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There are still a lot of free agents available

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As we noted earlier this morning, there are only eight days until pitchers and catchers start reporting. There are still a ton of free agents left on the market, however.

Most of them are journeymen, but there are still a couple of front line starting types left available, such as Matt Wieters and Mike Napoli. Chris Carter, the 2016 NL Home Run Champ is still looking for a job.

There are a ton of big names whose games have faded or whose careers are in their twilight, such as former Cy Young winners Tim Lincecum and Jake Peavy and former MVPs Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau. Chase Utley is banging around too. Some arms that, not long ago, were fixtures in big league rotations can still be had, including Colby Lewis, Jorge De La Rosa, Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon. Then there are guys like Coco Crisp, Angel Pagan, Michael Bourn and Franklin Gutierrez. Indeed, there’s an army of guys who once played some decent center field out there but who now are holding virtual “will shag flies for food” signs.

Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson are on the list too, but you damn well know the Braves are going to sign them so I almost didn’t include them here. They’re anciently beholden to Atlanta, sort of like Chay-Ara is beholden to Prince Khufu. I’m just gonna start calling those two the Hawkmen.

Anyway, this is the entire list of free agents per MLB Trade Rumors’ Free Agent Tracker. Bargain hunting is well underway, so shop fast:

Henderson Alvarez
Pedro Alvarez
Erick Aybar
Aaron Barrett
Gordon Beckham
Joe Blanton
Michael Bourn
Billy Butler
Marlon Byrd
Chris Capuano
Chris Carter
Steve Clevenger
Hank Conger
Coco Crisp
Jorge De La Rosa
Daniel Descalso
Nate Eovaldi
Jeff Francoeur
Sam Fuld
Charlie Furbush
Craig Gentry
Cole Gillespie
Jonny Gomes
Franklin Gutierrez
Matt Harrison
David Hernandez
Aaron Hill
Luke Hochevar
Ryan Howard
Tommy Hunter
Edwin Jackson
Kevin Jepsen
Kelly Johnson
Chris Johnson
Tyler Ladendorf
Mat Latos
Colby Lewis
Tim Lincecum
Adam Lind
Javier Lopez
David Lough
Seth Maness
Justin Morneau
Peter Moylan
Mike Napoli
Dioner Navarro
Jonathan Niese
Angel Pagan
Jonathan Papelbon
Jarrod Parker
Jake Peavy
Brayan Pena
Yusmeiro Petit
A.J. Pierzynski
Ryan Raburn
Alexi Ramirez
Nolan Reimold
Jerry Sands
Alfredo Simon
Drew Stubbs
Chase Utley
Carlos Villanueva
Chien-Ming Wang
Jered Weaver
Matt Wieters
Tom Wilhelmson
Jerome Williams
C.J. Wilson
Travis Wood

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.