LAS VEGAS -- President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi's first move of the Winter Meetings yielded the Giants a young outfielder, and Zaidi will continue to be active in that market as he seeks to further bolster the club's outfield depth this offseason.Zaidi said he expects to add at least
LAS VEGAS -- President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi's first move of the Winter Meetings yielded the Giants a young outfielder, and Zaidi will continue to be active in that market as he seeks to further bolster the club's outfield depth this offseason.
Zaidi said he expects to add at least two more outfielders this winter to help fortify an unproven group that currently includes Steven Duggar, Mac Williamson, Chris Shaw, Austin Slater and Mike Gerber, who was claimed off waivers from the Tigers on Monday.
"I'd say it's a high priority," Zaidi said Monday. "It's a pretty inexperienced group, and I do expect that by Opening Day, we'll have at least a couple of additions there."
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Zaidi said most of his talks have been preliminary thus far, as he believes the market has been slowed by the slew of front office and coaching changes around baseball this offseason.
"We're still assessing trade options and free-agent options," Zaidi said. "Particularly on the free-agent side, I would expect some of those options to even go into the next calendar year. The outfield is a good market to be good buyers in. There are always good options in free agency, and especially for us as a team looking to improve offensively, having openings in the outfield are good spots to try to add offense."
The free-agent market will be headlined by Bryce Harper, though Zaidi said he has not yet met with his agent, Scott Boras. The two sides will almost certainly sit down at some point this week, as Zaidi said he plans to meet with all the major agencies. Boras also represents Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, another potential free-agent target for the Giants.
Among the Giants' internal outfield options, Duggar has the best chance of earning a starting job in center field next year. While Zaidi said he views Duggar as an everyday player over the long term, he didn't rule out the possibility of finding a platoon partner for him as he works his way back from shoulder surgery.
"Between those three guys [Duggar, Williamson and Shaw], the Major League production wasn't there, but they're all kind of highly regarded prospects," Zaidi said. "They all have strong Minor League track records, and whether they're Opening Day guys or wind up being depth and get opportunities later in the season, there's still confidence that they can be contributors at the Major League level."
• Zaidi said Buster Posey's rehab from hip surgery is going well, though he acknowledged that the Giants could look to lighten his workload behind the plate during Spring Training and at the outset of the regular season. The Giants remain in the market for a backup catcher to help ease Posey's return from injury.
• Right-hander Jeff Samardzija has begun a throwing program, but Zaidi said it's too early to tell whether he's past the shoulder issue that limited him to just 10 starts in 2018.
"Until they really start doing more intense baseball activity, you can't totally consider anybody over the hump," Zaidi said.
The Giants made a trio of front-office hires official Monday. Former Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has joined Zaidi's staff as a special advisor, while Zack Minasian and Michael Holmes will serve as pro scouting director and amateur scouting director, respectively.
Zaidi added that former amateur scouting director John Barr and vice president of player personnel Dick Tidrow will remain with the organization.
"I'm looking forward to them continuing to be actively involved in the front office and with the moves this offseason," Zaidi said. "It's been great to have the take of the guys that have been here for many years and also have some fresh perspective from the new guys we brought in."
Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.