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Inbox: Will Giants move Belt, Samardzija?

@mi_guardado
November 8, 2019

Regarding possible trades, could Brandon Belt and Jeff Samardzija be dealt to clear some salary space and perhaps allow Buster Posey to move to first base full-time? -- Ken, San Francisco I don’t think the Giants have enough rotation depth to seriously contemplate moving Samardzija this offseason, but I could

Regarding possible trades, could Brandon Belt and Jeff Samardzija be dealt to clear some salary space and perhaps allow Buster Posey to move to first base full-time?
-- Ken, San Francisco

I don’t think the Giants have enough rotation depth to seriously contemplate moving Samardzija this offseason, but I could see him becoming a potential trade chip at next year’s Trade Deadline if he’s pitching well and the club isn’t in the playoff mix. Belt is the most tradeable of the Giants’ core veteran players, but his partial no-trade clause and contract — he’s owed $17.2 million in each of the next two seasons — could serve as impediments to any potential deals.

Trading Belt would theoretically open up first base for Posey, but I don’t think the Giants are as keen on that possibility as they might have been in the past. Posey’s bat no longer profiles at first base. Since most of his value comes from his catching abilities, it would make little sense to move Posey out from behind the plate.

I think the likeliest scenario is that Belt and Samardzija will still be with the Giants come Spring Training, but you never know. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has pulled off creative trades in the past, so I’m sure he will be open minded to any deals he feels will better position the Giants moving forward.

I'm a huge Kevin Pillar fan, yet the other Bay Area sports gurus have been iffy about Kevin remaining with the Giants and I don't know why? That's my question. Kevin was likely their best outfielder, hit more than 20 home runs, and was a clubhouse and fan favorite. I read where he's arbitration eligible for maybe $10 million this year. That isn't much if you had to go get him from another team. What's your opinion?
-- Steve R.

There’s no denying Pillar’s impact on the Giants this season, but it’s also hard to look past some of his flaws. He posted the lowest walk rate (2.8 percent) and fourth-lowest on-base percentage (.293) among qualified Major League hitters, and while he provided a steady stream of highlight-reel catches in center field, the defensive metrics rated his overall fielding as closer to average. Pillar is entering his final year of arbitration and is projected to earn $9.7 million in 2020, according to MLB Trade Rumors. While that might be a bit high for the Giants’ liking, I think they’ll keep Pillar in the fold given their shortage of established outfield options.

Do the Giants still plan on making changes to the dimensions at Oracle Park this offseason?
-- Anne R., Daly City

Zaidi indicated last month that the team was moving closer to finalizing plans to move the bullpens out of foul territory and into the outfield, which is expected to alter some of the dimensions of the ballpark. No official announcements have been made, but Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area recently tweeted a photo that seemed to show that the Giants are removing some bleachers in right-center field to clear space for the bullpens.

Any news on the status of the Giants’ coaching staff?
-- Vincent Y., Petaluma

Bench coach Hensley Meulens and third-base coach Ron Wotus interviewed for the Giants’ managerial opening, but they are not among the reported finalists for the job. MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported last week that Meulens has been offered a coaching role with the Marlins and is also being pursued by other Major League clubs, though it’s unclear if he has accepted any offers.

The Giants have already lost at least one member of Bruce Bochy’s coaching staff, as bullpen coach Matt Herges joined the D-backs as their new pitching coach. Zaidi has said the club’s coaches are free to pursue other opportunities, as he doesn’t expect to make any decisions regarding the 2020 staff until a new manager is in place.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.