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SAN FRANCISCO — Over and over again in recent years, Buster Posey has served as a recruiter for the Giants front office, meeting players like Jon Lester and Shohei Ohtani and telling them the positives of signing to play in San Francisco. Last month, the Giants turned to Posey to be part of the vetting process.

The face of the franchise was one of dozens of team employees who met with Gabe Kapler during the interview process, and he sat in the third row of the press conference to introduce his new manager. Posey was the only Giants player in attendance, sitting alongside third base coach Ron Wotus, who will be part of Kapler’s staff.

“The organization, the Giants organization, means so much to me, and they asked me to be here and I felt like it was important for me to be here and show my support for the new manager,” Posey said afterward.

Posey said he was part of the interview process “to give a player’s perspective,” noting that he’s the only Giant who lives in the Bay Area full-time, so it was easiest for him. But the Giants likely would have tried to involve Posey regardless of where he makes his offseason home. Kapler will need to win over the clubhouse, and he enjoyed his time with Posey last month.

“I found Buster to be very attentive, very aware,” Kapler said. “As I think ahead of how I’m going to make an impact in this clubhouse, I’m going to lean heavily on Buster.”

Posey has known just one big league manager, but he apparently came away from the meeting with positive thoughts about Kapler. Posey, who met with other candidates as well, was said to be on-board with the choice, and he showed that support Wednesday.

The press conference might not have been what Posey expected, though. Kapler, Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris spoke for 58 minutes, and more than half of that time was spent discussing the mishandling of assault allegations when Kapler and Zaidi were in Los Angeles.

“I thought he answered the questions well. I felt like they were genuine (answers),” Posey said of Kapler. “I don’t know Gabe that well at all, but I know from talking to a lot of people that have known him that there’s been a lot of good feedback. I look forward to getting to know him better and hopefully we’ll have a great working relationship.”

The theme of Wednesday’s press conference is not going away anytime soon. Giants officials know that Kapler will be asked about the Dodgers incident again, and it’s likely that at some point — maybe as early as FanFest — some of his players might have to answer to the blowback from Giants fans.

[RELATED: Kapler admits he wasn't popular hire as Giants' next manager]

Posey said that the Los Angeles discussion was not part of his meeting with Kapler because they met so early in the process that “there wasn’t as much of a story around it at the time.” But he got a front-row seat on Wednesday as Kapler answered for his role in the incident.

“My biggest takeaway is the alleged victims are the ones that we have to keep in mind throughout the whole thing,” he said. “We can get into ‘this happened, this happened’ and if somebody was wrong in any way, I think that’s the biggest thing for me, is just trying to figure out why it happened, maybe, and how going forward you can prevent it from happening.

“I think Farhan mentioned giving them support. I mean, I’m a father. It turns my stomach to think about something like that happening to my daughter. That’s the biggest thing, I think, is just figuring out why it happened, how it happened, and doing the best you can to support.

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We’ll find out in the coming months if the Yankees are done with outfielder Clint Frazier, or if he gets another shot in 2020 to be a complete player, which would require significant defensive improvement to compliment offensive contributions that can be significant.

And if the Yankees don’t make a move, they may first have to get a believable promise from Frazier that he’s done pouting on social media, done feuding with the media and willing to make a much bigger effort to fit in whether he’s in the big leagues or back in Triple-A waiting for another opportunity.

Regardless of what the Yankees ultimately decide, for sure Frazier is in the place this winter that he was throughout last offseason:

On the trading block.

The Yankees still aren’t ready to give Frazier away because they don’t have a ton of outfield depth and he probably still could bring something of high value in return because of his offensive potential. He proved he could hit big-league pitching during his time with the Yanks this year, batting .267 with 12 homers, 38 RBI and an .806 ERA in 69 games.

There are believed to be some clubs that don’t want Frazier because of his past issues and/or defensive struggles, but others surely would like adding a young impact bat to their lineup.

Here are four trades that we’ve come up with that could work:


Trade: Frazier to the Giants for reliever Tony Watson and outfielder prospect Alexander Canario.

Why Yankees would do it: In addition to getting rid of a problem child, they’d add a left-handed bullpen piece with a pretty good track record plus a 19-year-old Dominican outfield prospect who hit 16 homers in 59 games this season playing rookie and low-A ball.

Why Giants would do it: They’re not looking to go into a full rebuild and badly need an outfield bat who can produce like Frazier. Also, they’d only be losing their third-best outfielder prospect, and getting a major-league ready one back with a low salary should allow them to spend bigger dollars to add one or two quality starting pitchers.

* * *


Trade: Frazier and left-handed reliever Stephen Tarpley to Reds for left-handed reliever Amir Garrett and catcher Curt Casali.

Why Yankees would do it: The Yanks could fill two needs getting a quality lefty middle reliever in Garrett, who pitched to a 3.21 ERA with 78 Ks in 56 innings last season, plus a solid No. 2 catcher in Casali. Both players would come cheap, too, and that could greatly help the Yankees’ quest to sign a top free agent starter like Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg.

Why Reds would do it: They’re not completely sold on their three young starting outfielders and hope to bring in another to compete for playing time. Also, Tarpley would give them a potentially decent situational lefty reliever to replace Garrett.

* * *


Trade: Frazier to Orioles for reliever Mychal Givens.

Why Yankees would do it: They love Givens’ arm and tried unsuccessfully to deal for him last summer at the trade deadline. His 4.57 ERA last year was a career worst, but he did it fanning 86 over 63 innings and his career ERA is 3.40 over 284 relief outings since 2015.

Why Orioles would do it: The terrible and cheap Orioles need a productive bat a lot more than they need a closer, and Frazier’s six-figure salary will be a lot more attractive to them than the projected $3.2 million that the arbitration-eligible Givens will make in 2020.

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Trade: Frazier, pitching prospect Albert Abreu and reliever Ben Heller to Tigers for left-handed starter Matthew Boyd and reliever Joe Jimenez

Why Yankees would do it: The Yankees would get a young starter that they like plus a useful veteran reliever without giving up a major piece from their probable 2020 big-league roster.

Why Tigers would do it: The Tigers are at least a couple seasons away from contending and they’d get a position player, plus an elite rotation prospect in Abreu and a hard-throwing young reliever in Heller who could help them in the present and future.

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The Giants have signed lefty Tyler Anderson to a one-year, Major League contract, the team announced Tuesday evening. Anderson, who was claimed off waivers out of the Rockies organization, had been non-tendered yesterday. Terms of the contract weren’t disclosed, but it’s safe to assume that the GSE Worldwide client will take home less than the $2.625MM he’d been projected to earn in arbitration.

Anderson, 30 later this month, underwent knee surgery over the summer and was limited to 20 2/3 innings with the Rockies in 2019 as a result. The former first-round pick had an impressive debut season with the Rox in 2016 when he pitched 114 1/3 innings of 3.54 ERA ball with 7.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a hefty 50.9 percent ground-ball rate. But Anderson’s results took a turn for the worse in 2017-18, as his ground-ball rate deteriorated and he became increasingly homer prone. Anderson did rack up 176 innings and make 32 starts for Colorado as recently as 2018, and he has a minor league option remaining, making him a somewhat intriguing depth piece for the Giants in 2020.

Anderson isn’t likely to be guaranteed a job in the rotation next season, but there’s enough uncertainty on the Giants’ starting staff that he should have ample opportunity to vie for a spot this spring. Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija have starting spots locked down, but the remaining spots currently look to be up for grabs in a competition featuring Anderson, Tyler Beede, Conner Menez, Logan Webb, Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez. That mix would change, of course, if (or perhaps when) the Giants make some additions via free agency or the trade market.

If Anderson is able to return to form, the Giants will be able to control him through the 2021 season via arbitration.

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants allowed Kevin Pillar to become a free agent by failing to offer the outfielder a 2020 contract on Monday, though they agreed to deals with outfielder Alex Dickerson, left-hander Wandy Peralta and second baseman Donovan Solano.

Acquired from Toronto on April 2, Pillar hit .264 for San Francisco with 21 homers and 87 RBI. He made $5.8 million and likely would have received a salary of around $10 million had the Giants offered a contract, which would have made him eligible for arbitration.

San Francisco also declined to offer contracts to left-hander Tyler Anderson, right-hander Rico Garcia and outfielder Joey Rickard and

Dickerson, who agreed to a $925,000, one-year contract, played 68 games for the Giants and San Diego Padres last season, batting a career-best .276 having played parts of three major league seasons.

The Giants acquired Dickerson from their division rival last June. He made 33 starts in the outfield for San Francisco, 32 in left.

Solano ($1,375,000) appeared in 81 games for the Giants and batted .330 with four home runs, 13 doubles and 23 RBI in 215 at-bats. Peralta ($805,000) went 1-1 with a 5.67 ERA over 47 outings between the Reds and Giants. He didn’t have a decision in eight appearances and 5 2/3 innings for San Francisco after being claimed off waivers in September.

No Giants remain eligible for arbitration.

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As MLB free agency gets underway, the Giants will likely be in the market for at least one starting pitcher, and perhaps multiple arms.

Beyond Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto, the San Francisco Giants have few certainties in their starting rotation. Even in the case of Cueto, it’s unclear how big of a workload he can assume in 2020 in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery.

They will likely need to go outside of the organization to fix this.

Tyler Beede and Logan Webb sit behind Samardzija and Cueto on the depth chart. Both finished the season on a positive note, but there are no assurances that momentum will carry over into 2020.

With this being said, the Giants will need to bolster the rotation either through trades or free agency. As an organization, they are still thin on trade assets, so free agency seems like the most likely route.

The Giants have already started building up their depth by claiming Tyler Anderson and Trevor Oaks off waivers from the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals, respectively. However, given how team president Farhan Zaidi uses the back-end of the 40-man roster, both pitchers may not be with the organization for long.

The top-end of the free-agent market for starting pitchers includes Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Wheeler. The Giants will have the payroll flexibility to add players of that caliber, but more than likely, they will seek lower-cost alternatives without multi-year commitments.

This will give the Giants flexibility to pursue upgrades in other areas of the roster, and they can try to hoard potential trade deadline assets. Zaidi did this when he signed Drew Pomeranz, eventually flipping him to the Milwaukee Brewers for a potential long-term piece in Mauricio Dubon.

If Zaidi has shown anything in his brief tenure as the San Francisco Giants team president, it is that he likes bringing in players with which he has firsthand experience. Drew Pomeranz, Donovan Solano, Trevor Oaks, and Breyvic Valera are just a few examples. His connections to the past could be an indicator of the type of rotation arm the team may target this winter.

He has firsthand experience with a number of free-agent pitchers or has previously been connected to them as targets. Three names that stand out from that list are Tanner Roark, Brett Anderson, and Gio Gonzalez, and that’s the trio we’ll focus on here.

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Anderson’s career path has always been a bit conflicted. He was a starter in college at the University of Florida but became a closer out of necessity as that rotation was soon anchored by A.J. Puk and Logan Shore. Brady Singer was also on that 2016 team.

The Red Sox wanted to get him back to being a starter and when the Giants acquired him in the Eduardo Nunez deal back in 2017, it looked like the team still had some internal debate about his best path to the majors, with Brian Sabean perhaps being one of those people who felt he would make it to the big leagues faster if he started in the bullpen.

But Anderson didn’t wind up making his debut until the first year of the Farhan Era, and he began this past season in the rotation, debuting after Derek Holland and Dereck Rodriguez both thoroughly played themselves out of a rotation spot. He was, you know, pretty okay for a while there, but what hurt him is what hurt him in organizational evaluations: he had stuff, but it never quite played as a starter.

Doug interviewed him back in May before he got his call-up and even he knew what was up:

“Right now, maybe my numbers don’t show it, but working with the coaching staff this year so far, I’ve learned a tremendous amount from what I even came in with from Spring Training,” Anderson said.

“I feel like each time I go out, the next outing, I’ve learned something more. Whether it’s reading swings, whether it’s going into the 6th, going into the 7th, going through the lineup a third or fourth time, learning just how to use my pitches effectively. If i throw one pitch and see how a swing reacts on that, I can use that to my advantage and let me know in my back pocket, if I throw this pitch here, I might get that same exact swing.”

Anderson showed flashes of his ability as a starter, but those flashes weren’t what ultimately got him all the attention.

Role on the 2019 team
Anderson was slated to be the rookie starter who built confidence and learned from playing at the big league level, perhaps setting himself to be a back-end starter for 2020. Instead, he never had a scoreless start and his 6.0 K/9 would’ve been the fourth-worst in baseball over a full season.

As Doug noted in his interview:

Anderson’s fastball sits 91-94 and he also throws a changeup, a curveball, and a slider, with the slider generally being considered his strongest secondary pitch.

The Statcast data proved this with Anderson’s slider generating the most swings-and-misses (30.1% Whiff Rate) of his arsenal, while also being his put away pitch 19.8% of the time. His slider’s 2,649 rpm spin rate was 63rd out of 472 pitchers who threw the slider last year at least 250 times, a higher rate than Cole, Hader, Verlander, and Moronta.

But his fastball was also great, Statcast-wise, with his 2,495 rpm ranking 38th out of 587 (90th percentile). His fastball had more spin than Aroldis Chapman’s, Max Scherzer’s, Walker Buehler’s, just to name a few.

And yet, Anderson was not good as a starter and he lost his spot after an IL stint in August. It would take him six relief appearances before recording his first save opportunity, and along the way he racked up his first scoreless appearances of his major league career. That first save was a four-out save to preserve a 1-run lead against an aggressive Pirates team that had really taken it to the Giants in the series.

He’d get just one more save (three days later) and then get batted around like a cat’s toy over the final four innings of his season (6 hits, 6 earned runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts), so it’s safe to say that as good as he looked once he stopped having to face a batting order more than once, he didn’t look that much better. He lost a rotation spot and closer job in the same year.

Role on the 2020 team
Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija would make fantastic 4th and 5th starters on a good team, but otherwise, they’re penciled in as the 2020 Giants’ rotation anchors right now. The team does not have much starting pitching to speak of, even if you’re generous and include Tyler Beede in the mix . . . but, that doesn’t leave a path for Shaun Anderson at this point.

If he doesn’t begin the year in Triple-A again, there’s a very nice role waiting for him as a sort of swing-man or multi-inning reliever. He could, theoretically, be used as an opener, too, but he was also really bad (.919 OPS against) in the first inning of 2019. If the Giants have figured out how teams have hacked their signs (let’s just assume that’s what the problem was), maybe they’ll be better overall in the first inning and Anderson’s individual performance will change with the rest of the bunch.

He’s got some talent, of course, and he’s got options, which makes him extremely valuable from an organizational perspective. A full offseason with the organization’s new training staff and program could very well help him nail down a bullpen role of some kind for next season, and that’s not a bad thing. Prospects fall to the wayside and come back later to really help their team all the time — there is no linear development path.


On the one hand, he wasn’t acquired by Zaidi, but on the other hand, he checks a lot of boxes on the analytics side of the equation. If nothing else, Anderson presented talent that could either be harnessed for the major league roster at some point or in a trade down the line. He provided positive value (that +0.6 fWAR isn’t bad!). A high spin, decent velocity arm who makes the minimum and has options remaining is as close to the platonic ideal of a Farhan-level player. But the inconsistency doesn’t really suggest a clear role going forward, and uncertainty will always hurt that Farhan rating.

But wait — there’s more!

Since we’re here, let’s go through the rest of this random righty reliever contingent . . . you know, just to burn through the rest of these season reviews as quickly as possible. These are guys who made it on the roster either through offseason signings, trades, or waiver claims (mostly waiver claims). They were not an impressive lot. And yet, they were on the team for some reason.

Stat lines
Kyle Barraclough: 10 games, 8 IP, 2.25 ERA, 5.71 FIP, 11.3 K/9, 10.1 BB/9, -0.2 fWAR
Sam Coonrod: 33 games, 27.2 IP, 3.58 ERA, 5.24 FIP, 6.5 K/9, 4.9 BB/9 -0.2 fWAR
Enderson Franco: 5 games, 5.1 IP, 3.38 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 6.8 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 0.0 fWAR
Jandel Gustave: 23 games, 24.1 IP, 1 save, 2.96 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 5.2 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 0.2 fWAR
Burch Smith: 10 games, 8.2 IP, 2.08 ERA, 3.21 FIP, 6.2 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, 0.1 fWAR
Pat Venditte: 2 games, 3.1 IP, 16.20 ERA, 10.41 FIP, 5.4 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, -0.1 fWAR
Nick Vincent: 18 games, 1 start, 30.2 IP, 5.58 ERA, 5.30 FIP, 8.8 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, -0.3 fWAR

Roles on the 2019 team
If you know that the strength of your team lies in its bullpen and you know, therefore, that most of that strength will be depleted around the trade deadline, then grabbing as many lottery ticket arms as possible to find the next Sam Dyson doesn’t just “make sense” — it’s an imperative.

None of these guys were necessarily viewed as closers in waiting, but as the next seventh inning guy? A ROOGY? Yeah, they all had their potential uses. Nick Vincent, despite a sub-90 mph pitch repertoire, had been an opener before. He’s a high spin rate pitcher, too. Pat Venditte was the funky delivery switch-pitcher who was grotesquely terrible in a few appearances and, as Doug noted, whose potential role and skill set was duplicated and exceeded by Tyler Rogers.

Before the Giants took a look at Shaun Anderson in the closer’s role, Bruce Bochy tried out Jandel Gustave. It went well: Gustave preserved a 1-0 win in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. He had a 143 ERA+ in limited time despite a -.393 WPA.

Sam Coonrod had a 5-1 record and 118 ERA+ despite negative fWAR, which just goes to show that advanced statistics and relief pitchers don’t mix well.

Do you remember Enderson Franco’s five innings? Do you think the Giants are really that serious about Burch Smith?

Roles on the 2020 team
Barraclough, Venditte, and Vincent are already gone and the rest would seem to be vulnerable to roster churn, especially with the 40-man being full at the moment. But all of them have at least one major league option remaining, which gives the team some flexibility, and that’s all that matters to The Churn.

While there’s no doubt some of them will stay and distinguish themselves from time to time, some will stay and be bad, and others will go before Opening Day, the important thing is that they all have a little bit of talent and all project to be at least positive contributors if utilized effectively. But they’re not key figures in the team’s plans, either.

How Farhan were any of these guys?

Again, you get one whole Farhan just by landing on the roster. The extra half this bunch collected was because of the varying degrees of utility they provided: some key outs, an upgrade over the talent that was on the roster when Zaidi took over baseball ops, and major league options.

Major league relief pitchers are the sport of baseball’s Mr. Meseeks. They don’t live for very long and they only exist to serve the whims of a front office.

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The Oakland Athletics recently called up second baseman Corban Joseph. But what does it mean for the defensive liability, Jurickson Profar, and the struggling former top-100 prospect, Franklin Barreto?
Yesterday, San Francisco Chronicle columnist and resident insider Susan Slusser broke the news that the Oakland Athletics would be selecting the contract of Corban Joseph, a hot-hitting infielder who has quietly been auditioning for the role of “second baseman to replace Jurickson Profar.”

Joseph joins the team in San Francisco today for his first major league stint since September of last season with the Baltimore Orioles. And he will be thrown right into the fire starting at second base and batting seventh.

For many avid Aviators fans, the call-up has been long overdue. He’s put together a .371 batting average this season to go along with 35 doubles, which is the second-most in the Pacific Coast League.

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The A’s acquired Corban Joseph as a result of the Triple-A phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, selecting him 22nd overall from the Orioles system.

Before his stint with Baltimore, he was regarded as a respectable prospect contained within a stacked Yankees system that has fielded some of the most electric players in recent years.

According to initial scouting reports, Joseph was listed as having a “60-plus” hit grade, meaning the expectation from the get-go was that he could put the ball in play as a top-of-the-order bat. He quickly displayed solid fundamentals and an above-average throwing arm to go along with a good eye at the plate.

But time was working against him.

ALSO: Oakland Athletics: Which players have the best 2019 Players’ Weekend jerseys?
A near-.300 batting average and high on-base percentage were nice to look at, but the reality was that, by the time he was being considered for a call-up with Baltimore, he was already approaching 30. He has only accumulated 24 major league at-bats in the past decade.

So, in response, he casually bumped up his average by over sixty points from one season to the next.

In 97 games this season, he has littered his name across the PCL leaderboard — third in batting average, sixth in on-base percentage (.421), ninth in slugging (.585). These are all, predictably, career-best numbers at any level in his eleven-year career.

Joseph takes a slightly open stance from the left side of the plate, beating the ball into the ground and slapping hits down the line as a result of a short, quick swing that allows him to catch up to pitches dug in on him.

He has shown slightly more pop this season, but largely seems like the kind of player to employ the classic Wee Willie Keeler “hit ‘em where they ain’t” strategy— certainly something that more traditional fans will appreciate about him.

There is no doubt that the Oakland A’s are continuing to search for answers to their production — both offensively and defensively — at second base.

Profar continues to loiter just above the ‘Mendoza line’ while giving manager Bob Melvin grey hairs with his overhand shovel-throws to first. Franklin Barreto, the last hope to salvage anything from the historically-bad Josh Donaldson trade, has somehow made Profar look playable.

Making the call to Corban Joseph addresses several of those issues.

On defense, Joseph has a sparkling .987 fielding percentage — compared to Profar’s .969 and Barreto’s .932 — which, if placed within MLB rankings, would be in the top-five best percentages for second basemen.

He has decent range and shows translatable athleticism in his ability to get to balls in the hole and steal seeing-eye singles. In 480 innings at second base this season, he only has three errors.

While there would likely be some sort of drop-off when it comes to his production on offense, his game should, at the very least, translate as a much-needed left-handed bat on a 25-man roster with virtually no lefty bench options. Against righties this season, Joseph is showcasing an impressive .386/.435/.639 slash-line.

And as the prototypical Oakland A’s player, Joseph has preserved his plate discipline — striking out only thirteen more times this season than he’s walked.

These numbers should be especially threatening to Barreto who —while only 23 years old — has struck out 40.2% of the time in the majors while only walking in 3.5% of his at-bats.

This roster move has done more to signal the Oakland Athletics’ intentions with Franklin Barreto than it does to signal how much longer the A’s are willing to put up with Profar’s fluctuating ability.

Profar will likely be given a shot at least until the end of the season, but opting to roll with Corban Joseph over Barreto might indicate a shifted perspective on the former top-100 prospect.

Moving Joseph to the major-league roster allows the Aviators to give Sheldon Neuse — who is putting up similarly eye-popping numbers, hitting .322 with 23 home runs and 91 RBI — an opportunity to get more playing time at second base as opposed to fitting into the lineup as a third baseman.

It’d be reasonable to harbor a guess that Neuse — who is only 24 — fits on the A’s roster sometime in the next few years — but it won’t be as a third baseman.

Barreto’s goal with extended time in the minors will likely be to salvage his ability before heading into an offseason where the A’s will have to make some tough roster decisions to protect against this year’s Rule 5 draft. He’ll plausibly be seeing time around the diamond in hopes of becoming a utility bat.

Despite Corban Joseph’s stellar performance so far this year, there are still concerns that the numbers are drastically inflated as a result of playing in the Pacific Coast League.

To put everything in perspective, fellow Aviator Paul Blackburn has the fourth-best ERA in the PCL this season — at 4.28.

Additionally, as corresponding moves, the Oakland A’s will be optioning Nick Martini to Las Vegas and designating Beau Taylor for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Taylor has established a positive rapport with the pitching staff in limited big-league games this season.

Corban Joseph may not necessarily live up to the hype that his lofty batting numbers in the minors elicit, but the A’s are playing with house money at this point. They could catch lightning in a bottle with a quality lefty bat off the bench or another option at second base.

Or they could decide that the Corban Joseph of today is the same as the one that’s floundered in the minors for the last decade.

NEXT: Oakland Athletics: Mike Fiers has become the team’s undisputed ace
In either case, it’s worth a shot.

Worst case scenario, he does have a clean inning of relief on his Triple-A resume this season.

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Joe Panik is a former first-round draft pick, an All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, a World Series champion and the author of one of the most memorable plays in San Francisco Giants history.

But in the middle of his sixth season with the Giants, his time with the franchise might be up.

The Giants acquired former All-Star Scooter Gennett and highly-touted prospect Mauricio Dubon before the MLB trade deadline passed on Wednesday, signaling to many that the struggling Panik could be on his way out.

“I think the writing’s on the wall, unfortunately for Joe,” former Giants pitcher and current analyst Shawn Estes told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday. “It’s sad because he was a big part of this club, in the World Series run in 2014. He was a Gold Glover, he hit .300. He’s done some really good things in a Giants uniform. It’s sad because he’s a good dude and a guy you really root for and you want him do well because you’ll never forget about the backhand dive up the middle, the starting of the double play in 2014 to help them win their third world championship in five years.”

In the Giants’ 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, Eric Hosmer ripped a ball up the middle with the score tied 2-2 during the bottom of the third inning. Panik dove to his right to make the stop and flipped the ball with his glove to Brandon Crawford. Then, Crawford stepped on second base and threw to first to turn the double play. Initially, Hosmer was called safe, but after a replay review, Hosmer was ruled out.

Instead of runners on first and third with no outs, Panik erased both runners with his incredible play. The Giants would go on to win their third World Series in dramatic fashion, and Panik’s play was a instrumental in the team winning its third World Series in five seasons.

But five years removed from that iconic play, Panik is a different player. After hitting 10 homers in both 2016 and 2017, Panik has combined for seven homers between 2018 and 2019. This season, he’s slashing just .232/.307/.315 and has fallen into a platoon with 31-year-old Donovan Solano, who didn’t play in the majors in 2017 or 2018.

“I think based on what we’ve seen out of Joe the last few years,” Estes said, “the regression and as far as being a consistent batter at the plate, getting it done from a production standpoint and even defenively. Defensively, he’s struggled a little bit.

“I don’t think we’ll see Joe in a Giants uniform maybe on Thursday or Friday depending on when they activate Gennett. I think he’s going to be the odd man out. I could be wrong. They could keep an extra infielder and Joe could be around.”

[RELATED: What Gennett's arrival means for Panik]

Panik ultimately played in Thursday’s game in Philadelphia and went 1-for-4. But the Giants will need to clear a roster spot for Gennett and a move could come as early as Friday. It doesn’t make sense for the Giants to keep Panik, Solano and Gennett on the roster.

Rich Aurilia Jersey

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2001 was a wild year. Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs. The Mariners won 116 games. Cal Ripken Jr. retired at season’s end and famously hit a home run in that game. When he rounded the bases, he passed the NL’s starting shortstop that year: Rich Aurilia.

Aurilia remains the top offensive character in San Francisco Giants history, with 1,226 hits as a shortstop and 1,292 games played. His competition is just Brandon Crawford, of course, but in an offensive era and in a lineup that was pretty well stacked, Aurilia stuck. He was never known for his glove, but in that same 2001 season, he led the National League in hits with 206. His 144 wRC+ means he was 44% better than the league average. He ranked 23rd by this metric, just a point about Jeff Bagwell, Mike, Piazza, and Carlos Delgado.

It was an impressive outburst of talent for the 29-year old, and it all came because Dusty Baker had decided in spring training that he wanted to bat Aurilia second. He had 2,125 plate appearances in six seasons prior to 2001, and had a just a bit below league average line of .270/.327/.419. It wasn’t unprecedented, but it was a bit surprising, especially for Aurilia himself, who wondered if Dusty Baker wanted him to change his approach.

That was not the case.

“Don’t change anything. Just do it in Spring Training and we’ll see how it goes and we’ll take it from there… just do what you do, Richie.”

He tells Renel his All-Star Game story and shows nothing buy joy and pride from his Giants days. He also recounts his final game, which certainly brings back some memories (his last game in SF was also Randy Johnson’s).

Aurilia played 921 games after this All-Star season and never got back there. That 37 home run season will always be one of the most bizarre outlier seasons in Giants history. That’s never what a player sets out to accomplish, but at the same time, it happened, so why not cherish that?

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She’s been a champion– not only on the tennis court but also for equal rights– yet discussions in recent months as to whether to name Long Beach’s new main branch after Billie Jean King, a native of the city, have been marked by controversy. Some said she is not known primarily as a literary figure or that her name is not synonymous with libraries, whereas others pointed out that she has published several books and that athletes are required to maintain high academic standards. Others argued that most large cities do not name their main branches after people.

However, on Sept. 21, those differences appeared to have been put aside during the grand opening of the Billie Jean King Main Library, located at 200 W. Broadway, in downtown Long Beach. In an event that began with several lively songs performed by the Long Beach Polytechnic High School marching band, hundreds of attendees filled the street outside the 92,000-square-foot building to welcome not only the new facility, but its eponym herself.

“Today, I’ve come full circle in my return to Long Beach,” King told the crowd. “Without the people of Long Beach, I never, ever would have had the opportunity to launch my tennis career, travel the world and have a platform to, hopefully, make a difference in the lives of others.”

King then focused her address on the history of the city’s library system– the first branch having opened 123 years ago in a room adjoining the city council office.

“I love the fact that the origins of the Long Beach Public Library date back to 1896, when the Women’s Temperance Union provided 200 books to open its doors,” King said. “That leaders like longtime Long Beach librarian Blanche Collins spoke up against censorship in the 1960s and led a successful fight that prevented books from being banned nationwide.”

King said her father– a police officer and firefighter– and her mother– a Tupperware salesperson– both heavily influenced King and her brother, Randy Moffitt, by encouraging them to live their dreams.

“We were a blue-collar family,” King said, “but my parents always told us we could be anything we wanted to be, that no dream was too big.”

Moffitt went on to be a Major League Baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays; King ultimately became a World No. 1 tennis player.

“Randy and I loved to read, but we couldn’t afford to buy books,” King said. “So, one day, my mom sat down on the sofa, and she said, ‘Come over here, children. I want to talk to you.’ She went into her handbag, and she pulled out a card, and it was a library card. And she said, ‘You will always be able to read because of this card, and it’s free, which is so helpful to our family.’ So, that made such a difference in our lives.”

King said that, when she was younger, she slept with her tennis racquet, her tennis sweater and the books she’d checked out from the library. It was her friend Susan Williams who’d introduced her to the game of tennis, King said. Previously, she had only played in team sports. After only one tennis lesson, King knew what her calling would be.

“At the end of that first session, I knew what I wanted to do with my life– I wanted to be the No. 1 women’s tennis player in the world,” King said. “I’ll never forget telling my mommy: ‘Mommy, Mommy, I found out what I’m going to do with my life!’ And she says, ‘That’s fine. You have homework.’”

But King said it was a little later, when she was 13 years old, that she had “the real epiphany” that changed her life forever.

“I was sitting, and I was daydreaming, and I thought about my sport of tennis,” she said. “Everybody wore white shoes, white socks, white clothes, playing with white balls, and everybody who played was white. And I asked myself, at 13: ‘Where is everyone else?’ That was the day I committed my life to fighting for equality for every human being.”

Among the other speakers at the event was Mayor Robert Garcia, who said any time a city opens a new library is a wonderful day in that city.

He indicated that Long Beach’s new main branch is a symbol of “where the city is going” and “the crown jewel” of the new civic-center plaza.

“There is nothing more important than education,” Garcia said, “and this library will serve as a beacon of education here in the center of our downtown.”