Diving into the depths: San Francisco Giants

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
San Francisco Giants
1. Tim Lincecum
2. Matt Cain
3. Barry Zito
4. Jonathan Sanchez
5. Madison Bumgarner
6. Joe Martinez
7. Kevin Pucetas
8. Henry Sosa
9. Clayton Tanner
10. Steve Johnson
11. Craig Clark
While the concept of Bumgarner in the rotation to begin the season is pretty exciting, I think the Giants need to go out and get themselves a fifth starter, simply because they have so little depth. Martinez is a borderline major leaguer as a swingman, and none of the prospects are great bets. Pucetas is the only Triple-A veteran who would seem to be an option, and he had a 5.04 ERA for Fresno last year.
1. Brian Wilson
2. Jeremy Affeldt
3. Sergio Romo
4. Dan Runzler
5. Brandon Medders
6. Waldis Joaquin
7. Joe Martinez
8. Santiago Casilla
9. Alex Hinshaw
10. Madison Bumgarner
11. Kevin Pucetas
12. Steve Johnson
13. Denny Bautista
14. Osiris Matos
15. Eric Hacker
16. Steve Edlefsen
The bullpen should have five locks, and Joaquin will be able to nail down a spot with a strong spring. I liked the Casilla signing, but he’ll be left out if the team carries a second lefty along with Affeldt. The idea of having Bumgarner pitch out of the pen initially hasn’t been dismissed.

1. Bengie Molina
2. Eli Whiteside
3. Buster Posey
4. Steve Holm
First base
1. Aubrey Huff
2. Pablo Sandoval
3. Travis Ishikawa
4. John Bowker
5. Brett Pill
Second base
1. Freddy Sanchez
2. Juan Uribe
3. Eugenio Velez
4. Kevin Frandsen
5. Mark DeRosa
6. Emmanuel Burriss
7. Matt Downs
8. Ryan Rohlinger
Third base
1. Pablo Sandoval
2. Juan Uribe
3. Mark DeRosa
4. Matt Downs
5. Ryan Rohlinger
6. Kevin Frandsen
7. Conor Gillaspie
1. Edgar Renteria
2. Juan Uribe
3. Emmanuel Burriss
The Giants have 15 infielders (non-catchers) on the 40-man roster, if one counts DeRosa, Velez and Bowker. And now there’s talk of maybe giving Posey time at other positions.
It seems pretty clear that Frandsen, Downs and Rohlinger have no real future in the organization. The Giants, though, will probably keep one of them if Sanchez has to open the year on the DL.
Left field
1. Mark DeRosa
2. Andres Torres
3. Eugenio Velez
4. Fred Lewis
5. John Bowker
Center field
1. Aaron Rowand
2. Andres Torres
3. Eugenio Velez
4. Darren Ford
Right field
1. Nate Schierholtz
2. John Bowker
3. Fred Lewis
4. Andres Torres
5. Eugenio Velez
Right field is still a question mark. Schierholtz is supposed to be the favorite for the job. Bowker would likely outproduce him, but not by enough of a margin to make up for the difference in defense. Lewis could also factor in somehow, but I think he’ll end up as another team’s fourth outfielder by Opening Day.
Here’s my guess at the lineup and bench:
CF Rowand
2B Sanchez
3B Sandoval
1B Huff
LF DeRosa
C Molina
SS Renteria
RF Schierholtz

Report: Barry Bonds under consideration to be the Marlins hitting coach

Barry Bonds

This shouldn’t cause any controversy, lead to a lot of people saying dumb things or provide fodder for jokes at all. Nope, none whatsoever:

In what promises to be a bombshell move, if executed, all-time great slugger Barry Bonds is under consideration to become Marlins hitting coach.

Team higherups have quietly been discussing this possibility for weeks.

That’s Jon Heyman, who reminds us that Bonds has worked with the Giants in the spring in recent years. And who, no matter what else you can say about him, was one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen. Also worth remembering that despite his controversial past, that greatness came not just from physical gifts, naturally or artificially bestowed. It came from his approach, preparation and strategy at the plate. No one can teach a hitter to hit like Barry Bonds, but you’d think that hitters could be taught to try to approach an at bat the way Barry Bonds would. And who better to do it than Barry Bonds?

That is, if Bonds is willing to drop his seemingly ideal retired life in San Francisco, move to Miami and work for Jeff Loria for nine months a year. Which, eh, who knows? But the possibility of it is pretty fascinating to think about.

Yadier Molina’s new backup: Cardinals sign Brayan Pena to two-year deal

Brayan Pena Reds
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Veteran catcher Brayan Pena has agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract with the Cardinals, who’re investing much more than usual in their backup for Yadier Molina.

After bouncing around for a decade without getting even 250 plate appearances in a season Pena signed with the Reds and topped 350 plate appearances in both 2014 and 2015. His production didn’t improve any, as Pena hit .263 with five homers and a .652 OPS in 223 games as a regular.

Pena’s best skill is rarely striking out, which enables him to hit for a decent batting average, but he has very little power and swings at everything. He struggled to control the running game this season at age 33, but has a decent throw-out rate for his career.

Making a multi-year commitment to Pena suggests the Cardinals are no longer counting on Molina being the same type of workhorse behind the plate, which certainly makes sense given his age and injury history. Pena will replace Tony Cruz, who’s been Molina’s understudy since 2011 while hitting just .220 with five homers and a .572 OPS in 259 games.

While we wait for free agent signings: Andrew McCutchen stars in a one-act play

Andrew McCutchen
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It’s a pretty slow offseason so far. We’ve had a couple of minor signings. I guess Jordan Zimmermann is sort of a big deal. But it’s a lot more quiet so far this year than it was this time last year. I suppose there’s no real rhyme nor reason for it. Baseball offseason is long, there is no salary cap and thus there’s no rush to do things too quickly.

So, while we wait, here’s Andrew McCutchen doing his best to kill time until spring training starts:

Red Sox sign outfielder Chris Young

Chris Young Getty

Veteran outfielder Chris Young thrived in a platoon role for the Yankees this past season and now he’s headed to the rival Red Sox to fill a similar role, signing a multi-year deal with Boston according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Young was once an everyday center fielder for the Diamondbacks, making the All-Star team in 2010 at age 26, but for the past 3-4 years he’s gotten 300-350 plate appearances in a part-time role facing mostly left-handed pitching. He hit .252 with 14 homers and a .773 OPS for the Yankees, but prior to that failed to top a .700 OPS in 2013 or 2014.

Given the Red Sox’s outfield depth–Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Brock Holt even with Hanley Ramirez back in the infield–Young is unlikely to work his way into everyday playing time at age 32, but he should get another 300 or so plate appearances while also providing a veteran fallback option. And it’s possible his arrival clears the way for a trade.