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Blzer's Blog
Blockbuster is no longer ó what is Plan G? 
Posted on December 9, 2017 at 05:15 AM.
With Stanton and Ohtani now out of the picture, the Giants have to consider backup plans. So, let's get the obvious out of the way, because I don't have much care for their value right now:

Andrew McCutchen. THE GOOD: He has one year left on his contract, not extraordinarily expensive, has made proper adjustments to his offense and will deal in the necessary tools the Giants are missing. THE BAD: His acquisition would require prospects that are not worth pawning off for a rental, and McCutchen has already shown he is not ageless to have for another long extension.

J.D. Martinez. THE GOOD: He is a legitimate 30+ home run hitter that the NL West stadiums can't contain him with, and the Giants have been looking for that for a long time coming. THE BAD: He is going on the back-nine and will want a massive contract. The first 2-3 years you will likely get what you want, but not the final 2-3 years.

Lorenzo Cain. THE GOOD: He is a top-of-the-lineup threat and can cover a lot of ground, something that helped at Kauffman Stadium and will help at AT&T Park. THE BAD: He would definitely be expensive and would put us into luxury taxes, which would be worth it if he wasn't 32 years old.

Carlos Gonzalez. THE GOOD: He is "middle of the order" good with a tremendous arm (something our RF needs), and him being on the Giants means him not being on any other NL West team. THE BAD: His road and vs. LHP splits scare you a little too much to dip in the $20+ million signing area, and essentially it would become a gamble; if we lose that gamble, we are stuck for quite some time and won't ever find our way out.

Jay Bruce. THE GOOD: He is consistent, and you know exactly what you are going to get with .250 AVG/30 HR kinds of numbers. THE BAD: He is a defensive liability, and I omitted any expected RBI numbers because if there is nobody in front of him to drive in, there is also nobody behind him that can hit him in because of his lack of speed. He is not the best fit for this club's current state, and Sabean & Evans were aware of that when they didn't go for him at the deadline. His value would be wasted here, unfortunately.

Jackie Bradley Jr. THE GOOD: Defense. THE BAD: Offense.

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Now, let's start looking at some names that I have not heard mentioned over the airwaves or social media at all:

Bryce Harper. I think most people just associate him with the antics he is most known for, specifically when Strickland went rogue and plunked him for crushing home runs off of him. Believe it or not, he is not a cancer and he does not lack for effort. There are only a handful of players in the league that you would break the bank for (10 years, $400 million), and those others aren't going anywhere anytime soon. If you are serious about contending against the team that WOULD sign Harper, then you would try and take him first. If not, don't bother holding onto Bumgarner, Posey, and Crawford after their contracts are up, and just rebuild at that point. Unfortunately, it is likely he would never want to sign here because of the park factor.

Manny Machado. Clearly you would be looking at the third baseman for your franchise if you landed him. I donít have much to say about his playing abilities that nobody doesnít already know, as he is best infield piece you can find out there (considering his youth as well). If you want him in 2018 on the last year with his contract, that would mean a trade with the Orioles. As the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays attempt to become more dominant in the AL East, perhaps this is a good time for the Orioles to consider a rebuild. The problem here, of course, is the Giants donít have anything that the Orioles would want. I have some personal problems with Machado as well, ironically problems that I donít think Harper brings. Harper is just a bit of a ball of energy that erupts at certain times, whereas Machado simply comes off as cocky. We once had a player like that and I loved him, but he didnít bring his cockiness in his play. Machado is great on paper and if we had the right players I would consider this, but who knows if he would stick around after 2018 and he can test the free agent market again.

Christian Yelich. Believe it or not, Stanton isnít the only valuable player in Miami. This guy is a gem with all five tools being handy, and a monster at AT&T Park. He is young, healthy, clutch, can take any outfield position, and can handle left-handed pitchers. He would not complain about the ballpark's depth, and instead would fine tune his skill set toward it. There is not one thing to dislike about his game, but he would be a complementary piece to whatever else you'd be trying to acquire all the meanwhile. Stanton did not want to play with the Giants because they weren't ready to content, and acquisitions like this get you to that place.

Mike Moustakas. An obvious choice to fill in the 3B hole, and is a flat out stud. Heíd be pricey though. But by trading Nunez away we still need an answer with speed, at the top of the order. At a fleet-footed 230 lbs, his mooseness will make you forget Pablo's pandaness... yup, he's a great guy for the clubhouse. His decent glove also comes with a more accurate arm. He'll have to learn to hit the ball the other way more, but until then you are getting a solid commodity for yet another five years.

Logan Morrison. The answer to Brandon Beltís lack of apparent offensive prowess. Not an overhaul, but an upgrade, specifically in the lefty power and contact ability. Already dealt with Tampa now though so we might not have much more to offer them, and they wonít want Belt. This is more of a name just to throw out there though, and not necessarily one the Giants would be ready to consider for any particular reason.

Cesar Hernandez. He is a leadoff switch-hitting utility infielder. that is a great trade piece for the Phillies to bolster out their farm system. This deal would not make much sense as long as we have Panik, Crawford, and Arroyo, but a team would be kidding themselves if they didn't try to snag him right now. With the way the Angels are going all-in this offseason, I wouldn't doubt that they might try their bid for him. This is the kind of player you want because the timing is right. He would have been suitable with getting Stanton. Too bad that's now just a pipe dream.

Jon Jay. This is not a flashy name by any means, but this builds depth to your roster. He would be a sexy version of Conor Gillaspie. He may be a rotating outfielder or platoon with certain players, but when somebody goes down you would have absolutely no issue with him taking the starting position role or being on the back end of the lineup. He is a free agent that would not cost you the moon and back, would add to the veteran presence of the club, and would be a solid pickup on top of the other moves they would still have to try and make. You can't lose signing him, but it also depends on what else they're trying to get.

Jason Heyward. Ignore the offensive numbers for a moment, because he is a defensive wizard and an intangibles wild card. When he is in the lineup, his team tends to win. He works more things out every offseason, and with the right hitting coaches he can make do exactly what needs to be done. He is somebody you will not have to be concerned about losing any sort of drive going into the next seven years, as he will keep pushing the bounds and compete with himself because he wants to prove himself wherever he goes. He is a total team player and one of the most likable gentlemen in the league. If the Cubs try and get Stanton, you can bet that Heyward or Schwarber may be landing a new home. This is somebody that I really want, even if he hits .240. The rest more than makes up for it (maybe not in monetary value, but in everything else).

Barry Bonds.
Yes, that one. The more years that pass by, the more of a joke this becomes, and I understand that... but I know 50+ year old men who can swing the bat, amateur and professional, and who can still do it well (Canseco, Franco, Palmeiro, Henderson). He out-homered Stanton in a batting drill in Spring Training last year, and if you think he is sitting on the couch during retirement, he does 50-mile bike rides routinely. In his last season at 42 years old, he still led the league in OBP. He would also probably be the best value you'd ever get: would not be very expensive (bonuses aside) and would attract so many fans and would generate you so much revenue. While you're still laughing at this and I ask you who you think would have a better season between Bonds and Mac Williamson or Gorkys Hernandez? Yeah, that's what I thought.

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If I were to piece this together, here is what I would try and do:

Win while you still have your core homegrown talent, or at the very least compete with your division. All you have to do is make the postseason. We saw how close we were two years ago. We just have to get there. That means a power bat, that means good setup relievers, and that means depth in the outfield.

Dump Belt, keep Melancon, platoon Span, ride out Pence's contract and cross your fingers, consider shopping around Panik and Cueto if you can get reasonable return elsewhere, and change the atmosphere in the clubhouse Boch! This team is very hungry to make sure that they can step up like the Dodgers or the Warriors, and not be the butt-end of a joke organization like the Niners... or Kermit or Mickey or something. Nobody cares about a mouse in pants anymore.
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