Kurtenbach: How about these reasonable free agent targets for the Giants

The San Francisco Giants are going to sign free agents this winter, right? It's not likely to be Gerrit Cole, and may not be Madison Bumgarner

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOV. 13: Farhan Zaidi, president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants, speaks during a press conference introducing Gabe Kapler, the team’s new manager, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
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Now that the Gabe Kapler drama has died down a bit, Farhan Zaidi and the Giants can get on with the business of actually building their baseball team.

The only question: What on Earth is their plan this offseason?

It’s clear that they’re not going to sign a big-time, big-money free agent — they’re not going to make a run at Gerrit Cole like they made a run at Bryce Harper last year — and Madison Bumgarner has likely thrown his last pitch for the Giants, but they’re going to sign someone to pique the fanbase’s interest for the 2020 season, right?

Because even though this team is stuck between stations in a rebuild — not quite torn down, but still building up — they need to do something to get people out to the ballpark. The team will have roughly $70 million to spend to reach the luxury tax threshold, but they must know that in this market, irrelevancy is expensive.

So here are three names — three reasonable names — that I think the Giants could go after in free agency this winter:


Rick Porcello

(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

The 2016 American League Cy Young Award winner had a roller-coaster tenure in Boston, but has an above-average spin rate on his fastball and craftiness on the mound. He’s a flyball pitcher, so he’ll love being in San Francisco — no matter what happens with the fences — and he’s never started fewer than 27 games a year in his Major League career. He’s a nice buy-low candidate that could turn into something exceptional in the right situation. That sounds like the kind of player who would make a good Giant right about now.


Dellin Betances

(Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

The Yankees’ fireballer reliever’s season ended with a “freak” torn Achilles tendon, which has made him a bit of a bargain-bin player this offseason.

When he’s healthy, there are few better bullpen arms in the league than Betances.

And seeing as the Giants just lost Will Smith and seem to be favoring high-heat relievers these days (novel concept!), Betances seems like a nice option.

He only partially tore the Achilles, and it’s unclear on if he’ll be ready for Spring Training, but a short-term deal — one or two years — at a ballpark that’s going to help pitcher stats could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Get in, show the world you’re healthy, save a few games for a bad team, help that team land a few prospects for you at the trade deadline, and then make a postseason run and hit free agency again soon thereafter. That sounds like a win for all parties, no?


Yasiel Puig

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Some people want to watch the world burn — I might be one of those people. And considering how Zaidi hired Kapler, he might be one of those people, too. Keep it rolling, Farhan, and sign Puig.

As much as Puig might be hated around these parts — for reasons I can’t quite understand (when MadBum leaves we can drop it) — the dude can ball. Zaidi and Kapler know that from their time with the Dodgers. And while he wasn’t elite last year, he has all the potential in the world to break out — again — at any moment. There would be worse options to throw into right field every day for the next year or so, and he might — just might — put up big-time numbers while not costing big-time money.

And if he is signed, I bet that by June, Giants fans think that Puig is their friend.


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