Conor Gillaspie joined a long line of surprise Giants postseason heroes last October, when he helped extend San Francisco’s season twice with clutch at-bats in the Wild-Card Game and Game 3 of the NLDS.
Gillaspie is arbitration eligible this offseason and will not be a free agent until 2019. Though general manager Bobby Evans has not committed to tendering a contract offer to Gillaspie this offseason, Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper believes that the Giants will do what it takes to bring back the third baseman.
“He’s not gonna go anywhere, he doesn’t want to go anywhere,” Kuiper told the Murph and Mac show on Wednesday morning. “The Giants are not going to be cheap with this guy. If you’ve got to pay him a little extra, then pay him a little extra for what he did in the postseason against the Cubs, and of course the big swing of the bat against the Mets. He’s a great kid, and he’s very very popular in that clubhouse.”
Gillaspie earned $507,500 last season with the Giants and is due for a raise to around $900,000 via arbitration this winter according to RotoWorld. Gillaspie was average at the plate with a .262/.307/.440 line in 2016, but it seems unlikely that the Giants would let one of their few reserve infielders walk at such a reasonable price.
Gillaspie’s primary role will likely be to backup Eduardo Nunez at third base.
“I expect that Conor Gillaspie is gonna be a guy that gets some playing time at third,” Kuiper said. “He’s not going to play all the time, but he’ll get his at bats. There were times last year where he was their best pinch hitter.”
“He was absolutely terrific and I’m really looking forward to him. He’s got a chance now maybe to go to spring training and not have to worry about making the team, but he would never admit that.”
Listen to the full interview below.