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Bobby Evans talks Hundley, Rollins other Giants offseason signings

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Larry Krueger’s podcast is growing more and more under the KNBR.com umbrella.

The morning host was joined by Giants GM Bobby Evans by phone on Tuesday. The two baseball minds chatted about new catcher Nick Hundley, the addition of Jimmy Rollins, DFA’ing Ehire Adrianza among many other topics.

Let’s start with Hundley, who Evans said will go into spring training with the clear edge as the backup over Trevor Brown.

“He really comes in as the backup to Buster (Posey) for next year,” Evans said. “Nick is a guaranteed major league deal. We’re evaluating Nick as having been an every day major league catcher a number of years in the big leagues. That his role is really setup for the first time as only a backup, we’re stronger with his experience off the bench, his experience catching every fifth day, his tandem with Buster, we’re a stronger club.

(“Trevor) Brown has options, gives us a chance to have depth on the 40-man with a third catcher. You never know when an injury may occur. And (Tim) Federowicz, coming to the spring he would’ve had to beat out Brown, but if he didn’t, he has an out at the end of spring training to declare his free agency, which is a disadvantage to us about depth. Really no comparison for us between Nick Hundley, Trevor and Federowicz. We clearly see Nick head and shoulders above them.”

Right before Christmas, where Evans told Krueger he thankfully took a week away from baseball, the Giants inked Rollins to a contract. What was the thinking behind that signing?

“That’s great veteran depth for us,” Evans said. “His presence in the clubhouse and if he’s coming off the bench it just gives us strength and (Bruce) Bochy options on days to give guys rest. And I think that’s part of the formula for 2017, is find ways to balance the rest of all of our guys. So that guys, even though they can grind through 12, 13 days in a row, there’s room for an off day. If you do that, you’re ultimately better in the second half and better down the stretch.

“The challenge for Jimmy is he hasn’t necessarily had the bat he’s had in the past. Coming off the bench is very different than starting every day. And playing second or third is not something he’s done. There’s going to be challenges for him. I’m excited that he wanted to come here. That says a lot about him.”

And what about Adrianza? What was the end of the line for him?

“His development had not come on as fast as we had hoped,” Evans said. “Part of that is just injuries that have held him back. As you start the offseason, the last thing you want to do is start shedding infielders, especially good defenders who can play multiple positions. Knowing full well that tendering him a contract would obligate us at some level to pay him in 2017. Also knowing at some point, we could’ve acquired enough depth where he wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot. So that’s where we are today.”

 

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