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What will SF's Opening Day roster look like?

@mi_guardado
January 16, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants’ offseason activity so far has been notable, more so for the departures than the arrivals. Gone are Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith, Kevin Pillar and Stephen Vogt as San Francisco heads into another transitional season under second-year president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and new general

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants’ offseason activity so far has been notable, more so for the departures than the arrivals. Gone are Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith, Kevin Pillar and Stephen Vogt as San Francisco heads into another transitional season under second-year president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and new general manager Scott Harris.

With a little over a month until Spring Training, the Giants still have time to make impactful moves to shore up their roster, though it would probably be unrealistic to expect the club to contend for a playoff berth in 2020.

Here’s an updated look at what the Giants’ roster could look like come Opening Day, keeping in mind that rosters will expand from 25 to 26 players this year.

Catcher
Lock: Buster Posey
Possibilities: Aramis Garcia, free agent or trade

The Giants lost backup catcher Vogt to the D-backs earlier this offseason, but they might not feel the need to replace him with another proven veteran. Youth and player development will be major themes for San Francisco in 2020, so it could be more inclined to give an opportunity to Garcia, who is preparing for a potentially bigger role with the club by playing for the Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League. Top prospect Joey Bart is also generating plenty of excitement, and he should be ready to debut with the Giants at some point this year.

First base
Lock: Brandon Belt
Possibilities: Posey, Garcia, Austin Slater, free agent or trade

Belt is coming off a bit of a down season, but perhaps a revamped coaching staff and the altered dimensions at Oracle Park will help spur a resurgence for the 31-year-old veteran this year.

Second base
Lock: Mauricio Dubón
Possibilities: Donovan Solano, Kean Wong, free agent or trade

Dubón seems like the favorite to win the starting job at second base, though he could also see time in center field and other infield spots during Spring Training. Solano should reprise his role as the backup middle infielder after agreeing to a one-year, $1.375 million deal last month, but the Giants could also take a look at Wong, who was claimed off waivers from the Angels in November.

Shortstop
Lock: Brandon Crawford
Possibilities: Dubón, Solano, Abiatal Avelino, free agent or trade

It will be fascinating to see how new manager Gabe Kapler handles legacy players like Crawford, whose offensive production has declined over the past two seasons. Crawford is under contract through 2021, but Kapler might not be willing to give his veterans as much leeway to work through their struggles as former skipper Bruce Bochy did.

Third base
Lock: Evan Longoria
Possibilities: Avelino, Wong, free agent or trade

Longoria is entrenched at third base for now, though the Giants would like to add a left-handed-hitting infielder who can serve as a complement to him and Dubón.

Outfield
Locks: Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, Steven Duggar
Possibilities: Jaylin Davis, Chris Shaw, Slater, free agent or trade

Pillar is no longer in the fold after being non-tendered in December, so the Giants will lean on Yastrzemski, Duggar and possibly Davis to help fill their void in center field. They remain on the hunt for a power-hitting corner outfielder, ideally one who bats right-handed. Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna, the top two free-agent outfielders on the market, could be potential fits here.

Starting pitchers
Locks: Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly
Possibilities: Logan Webb, Tyler Beede, Tyler Anderson, Dereck Rodríguez, Shaun Anderson, Tyson Ross, free agent or trade

Bumgarner is now a D-back, but the Giants still have two key veterans in Samardzija and Cueto, who will be entering his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. Gausman will have the opportunity to reestablish his value as a starter after signing a one-year, $9 million deal last month, though he will have to rebound from an uneven 2019 campaign. Fellow newcomer Smyly also seems well positioned to make the Opening Day rotation, as he is one of the few left-handed starters coming into camp. Webb and Beede are the front-runners to round out the starting staff, but Webb will be on an innings limit in '20 and could be protected early in the season. Ross, who reportedly has agreed to a Minor League deal, is another veteran option.

Relievers
Locks: Tony Watson, Trevor Gott
Possibilities: Shaun Anderson, Wandy Peralta, Sam Coonrod, Tyler Rogers, Jandel Gustave, Dany Jimenez, Andrew Suárez, Conner Menez, Melvin Adon

The bullpen was the Giants’ biggest strength last year, but they’re poised to enter the 2020 season without two of their top workhorses after losing Smith to the Braves and Reyes Moronta to shoulder surgery in September. With several openings to fill, San Francisco will likely use Spring Training to evaluate many of its young relievers, including Jiménez, who was selected during the Rule 5 Draft last month. Shaun Anderson is expected to come into camp as a starter, though he impressed in a brief stint in the bullpen last year and could be a candidate to replace Smith as the closer.

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