You’ve made plans to get to AT&T Park early, you love going to Giants games, but you haven’t been religiously checking up on the Giants on the internet or social media. You’re panicking, you don’t know what to say if someone asks you what you think about the off-season, or even what happened in the off-season. Let this be your guide to the Giants off-season:
2013 record: The Giants finished 76-86, 4th place. If you don’t remember who won the West, it’s not worth talking about.
2014 Draft: They’ll pick fourteenth overall in June.
- RHP Tim Hudson, two years and twenty-three million. He’s old, but that his injury was not to his elbow or shoulder provides optimism he can still produce as he approaches forty years old.
- OF Michael Morse, who you’ll recall is going to be the starting LF, with Gregor Blanco being the fourth outfielder. Signed for one-year, five million base salary.
- LHP David Huff, acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees, whom designated him for assignment. The Giants sent cash to the Yanks for Huff to build on the starting pitching depth. (Figure that RHP Yusmeiro Petit and possibly LHP Mike Kickham, RHP Edwin Escobar could also be guys that would be depth in the starting pitching rotation.)
Players brought back that were due to hit, or did hit free agency:
- OF Hunter Pence: five years and ninety million. That’s a lot of scooters.
- RHP Tim Lincecum: two years and thirty-five million. Quite a cut from the 5/$100MM they offered before when he wanted eight years.
- RHP Ryan Vogelsong: same kind of deal as Mike Morse — 1/$5MM with incentives.
The homies they didn’t bring back, or that won’t be back:
- RHP Chad Gaudin, signed a deal with the Phillies not too long ago
- LHP Barry Zito
- OF Andres Torres
- IF Brett Pill, who will be playing in (South) Korea with the KIA Tigers
- RHP Guillermo Moscoso, who will be playing in Japan for the Yokohoma Bay Stars
- LHP Jose Mijares, who signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox
- LHP Eric Surkamp, claimed off of waivers by the Chicago White Sox
- C Johnny Monell, claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles
- OF Francisco Peguero, claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles
Some of the millions of things you could talk about with the people around you:
- I’m hearing Bruce Bochy likes Brandon Belt in the three spot, what do you think? How would you construct the lineup?
- Who’s the odd guys out in the bullpen? Does George Kontos make the 25-man? Think about how you already have: Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Heath Hembree, then two spots. It’ll be a fight between Yusmeiro Petit, David Huff, Jake Dunning, George Kontos, Mike Kickham, Derek Law (the front office is really impressed with him because they say he can miss bats!), and Jean Machi.
- How about that fall from grace for Gary Brown, huh?
- I’m really excited about [insert pitching prospect’s name here] for 2014. I think he’s going to do big things in [Fresno, Richmond, San Jose, Augusta, Salem-Kaizer or the Rookie League]. Who are you excited about? Oh, really, Mac Williamson, huh? I sure hope his bat speed isn’t as big of a worry as Keith Law was writing about!
- How many times would you marry Buster Posey? The beat writers were saying he just added ten pounds of muscle!
- I hope Pablo Sandoval isn’t fat anymore, especially since he could be a free agent next year. I sure hope the Giants do/do not sign him to an extension before he hits free agency!
- Why the heck did they pay so much for Timmy?
- So, sucks that we’re just as old or older than some of the people on this Giants team, huh.
- What’s your favorite part of AT&T Park? Food? What do you really want to do here that you haven’t done yet? (For me it’s the stadium tour or even take a picture with the trophies)
- Who’s your favorite beat writer? Who’s blog do you read for Giants stuff? I hear that guy Stuart Jones has a pretty great blog at splashit dot mlblogs dot com!
- Can you believe that payroll is going to be around $150 million? In 2010 it wasn’t even $100MM!
- You think the Giants will make the playoffs this year with a lot of the same players to start the 2014 season if everybody stays healthy?
- How sweet would a parade in November be?
There you go, there’s your help in getting ready for conversation at FanFest. Use this page as a reference for when you get stuck! Giants baseball is coming back so very soon, and that’s a very exciting thing! Have a great time, arrive early, and don’t spend all your money on everything!