The San Francisco Giants decided to lit a flame to reignite the major league baseball hot stove by acquiring former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen joins Evan Longoria in a new look middle of the Giants lineup. The Giants have thrown down the gauntlet in potentially the most stacked division the Major League Baseball’s senior circuit. While the moves are attention grabbing, does it really put the giants in a place to contend?
McCutchen joins a lineup that has found it a struggle to find offense in the outfield. With the addition of the 5 time all-star the Giants will be able to move injury machine Hunter Pence into left field solving a problem that has plagued the team for years. The new problem moves to center field as normal Denard Span was part of the Longoria deal. Early projections show Gorkys Hernandez as the potential starting center fielder, the Giants could shock us all by potentially moving defensive gem Brandon Belt to the outfield and play Buster Posey over at first. Posey’s move to first is inevitable due to his growing concussions issues as well as the overall wear and tear of playing the position. A move of Belt to the outfield would shift the aging McCutchen to one of the biggest and funkiest center fields in Major League Baseball.
While the outfield has questions the Giants infield has could rival any team defensively. The acquisition of Even Longoria made a strength even stronger, the 2017 Gold Glover joins fellow 2017 Gold Glover Brandon Crawford and defensive standout Joe Panik. While the move for Longoria shocked most in the baseball world, it was justified when the Giants made the second move to pick up McCutchen. The Giants are telling their fanbase that they are all in for the 2018 season…at least they have forced themselves all in.
The Giants traded away their most promising prospect Christian Arroyo in order to pick up Longoria. While Longoria is still a viable player moving your top infield prospect to get him was questions by many baseball writers. Giants general manager Bobby Evans and executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean have addressed this, but to summarize, the Giants wanted to improve upon the production they received from third base last season. San Francisco’s third basemen finished last in the Majors in batting average (.216), OPS (.568), home runs (nine) and RBIs (51) in 2017. Despite Longoria’s dip in production in ’17, Giants management believes he has enough left to provide respectable offense for at least a couple of years. A couple of years may be all the Giants have left as their current farm system ranks in the bottom five and their is no one on the way. A team that has a lot of older players seems to not have a plan if those players breakdown.
The Giants are going to go into the 2018 season with a lot to be excited about. Their pitching staff will have a full year of Madison Bumgarner back , assuming he stays off the dirt bike. They have Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardjia, Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson, so many established major league players. The Giants just seemed to have forgotten that the Dodgers, D-Backs and Rockies are younger and better. The Giants won’t lose 98 games in 2018 but this team has not improved themselves enough to beat the teams in their own division. The will battle for a wild card spot but most likely be looking to unload some vets at the trade deadline. They showed the fanbase they are trying, but I think a rebuild would have made more sense.
But it is an even year.