After a rough season in 2017, The San Francisco Giants have made multiple changes to their organization that has potentially made them a postseason contender. After the annual SF Giants FanFest, fans have craved baseball and it's finally here! The Giants are currently working on their skills and building their chemistry at Scottsdale Stadium for Spring Training 2018.
At the end of the 2017 season, the Giants immediately took action as they finished in last place in the National League West with a 64-98 record. Giants fans were definitely not used to this torture as the organization has won three World Series since 2010.
It seems that the skipper, Bruce Bochy is one of the only returning coaching members as the beloved pitching coach, Dave Righetti gave up his job to take on a front office role. Former Oakland Athletics pitching coach, Curt Young has taken on the role of the Giants new pitching coach. Matt Herges is the new bullpen coach, Jose Alguacil is the new first base coach, the former bench coach, Ron Wotus has moved to third base, and Hensley Muelens retired from hitting coach to become the new bench coach! The Giants also added Alonzo Powell and Rick Schu as the team's new hitting coaches.
The Giants didn't stop there as they added multiple new players to their roster including Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates former center fielder! The Giants are very familiar with McCutchen as he used to be one of their toughest competitors. McCutchen has won countless awards including the 2013 NL MVP, 4 Silver Slugger Awards, a Golden Glove, the Roberto Clemente Award, and he is a 5-time All-Star! In early 2018, the Giants made this trade with the Pirates in exchange for Kyle Crick, Bryan Reynolds, and $500,000 of international bonus slot money.
McCutchen is a fantastic addition to the Giants as they have struggled to find well-rounded outfielders in the past. With the return of Hunter Pence, Jarrett Parker, Austin Slater, and the addition of Austin Jackson, the Giants will have a great new outfield this year.
The Giants added Evan Longoria, the Tampa Bay Rays third baseman. Longoria is a great addition to the Giants as they have struggled with this position since the trades of Matt Duffy and Eduardo Nunez. Longoria will definitely fit in with the Giants Golden Glove infield consisting of Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Joe Panik.
Longoria has won many awards and has a lot to show for as he was the 2008 AL Rookie of the Year, a 3 time Gold Glove Award winner, a Silver Slugger Award, and is a 3-time All-Star! The Giants traded for Longoria in late December giving up Denard Span, Matt Krook, Christian Arroyo, and Stephen Woods.
The Giants sought out Andrew Jackson of the Cleveland Indians to rebuild their outfield. Jackson will be alongside Hunter Pence, Andrew McCutchen, Jarrett Parker, and Austin Slater this upcoming season. The Giants signed Jackson at the end of January for two years and $6 million.
When it comes to pitching, the Giants pitchers, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Jeff Samardzija have secured spots. There are many contenders for the fourth and fifth starting spots as Matt Moore is no longer a Giant.
Chris Stratton is the favorite for the fourth spot in the rotation. Ty Blach, Andrew Suarez, Tyler Beede, and Derek Holland are all competing for the fifth position in the starting rotation. As for relievers, the Giants have added Tony Watson, a left-handed reliever from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Watson agreed to a two-year deal worth $9 million. Watson went 7-4 with 10 saves and 53 strikeouts over 66 and 2/3 innings in 71 relief appearances last year!
The San Francisco Giants 2018 season will be an interesting one as the team has rebuilt their outfield and added an amazing addition to their infield. It will be interesting to see how the Giants do in their division and if they become postseason contenders.