The Home Run King Barry Bonds reported to the San Francisco Giants Spring Training camp today. This is the first time Bonds has put a Giants uniform on since his last game in 2007. He then sat down with the media for about thirty minutes to answer whatever questions they wanted to throw his way.
When asked how it felt to put the uniform back on, Bonds said “Feels really, really good.”
Bonds will be at camp for seven days to assist hitters, and let players pick his brain. When asked if he would like to eventually manage, Bonds said “I just want to see if I can get through these 7 days first.”
This isn’t Bonds first rodeo when it comes to working with big league hitters. He’s worked with Colorado Rockies‘ Dexter Fowler and Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard.
When asked about working with Brandon Belt, Bonds said “I don’t know if I can create power in someone that already has it. Belt already has power. It’s how consistent can you make it.”
If you’re wondering who the best pitcher was that Bonds ever faced was, he said it was Greg Maddux. “He was the best I’ve ever seen, the best. Ever,” said Bonds.
Bonds was asked if he should be in the Hall of Fame, “Without a doubt,” said Bonds.
The living legend did say he has one regret when it comes to the media, “The only regret is I wish we all had a better relationship,” said Bonds.
Credit: Steven Robles – SF Giants Rumors
We’ve learned over the weekend that reliever Guillermo Mota has retired after 14 years of service in Major League Baseball. Mota spent three of those years with the San Francisco Giants (2010-2012). His three year tenure with the Giants resulted in two World Series Championships (2010 & 2012). Prior to the Giants, Mota played with the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers. Mota retires with a 39-45 career record and a 3.94 ERA.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (via Twitter) that the Giants and shortstop Brandon Crawford reached an agreement on a one-year, $560,000 contract in his final pre-arbitration year.
Credit: Steven Robles – SF Giants Rumors
The baseball season is finally back, at least from a Spring Training standpoint. Yesterday, the San Francisco Giants took the field against Josh Reddick and the Oakland Athletics.
I’m sure you’re wondering why Reddick’s name has already been mentioned? Well… it’s because he robbed outfielder Michael Morse of a home run, not once, but twice! In Morse’s first two at bats as a Giant, he hit two home run balls to right field and they were both tracked and robbed by Reddick. If you haven’t had a chance to see them, you should go to our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page. You’ll be able to find the video there.
Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports (via Twitter) that Giants CEO Larry Baer said there’s been no discussions yet with infielder Pablo Sandoval, but ownership is open minded about an extension. They will not set a deadline to work out a deal.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle shares some insights from a state-of-the-team talk that Baer had with reporters. The Giants are still against the Athletics moving to the Santa Clara County. The Giants would be willing to cooperate with the Athletics if they built a ballpark in their own territory. They’re even willing to let the Athletics play some games at AT&T Park while their stadium is getting built.
Baer also told reporters how the Hunter Pence $90 million deal came together. It came together around 1 a.m. in Bruce Bochy‘s office right after the final Friday night game of the season.
“We just handed him $90 million and he gets on a scooter. We said, ‘Hunter, there’s something called Uber. Can we get you a car to go up the Embarcadero? He said, ‘No, I’m good to go.’”
The 24 year-old, will be making his first career Opening Day start. The previous five Giants Opening Day pitchers were Cain (2013) and Lincecum (9-12). Hudson also has a three Opening Day starts under his belt as well, most recent being last year (2013) for the Atlanta Braves.
The Home Run King Barry Bonds is going to be in Scottsdale March 9-17 as an instructor for the San Francisco Giants. Bonds have never officially retired, but I would say showing up as a special instructor means you’re not going to get penciled in the Spring Training lineup. With that said, you sure are missed Barry!
The 49 year-old Bonds last played in September 2007. That year Bonds hit .276 with 28 homers in 126 games for the Giants.
Today the Giants signed outfielder Tyler Colvin to minor league deal. He’ll be at big league camp, and will be battling for the 5th outfield spot with Juan Perez.
Colvin had a deal in place with the Baltimore Orioles, but the Orioles backed out when they seen Colvin’s physical as it revealed that he still had back issues. The Orioles then pulled their major league offer off the table and offered Colvin a minor league deal. Colvin opted to elect for free agency instead of signing a minor league deal with the Orioles.
Colvin, 28, has proven that he has some home run pop. Colvin hit 18 homers in 2012 with the Colorado Rockies and 20 for the Chicago Cubs in 2010.
GM Brian Sabean – Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano
This morning San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean did an interview on KNBR. Sabean said he thought he was on his way out as the Giants GM, when the team had 4 consecutive losing seasons (2005-2008). When asked about a contract extension for infielder Pablo Sandoval, Sabean said Sandoval would be tough to replace if he hits the free agent market and signs elsewhere.
“I’ll visit with ownership, I would lean to try to figure something out, but then you have to have two willing parties,” said Sabean on the possibility of resigning Sandoval prior to Opening Day.
Sabean confirmed the Giants did make a substantial offer to Jose Abreu prior to him signing with the Chicago White Sox. Sabean was part of the New York Yankees front office that drafted shortstop Derek Jeter. Sabean says he can see Jeter as a GM when his playing career is over.
“He could probably do anything he wants in the game,” said Sabean about Jeter’s role in baseball when the spikes are hung up.
Starting pitcher Tim Hudson said in an interview with Murph & Mac on KNBR that his ankle feels good. He’s a little behind with conditioning due to the ankle injury, because he wasn’t able to push himself during the offseason.
“I don’t really think about it at all when I’m out there throwing off the mound. I’ve been off the mound now about 4 times. I don’t even think about it. Which tells me that from a health standpoint, things are good,” said Hudson about his ankle injury.
Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports (via Twitter) that the last two players who haven’t checked in at Spring Training, Santiago Casilla and Jose De Paula, are flying in from the Dominican Republic today.
Today the judge in the Bryan Stow case sentenced Marvin Norwood to 4 years, and Louie Sanchez to 8 years. Sanchez kept smirking during the sentence hearing.
Credit: Steven Robles – SF Giants Rumors
Just 8 hours before the scheduled arbitration hearing, the San Francisco Giants and Brandon Belt were able to reach an agreement and avoid arbitration. Belt’s deal is a one-year, $2.9 million contract. By signing Belt last night, the Giants avoided an arbitration hearing. The last time they had an arbitration hearing was in 2004, that’s when catcher A.J. Pierzynski was granted $3.5 million by the arbitration panel.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports (via Twitter) that Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants will definitely have a long-man in the bullpen. With Yusmeiro Petit out of options, he’s a strong candidate to win that job after his performance in September.
Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports (via Twitter) that starting pitcher Tim Lincecum rented a warehouse in Seattle over the offseason, bought a portable mound and threw to his friends. “I feel strong. I’m pretty confident,” said Lincecum.
Pitcher Barry Zito is going to take some time away from the game, but says he’s not retiring. There’s no word if his phone rang at all this offseason, but he sure doesn’t plan on hanging the spikes up just yet.
The Giants have signed 32 year-old infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen to a Minor League deal, and there’s not invite to Spring Training. He was signed to add depth and not to compete for an Opening Day roster spot.
Credit: Randy Boyles – SF Giants Rumors
Today’s the day that a lot of people have been waiting for…. It’s Friday, Valentine’s Day, and the San Francisco Giants pitchers and catchers are reporting to camp! We’ve already learned that Tim Hudson has his locker between Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. I think it’s safe to say that the Giants probably put him right next to Lincecum, so they can have some pitching conversations here and there.
Hudson is not 100% as of yet, but his ankle is responding well. Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports (via Twitter) that manager Bruce Bochy said Hudson ran yesterday, and threw bullpen session. They expect Hudson to be on the same schedule as other starters.
Henry schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that reliever Santiago Casilla is having visa issues, so he’ll be working on normal early-spring conditioning at the Giants’ academy in the Dominican Republic till he can report to camp.
Backup catcher Hector Sanchez is reporting to camp much slimmer. Word on the street is that he’s lost 20lbs, and is 100% healthy.
Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports says reports (via Twitter) that the Giants were one of many teams to scout Cuban shortstop Aledmys Dias yesterday at the San Diego Padres Spring Training complex.
“The passing of Jim Fregosi leaves a hole in the unique fabric of our great game. He was a great friend and mentor to so many no matter what hat he wore. His bigger than life personality will be sorely missed. He was a one-of-a kind baseball lifer.”
The Giants announced today that beginning this season, all fans entering AT&T Park will be screened with metal detectors. This complies with Major League Baseball’s mandate that all teams begin using metal detectors by the start of the 2015 season.
Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano
At Media Day (notes from media day) we learned that San Francisco Giants‘ catcher Buster Posey has put on 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason. In Posey’s short career, he has set a high bar for what fans expect out of him by being the 2010 Rookie of the Year and the 2012 National League Most Valuable Player. In 2013 Posey put up very solid numbers overall, but his second half left a lot to be desired. His first half looked like this: .325/.395/.536 with 13 home runs and a 163 wRC+. For reasons not exactly known, in the second half Posey hit .244/.333/.310 while hitting two home runs and having a wRC+ of 85, which are all far below Posey’s career numbers.
Why was Posey’s second half so awful? A lot of people speculate it is because of fatigue. After catching a career-high 112 games in 2012 and playing first base in 29 games, he went to the postseason and played another 16. Posey played a total of 164 games in 2012 and then came back in 2013 and played another 148. Although he wouldn’t tell manager Bruce Bochy to take him out of the lineup because he was tired, his performance on the field showed just how exhausted he really was.
So will 10 pounds of muscle help or hurt Posey? Well I think it could legitimately help his all-around game. Posey had a dreadful slugging percentage in the second half of the 2013 season and 10 pounds of muscle could help improve that. Not only will the extra muscle help his power numbers, it will help the 26 year old catcher’s durability throughout the season as he tries to take his team to the playoffs once again.
With a full offseason of strength training and workouts, Posey should be back to his elite status for the 2014 season. He has a rare mix of power and on-base ability for a catcher that puts him in the upper echelon of players at his position and is expected to be an MVP candidate for the years to come.
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Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano
With Spring Training just a few days away, the San Francisco Giants still haven’t come to terms with infielder Brandon Belt on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. In 2013 Belt made $531,500, and is now looking to get a couple million for the 2014 season. The Giants have offered $2.05 million and Belt has submitted a request for $3.6 million. If the two sides can’t agree on a one-year deal then they’ll head to an arbitration hearing. In the arbitration hearing, either the Giants $2.05 million offer or Belts $3.6 request will be chosen as his 2014 salary. There’s no middle ground. With that said, I do believe the Giants and Belt will come to an agreement and avoid arbitration. GM Brian Sabean said at Media Day that they’ll work the one-year deal before they get into a multi-year deal talks with Belt.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says Belt won’t take it personally if the team rags on him in the arbitration hearing so the arbitration panel can select their $2.05 million offer over Belt’s $3.6 million request.
“I don’t think anybody likes that too much,” said Belt at FanFest. “At the same time that’s part of it. I know what I wasn’t good at, so if I go in there it’s not going to hurt my feelings any. If you can avoid it, both parties would like to do that. But going into it, if they have to tear me down a little bit, I’ll be ok,” says Belt.