I agree with him. It may be part of the plan to leverage one or two of the veteran outfielders for youthful talent or decent prospects. It’s probably what I would do if I were GM, depending on the deal. There are other scenarios where youngsters or a combo of young and veteran are dealt for players like Corbin Burnes and the like. It’s a possibility and it is a reminder how we are a long way away from Opening Day, with three more months remaining in the offseason.

Happy 92nd Birthday to My Mom!

My mother turns 92 today! God Bless her. She was very supportive of my baseball days and I remember all the ways she helped me enjoy Little League and High School Baseball. She drove me to all the practices without complaint. She attended all the games and washed all my uniforms. She made me special meals on game days and was simply an amazing and loving mother and role model. She was also a big Tim Lincecum fan and celebrated with me in 2010, 2012 and 2014.