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Farhan Zaidi explains what Giants’ roster still needs, including slugger

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants’ pitchers and catchers report to camp in three weeks, but the roster that will show up in Scottsdale is still taking shape.

“I could see us adding a couple position players,” Farhan Zaidi told KNBR’s Larry Krueger in a lengthy sitdown.

For months the Giants have openly desired a power-hitting corner outfielder, preferably a righty to offset a Mike Yastrzemski-Steven Duggar-Alex Dickerson lefty unit. Zaidi, speaking before Atlanta took Marcell Ozuna, one such candidate, off the market for $18 million, acknowledged they still are seeking that bat. The best one to fill that void belongs to Nicholas Castellanos.

“We’ve got a few irons in the fire there,” the president of baseball operations said about outfield sluggers. “I would expect us to bring on another outfielder, maybe two, before we start camp here. And then on the infield, same thing, just looking for good depth options.”

It sounds as if Zaidi wants to see Mauricio Dubon play every day, although the incumbent second baseman could see time at shortstop and even center field. He did not look overwhelmed last season, slashing .279/.312/.442 in 109 Giants plate appearances while playing solid defense.

“Dubon’s the classic guy where you want to create that pathway and opportunity for him to be the everyday second baseman,” Zaidi said. “He did it at the end of the year and did a really nice job for us. But there’s probably an opportunity for us to add a little depth, a little bit of insurance in the infield. And maybe add a guy or two that’s a multi-positional infielder that can back up at a couple different spots. Those are things we’re still looking to add.”

The infielder the Giants desire likely would be a lefty hitter, able to complement both Dubon at second and Evan Longoria at third. One name still on the market is Pablo Sandoval, who would serve as a fan attraction, too, but how he recovers from Tommy John surgery — and whether he can throw across the diamond — would hinder any possible pursuit.

On Monday, the Giants brought in reliever Jerry Blevins on a minor league deal. Zaidi hinted there could be more joining him.

“I think we’re at a little bit of a point where we were last offseason at this time, which is when we started … I think there’s still the opportunity and possibility of us adding some guys on big-league deals,” Zaidi said. “But there’s also that NRI [non-roster invite] level, there’s some pretty good players out there that may wind up taking non-rostered deals. What’s nice about that is it creates a true sense of competition. We had Cameron Maybin and Gerardo Parra and [Yangervis] Solarte in camp on minor league deals. Stephen Vogt also in camp on a minor league deal. It at least makes the younger guys feel like, hey, I still have an opporunity to make this team. As opposed to, if you bring in a veteran or two on big-league deals, and then they kind of feel like, well, I know I’m getting optioned.

“Having that true competition when you can bring in a guy or two on an NRI basis, that creates a good dynamic in camp. I certainly can see us doing that as we get closer to spring training.”


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