With the Madison Bumgarner era perhaps ending, could the Giants’ Yasiel Puig era be beginning?
(Take a deep breath.)
KNBR’s Marty Lurie endorsed the idea of the Giants making a run at the polarizing free-agent outfielder on an episode of “The Krueg Show” podcast. He did not focus on the impact the personality could have in the clubhouse, but rather on the impact his power could have in Oracle Park, where the Giants so often have been powerless.
During a conversation with KNBR’s Larry Krueger in which they played GM (or president of baseball operations?), the notion of a surreal deal with the former Dodgers outfielder, who is not popular among the Giants fan base, arose because “he puts the ball out of the park and he’s right-handed.”
“The old stats don’t matter anymore,” Lurie said of the 28-year-old Puig, a free agent who slashed .267/.327/.458 with 24 homers with Cleveland and Cincinnati last season. “You can strike out 150 times. You can hit .240. It’s OK. As long as you hit 25-30 out of the park and now you’re basically an average outfielder. … [The Giants are] swimming around with guys who hit 18. That’s like hitting nine 20 years ago. This guy can hit 25-30 and become an average outfielder, so I’m putting Puig out there.”
The Giants will return Mike Yastrzemski and the unreliable Alex Dickerson, with Kevin Pillar’s status in the air — he’d be due about $9 million in his final season of arbitration — and Austin Slater a possibility. It is difficult to envision a Puig-Giants handshake, though Farhan Zaidi did come over from Puig’s Dodgers.
Other free agents Krueger and Lurie offered as advice to Zaidi:
Krueger: Howie Kendrick
“He’s right-handed and he flat out rakes. He’s a big-time offensive player. He’s 36, so he’s the wrong age and he’s hardly an earth-shaking maneuver.”
Lurie: Jordan Lyles
“Twenty-nine years old. He broke through this year with Pittsburgh. He was very good. He was traded to the Brewers, did extremely well and looks like he figured it out.”
Krueger: Brock Holt
“With Farhan, I’m always thinking underwhelming and versatility. Someone when you first hear the name you go, ‘Oh, really?’ And when you think about it, it kind of grows on you because he’s so good at finding the effective player over the sexy player.
“… I think Brock Holt is an interesting name. Boston is in a world of hurt financially. They have [Mookie] Betts, they have J.D. Martinez, Martinez may opt out, they may trade Betts. … They’re crying poor mouth. In that offseason that they’re crying poor mouth and dealing with trying to chart their course, they’re going to overlook the value of a guy who helped them win the World Series, who hit .300-plus in October, who works the count, plays all over the place. Brock Holt I could see as a Giant. He’s a hedge against Mauricio Dubon. He’s a hedge against any kind of injury to [Evan] Longoria. He allows you to wave goodbye to Pablo Sandoval and you got a guy who’s a grinder.
Krueger: Maybe two of the three of Rich Hill, Alex Wood and Tanner Roark
Lurie: Kyle Gibson or Jake Odorizzi
“I’m going to grab one of Minnesota’s starting pitchers. … They’re sort of under the radar and probably can be gotten.”
Krueger: Yusmeiro Petit
“He can start, he can relieve, he can be trusted. You can bring him in in a late-inning situation, you can bring him in in the bottom of the first if the starter gets bombed. … He’s going to be gettable for a very, very paltry sum.”
Lurie: Jhoulys Chacin
“He kills the Giants.”