Gabe Kapler could have wiggled out of the question, could have pointed to the executives above him, could have said he is not in charge of putting the roster together and deferred to Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris.
Instead, he was strong in suggesting there is no fire beneath the Yasiel Puig smoke.
The manager, during a segment on “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks” on Monday, was asked about a tweet by baseball reporter Francys Romero, who focuses on the Cuban community, that said the Giants were “very close” to a deal with their former Dodgers enemy. It was pointed out that while Romero reported it, the beat writers around the club had not run with it.
“The fact that it wasn’t covered I think tells everybody everything they need to know,” Kapler said on KNBR. “Keep it short, keep it simple.”
If the Giants indeed had been close on a deal, they would have had to have been close last month, as MLB and the players’ union agreed on a transaction freeze during the coronavirus pandemic. The Giants had spent all offseason seeking a power-hitting corner outfielder and ended up reuniting with Hunter Pence. They parted ways with the popular Kevin Pillar citing more opportunities for their younger outfielders, so an agreement with Puig would have been curious. Still, with no Madison Bumgarner, with the team lacking righty power and with Zaidi so eager to take on any talent, especially 29-year-old talent that possibly could be flipped at a trade deadline, the notion wasn’t crazy.
But according to Kapler, there is no deal for the polarizing outfielder close, and Giants fans can stop complaining at the mere thought.