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Stat line
228 PAs, .330/.360/.456, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 116 wRC+, 1.6 rWAR

Donovan Solano was not supposed to be a name we remembered this time of year. He was one of Farhan Zaidi’s earliest moves, signed to a minor league contract (like so, so many others) the day after his 31st birthday.

14 years after signing with the St. Louis Cardinals as an international free agent, Solano had provided all of 0.9 Wins Above Replacement in his career, per Baseball-Reference. He was supposed to be the minor leaguer that provides a little emergency depth in Sacramento, before being waived prior to ever seeing what Oracle Park looks like.

Well that didn’t happen. Solano was called up in May, and stuck with the team the rest of the year, platooning with Joe Panik, and then playing a utility role. He was the Giants best infielder, which is both a testament to magically flipping some switches and the rest of the Giants infield dramatically disappointing.

But he was good. Good at a time when he had no right to be. Good at a time when few others were.

Role on the 2019 team
Despite being the Giants best infielder, Solano’s role was as a pinch-hitter and backup middle infielder. This is understandable. He’s on the older side (in baseball years), with an invisible track record, and a nearly invisible contract.

It made more sense at second base to see if there was anything left in the Panik tank, and then to give Mauricio Dubon reps, than it did to play a guy with a limited long-term role.

It made more sense at shortstop and third base to play the expensive, long-term contracts of Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria, respectively, than to find cheaper production elsewhere, when there’s no easy path to shedding the expensive production.

His role was backup infielder extraordinaire, something the Giants haven’t seen much of in recent years.

Solano finished third among Giants position players in rWAR. When your backup infielder who receives fewer than 230 plate appearances finishes third in WAR, then something has either gone terribly wrong or terribly ri…….no, wait, just terribly wrong.


Role on the 2020 team
Solano’s role on the 2020 team will likely be exactly what it was in 2019: Backup middle infielder.

Barring a shocking trade, Brandon Crawford isn’t going anywhere. And the Giants will play him, though if his cold bat continues, it seems quite possible that Crawford will be platooned. Dubon will likely be the everyday second baseman (unless he’s the part-time second baseman and part-time shortstop), meaning there’s no permanent place for Solano, but lots of part-time space for him.

If he replicates his 2019 performance, the Giants will have no choice but to find a way to get his bat into an otherwise dreary lineup.

Expect him to see more than 228 plate appearances next year, though not a ton more. Unless, of course, he’s traded. Or unless, of course, he was a flash in the pan who doesn’t actually break camp with the team.

All of these options are distinctly possible.

How Farhan is Solano?

I’m going for three Farhans, assuming Solano is the player we saw in 2019. That probably shouldn’t be the assumption, but for the sake of this article, I’m pretending it is.

Last year Solano was very valuable, could play at least three positions, and made the league minimum. He was a good clubhouse guy, and happy to start one day, rest two days, and repeat.

Versatility and flexibility is the name of the game with Zaidi. Solano isn’t four Farhans worth of either of those things, but when he’s hitting 20% better than league average, he’s three Farhans worth.

[Editor’s note: Solano is also one of the candidates for Batter of the Year. If you think he’s the best the Giants brought to the plate in 2019, vote for him our poll.]

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The Cubs have ongoing interest in bringing back free agent Nicholas Castellanos, who posted a 1.002 OPS over 51 games for Chicago following a Trade Deadline move from the Tigers.

Scott Harris, then an assistant general manager with the Cubs, had a firsthand look at Castellanos’ powerful display in the second half. Last month, Harris was named general manager of the Giants.

In what is perhaps a related development, the Giants are among the teams showing interest in Castellanos, two sources said Tuesday. Castellanos’ market is likely to become clearer during next week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego, with the White Sox and Marlins among the possible suitors.

In addition to Harris’ familiarity with Castellanos, the 27-year-old outfielder fits the Giants’ plans in a number of ways:

• Last winter, in the months after Farhan Zaidi was named the team’s president of baseball operations, the rebuilding Giants nonetheless proved with their pursuit of Bryce Harper that they’re willing to go after stars who hit free agency at the right age.

Castellanos and Harper are far from identical, but Castellanos is only seven months older than Harper, and they were more comparable offensively this year than one might think: Castellanos posted a 121 OPS+, compared to 125 for Harper.

• Castellanos, a right-handed hitter, would be a welcome contrast to what could be an all-left-handed everyday outfield for the Giants: Mike Yastrzemski, Steven Duggar and Alex Dickerson.

Castellanos also has indicated a willingness to play the corner-infield positions, where Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt were close to league-average hitters in 2019.

• While Castellanos has played mostly right field for each of the last two seasons, he also has experience in left field, a longstanding area of need for the Giants. San Francisco left fielders combined for a .673 OPS in 2019, second worst in the Majors.

• The Giants’ decision to non-tender Kevin Pillar this week freed up a spot in their outfield and additional spending power in the 2020 payroll.

Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for and MLB Network.

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SAN FRANCISCO — It didn’t take long for Kevin Pillar to win over the fan base and his new clubhouse, but his run as a Giant is over after only one season.

The Giants non-tendered Pillar before Monday night’s deadline, making him a free agent for the first time.

Pillar, acquired in the first week of the season from the Toronto Blue Jays, led the Giants in homers, RBI and stolen bases, but there were other issues in his statistical profile and the organization preferred to go with a younger group in the outfield.

Pillar was expected to make about $10 million in his final year of arbitration.

“It was a difficult decision. It was a baseball decision, not a financial decision,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told NBC Sports Bay Area. “We want to make sure that we can provide the opportunity to some of our younger outfielders who have emerged over the last year.”

That group includes Mike Yastrzemski, who tied Pillar for the team lead with 21 homers and could see plenty of time in center field next season, Austin Slater and Alex Dickerson, who reportedly agreed to a one-year deal Monday worth $925,000. Two young prospects, one acquired by Zaidi and one he inherited, also will receive a long look.

“Jaylin Davis got a little bit of big league time, and we want to make sure he gets an opportunity,” Zaidi said. “Steven Duggar is coming off an injury, and we’re expecting him to be 100 percent coming into camp. I would still expect us to add to that picture by looking at free agents and trades.

“The versatility of a couple of those guys to play center field may give us an opportunity to add an impact bat in one of the corner spots, which is something we’ve talked about all offseason. We’re looking for offensive production and a way to score more runs. We’re going to have financial flexibility to explore those avenues in trades and free agency, but an equally important part of this is making sure we’re creating an opportunity for some young players.”

That group includes Davis, a 25-year-old who was acquired at the trade deadline and hit 35 homers in the minors last season, and Duggar, a 26-year-old who once looked like the organization’s center fielder of the future before shoulder injuries stalled his progress. Yastrzemski appeared more than capable of handling center field when given limited opportunities last season, and the Giants also could go with a wild card who might be the most intriguing option of all.

When Mauricio Dubon was picked up from the Milwaukee Brewers before the trade deadline, team officials talked of him one day serving a super-utility role, similar to what Kiké Hernandez has done so successfully in Los Angeles. While Dubon currently looks slated for the starting job at second base, he will get work in center field during spring training.

At the start of last spring, Duggar was the only one in that group who was part of the organization. Zaidi added Pillar to the mix after he struggled in five games with the Blue Jays early in the year, and the veteran ended up being an integral piece for the Giants.

Pillar hit 21 homers and drove in 87 runs in 156 games, but there were underlying numbers that concerned the Giants as they looked toward the future. Pillar, who turns 31 in January, ranked second to last among qualified NL hitters with a .293 on-base percentage, walking just 18 times all season at a time when the Giants are preaching plate discipline throughout every level of the organization.

While he made plenty of highlight-reel grabs, Pillar was worth negative-5 Defensive Runs Saved per FanGraphs, ranking 12th out of 14 qualified NL center fielders in the SABR index used for Gold Glove awards.

[RELATED: Giants reportedly looking to hire Indians infield coach Correa]

Pillar seemed to know this fate might be coming at the end of the year, saying he didn’t want to talk too much about the organization’s future because he wasn’t sure what the front office would decide.

There has not been much of a trade market for players in Pillar’s situation, and the Giants’ front office ultimately decided to make a decision that will be unpopular with much of the fan base and a clubhouse that gave the center fielder the Willie Mac Award. It’s one they believe will set them up better for the future, including the 2020 season.

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The San Francisco Giants will have a decision to make regarding shortstop Brandon Crawford this offseason. Will they continue to roll with him as a starter in 2020?
San Francisco Giants fans will always have a soft spot for Brandon Crawford. His beautiful defensive plays and numerous clutch hits over the years will forever be ingrained in the minds of fans who saw the championship-winning teams of the 2010s.

But father time spares no one in the world of sports. And unfortunately, the Giants may just be finding that out with Crawford.

At 32-years-old this past season, Crawford seemingly hit a brick wall at the plate. He batted a career-low .228, had an OBP of just over .300, and finished with a disastrous OPS+ of just 75.

Only three players in the entire MLB (that qualified for rate stats) finished with worse offensive seasons, that being Orlando Arcia, Yolmer Sanchez, and Mallex Smith. The only difference is that all three of those players are 27 years or younger.

They still have time to get better. Meanwhile, Crawford is on the wrong side of 30.

Crawford will be 33-years-old next season and baseball doesn’t exactly have a lengthy history of aging middle infielders getting better as they grow older. And that’s especially true for those coming off as bad of a season as Crawford had.

Simply put, Crawford is a liability at the plate and while his defense remains solid it’s difficult to argue that he’s worth the $15 million he’s set to be paid next season. Unfortunately, getting rid of him isn’t exactly an ideal option.

It’d be near-impossible to find a taker for his contract without sending over a large sum of money as part of the package. And it would be foolish to just designate him for assignment and eat the money.

Crawford is still a very good defender and actually had a positive WAR last season because of his defense. He does still have some value to the team, obviously not at his current price point, but enough value that just flat out DFA-ing him cannot be justified.

That leaves the Giants with two options. Either roll with him as the starter next season and hope that 2019 was an anomaly and not a sign of things to come or find a suitable player to split time with him and limit his at-bats.

Both seem to be realistic options, but the latter is more viable. It’s likely the Giants would turn to an external option to fill that void but don’t be surprised if the team tries to give Mauricio Dubon more time to develop at his natural position.

Dubon is penciled in as a starter at one of the two middle infield positions next season but where he will be playing is undetermined. Second base seems like the most likely destination for the young infielder but the Giants might see that his future is at shortstop.

Perhaps Dubon could split time with Crawford at shortstop while also playing some second base. This would allow Crawford to receive fewer at-bats while he looks to get his swing back on track.

The Giants would likely have to bring in another middle infielder to play second base or turn to internal options within the organization.

Either way, it’s likely that Crawford will be on the team in some capacity next season — whether as a full-time starter or in a reduced role. And while Giants fans may hold on to warm memories of old, it’s important to remember that the past only serves to limit the future.

Crawford will still have a role next season, but it’s still unclear if that role will be as a full-time starter or in a part-time platoon. But his best days are clearly behind him.

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The San Francisco Giants are among the teams showing interest in Nicholas Castellanos, per a report from Jon Paul Morosi. They are one of at least four teams connected to the free agent corner outfielder.

Who is Nicholas Castellanos, you ask? No, seriously, who is he?

/rapidly types in Google

Apparently, he is a baseball player. Drafted in the first round by the Detroit Tigers in 2010, he made his debut a few years later. He was pretty good, netting some Rookie of the Year votes in 2014, then he got even gooder, posting an OPS+ of 120 or greater in three of the last four seasons. He also hates the Players’ Weekend uniforms and is iffy about the use of analytics in today’s modern game. So, one of us!

He also hits lots of homers and lots of doubles.

He finished this past season with the Chicago Cubs after getting traded for a couple of pitchers in the low minors at the deadline. His numbers were okay in Detroit—.273/.328/.462, good for an OPS+ of 105—but once he arrived to Chicago, he turned into the second coming of Alex Dickerson. In 51 games, he hit .321/.356/.646, smashing 16 home runs and 21 doubles, resulting in a 151 OPS+.

He grades out as a below-average glove and a mediocre baserunner. Baseball Reference lists him as a third baseman and rightfielder, but he hasn’t touched an infielder’s glove since 2017, and for a very good reason. In 2017 alone, he committed 18 errors and totaled up a whopping -14 DRS at the hot corner.

But, you know, dingers.

Did I embed his first career homer just because he hit it against the Dodgers? Maybe.

Castellanos is young—he’ll turn 28 in March—and because of the trade, he has no pesky qualifying offer to worry about. His defense might be awful, but his experience at third and in the outfield offers at least the façade of positional flexibility.

Most importantly, it’s worth remembering that this guy is in the front office.

MLB: 2019 Spring Training Media Days
MFW SB Nation’s photo tool doesn’t have an image of Scott Harris. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
That’s Scott Harris That’s Farhan Zaidi, who you may or may not remember hired Scott Harris, the Giants’ new GM. Not coincidentally, Harris was part of the front office that traded for Castellanos in the first place, so he clearly sees something in the guy.

The question, of course, is will Castellanos want to sign with the Giants, who are A) bad and will be bad for the foreseeable future, and B) play in a park that depresses offensive value. As a righty, Castellanos’ power shouldn’t see too much of an impact. However, if you watched that first video, you may have noticed something curious.

How many of those opposite field home runs get sucked into the vortex that’s slowly eating away at Brandon Belt’s soul? It’s clear that Castellanos is at his best when he can use all the fields, and Oracle Park offers him one huge, brick wall–shaped obstacle in that regard.

At any rate, Castellanos was pretty open about how much he hated Comerica Park’s dimensions, so it will definitely be a factor in where he signs.

But hey, you never know! Maybe the Giants put that $10 million they saved from non-tendering Kevin Pillar to good use and come in second place in the free agent sweepstakes!

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Dubón emerged as one of the Giants’ most exciting late-season callups this year, so I think he definitely put himself in position to earn a starting infield job in 2020. He seems to have the tools to develop into an everyday player, as the Giants were impressed with his instincts, game awareness and pop from the right side.

I think I’m more curious to see how Dubón is deployed defensively next year. He showed that he can handle shortstop and second base, but he also started five games in center field during the 2016 Arizona Fall League, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Giants will give him some more exposure in the outfield to try to mold him into a super-utility player like the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor.

Do you have a list of top prospects the Giants have on their 40-man roster or prospects who will be protected from the Rule 5 Draft?

Right-hander Logan Webb (Giants’ No. 5 prospect, per MLB Pipeline), Dubón (No. 8), righty Melvin Adon (No. 15), left-hander Conner Menez (No. 17), outfielder/first baseman Chris Shaw (No. 21), catcher/first baseman Aramis Garcia (No. 23) and shortstop Abiatal Avelino (No. 27) are on the 40-man roster. The Giants opted not to add any other prospects to their 40-man roster ahead of Wednesday’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft.

That means outfielders Sandro Fabian (No. 16) and Franklin Labour (No. 20), catcher Ricardo Genoves (No. 22) and left-hander Garrett Williams (No. 28) will be among the Giants’ prospects who will be eligible to be taken by another club during the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 12. None of them have played above Double-A, though, which probably minimizes the risk of them being poached by another club.

Bart throws out Franco
Jul 8th, 2019 · 0:07
Bart throws out Franco
Obviously, the majority of Giants prospect talk centers around Joey Bart, but do you see any other prospects breaking through in 2020? Do you see the likes of Heliot Ramos, Sean Hjelle, Seth Corry (or any others) getting callups?
–Mike H., Sheffield, England

Ramos and Hjelle both finished the 2019 season at Double-A Richmond, so I could see them reaching the Majors next season if they stay healthy and productive. I think Hjelle in particular could follow a similar path as Webb and receive an extended look in the Giants’ rotation at some point in 2020.

Corry took some impressive leaps forward this year, but he hasn’t pitched above low Class A, so I think he’s a little further away than Bart, Hjelle or Ramos. 2021 might be a more realistic target date for him.

Any idea on who will round out the coaching staff?
–Larry H.

The only confirmed member of manager Gabe Kapler’s coaching staff so far is Ron Wotus, who will return as third-base coach. There figures to be a significant amount of turnover, as bullpen coach Matt Herges has already left to become the D-backs’ pitching coach and hitting coach Alonzo Powell has accepted a job with the Chunichi Dragons in Japan. Bench coach Hensley Meulens has also been offered a spot on the Marlins’ coaching staff, though he is also reportedly in the mix for the Mets’ bench coach opening.

The status of first-base coach José Alguacil, pitching coach Curt Young and assistant hitting coach Rick Schu remain unknown. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kapler tried to hire some of the coaches who worked under him during his tenure with the Phillies.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.

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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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SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants stunned much of their fan base Monday when they decided to let go of Kevin Pillar, but the veteran center fielder wasn’t the only notable big leaguer to suddenly find himself a free agent.

Ahead of the deadline to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players, 56 big leaguers were non-tendered. The list includes top draft picks, All-Stars, and a couple of familiar names. Former Giants Derek Law and Josh Osich were let go and now are on the open market.

Farhan Zaidi has four roster spots open as he heads to the Winter Meetings. That’ll allow him to be active in the Rule 5 Draft if he wants, as well as take a long look at the non-tenders. Here are a few veterans who could make sense for the 2020 roster:

Cesar Hernandez
A switch-hitting second baseman who has experience at other positions, a .352 career on-base percentage, and 29 homers the past two seasons? That’s an intriguing piece even before you consider that Hernandez played for Gabe Kapler the past two seasons.

The Giants brought Donovan Solano back but still could use middle infield depth in case Mauricio Dubon needs more time in the minors. Even if Dubon is the starting second baseman, they could use a left-handed bat to support Dubon, Solano and third baseman Evan Longoria, and Kapler could certainly use a former Phillie or two in the clubhouse to help ease the transition.

Blake Treinen
The former A’s closer might be the most intriguing name on this list. Treinen posted one of the best relief seasons in history in 2018, but his ERA jumped from 0.78 to 4.91 in 2019 as his walk rate more than doubled. Few relievers have better raw stuff than Treinen, and you can bet there will be a strong interest in a pitcher who could be a difference-maker if he finds anything close to his 2018 form. The Giants can offer him a guaranteed shot in the late innings, with a clear path to the closer job if Treinen gets off to a good start.

Kevin Gausman
The fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Gausman is the type of pitcher a lot of front offices will look at and wonder, “What if we could get him on track?”

Gausman, a 28-year-old right-hander, had a 5.72 ERA for the Braves and Reds last season but has had stretches of sustained success as a big-league starter. He had a 2.87 ERA in 10 second-half starts for the Braves just a year ago.

Regardless of what Madison Bumgarner decides, the Giants have enough rotation flexibility to take a shot on a player or two like Gausman. If they hit on one, they could have a heck of a trade chip in July. Aaron Sanchez (Astros) and Taijuan Walker (Diamondbacks) are others who fit this mold. Both are super-talented but coming off injuries.

Jason Adam
Most Giants fans have likely never heard of Adam, a 28-year-old who had a 2.91 ERA in 23 relief appearances for the Blue Jays. The right-hander has been in the minors for seven years but has piled up strikeouts the past two. Sam Selman had a somewhat similar background and found success in Triple-A last season before making it to the big leagues for the Giants.

Jimmy Nelson
The 30-year-old right-hander is just two years removed from posting a 3.49 ERA and 3.05 WHIP for the Brewers. Nelson missed all of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury and struggled in scattered appearances when he returned to the mound last season, but Zaidi likes taking chances on guys like this. The Giants claimed Tyler Anderson after an injury-marred 2019 season and might have had him in their 2020 rotation had he agreed to a deal Monday.

Yimi Garcia
Zaidi has brought in a few former Dodgers — Solano was a success story last year — and Garcia also is familiar with Kapler. The right-hander had a 3.61 ERA and 0.86 WHIP last season, striking out more than a batter per inning. He gave up a ton of homers, but what if MLB unjuices the ball?

Domingo Santana
Some Giants people had an interest in Santana when he was in Milwaukee, but he ended up in Seattle, where he posted a .253/.321/.441 slash line with 21 homers last season. The 27-year-old was worth 3.3 WAR in 2017 but has been worth just one Win Above Replacement the rest of his career, in large part because of serious issues with the glove.

Santana played left field and right in Seattle, but he was worth negative-10 Defensive Runs Saved in left and negative-7 in right.

[RELATED: What Giants CF plans are after Pillar non-tender]

The Giants of old would put anyone with a pulse in left field, but that may not be necessary after the 2019 discoveries of Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson. Still, this club needs right-handed power, and Santana has a career .473 slugging percentage against lefties.

Catcher To Be Named Later
The Giants need to replace Stephen Vogt, and they haven’t seemed all that ready to hand the job to Aramis Garcia. Nobody will be as clean a fit as Vogt, a great clubhouse guy who hit left-handed and could platoon a bit with Buster Posey, but there are a few veterans who became free agents Monday, including Josh Phegley, John Ryan Murphy and Kevin Plawecki.

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As things currently stand, the San Francisco Giants might not be incredibly fun to watch in 2020.

In fact, barring the re-signing Madison Bumgarner or the addition of another big-time player through free agency or trade, things could get downright boring.

However, one of the more interesting things to watch will be the progression of their young players, including Mike Yastrzemski, Mauricio Dubon, and Logan Webb as they enter their sophomore season.

At the same time, it will also be worth watching how top prospects Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos perform in the minors early in the season, and if they can prove they are ready for the big leagues in 2020.

There’s a good chance that one, if not both of them, will play for the MLB squad this coming season.

While both players ended the 2019 season at Double-A, Bart is two years older and arguably the more polished all-around prospect. That said, he’s lost some developmental time to injury, and will need to stay healthy going forward.

The 22-year-old hit .316/.368/.544 in 22 games with Double-A Richmond to close out the regular season, and he was arguably the most impressive player in the Arizona Fall League before he fractured his thumb on a hit by pitch.

In the 10 games he was able to play pre-injury, he hit .333/.524/.767 with four home runs and 10 RBI while tallying more walks (9) than strikeouts (7) in 42 plate appearances.

Ramos also played in the AFL, though his performance was decidedly less impressive. In 17 games, he hit .185/.250/.262 with 23 strikeouts in 72 plate appearances.

These are small sample sizes for sure, but it’s enough to give you the sense that Bart might be the first one to arrive in the majors.

That’s not to say Ramos hasn’t provided plenty of reason for optimism after hitting an impressive .290/.369/.481 with 24 doubles and 16 home runs in 102 games between High-A and Double-A. Of equal importance, he raised his walk rate from 6.5 to 9.5 percent, showing a more refined approach.

Both players could start the season at Triple-A, which would leave them one hot streak away from providing the MLB lineup with a boost.

However, versatility enthusiast Farhan Zaidi has said he wants Bart to learn another position, so that could delay his call-up. As for Ramos, he took significant steps forward in 2019, but he still has plenty of developing to do since he won’t turn 21 until next September.

I’ll say Bart sees the majors by midseason, while Ramos has to wait until September to get his shot, meaning both players make their San Francisco Giants debut in 2020.

No matter what, we should all look forward to these youngsters possibly contributing to the big league team in the near future. With Madison Bumgarner on his way out the door and Buster Posey in decline, they could be the future faces of the franchise.

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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.

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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.

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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.