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Inbox: Will Giants add free-agent outfielder?

@mi_guardado
January 10, 2020

Do the Giants add a free-agent corner outfielder? -- @VillefanJB via Twitter I think the Giants will upgrade their outfield contingent in some form this offseason, but whether it will be through free agency or trade remains to be seen. Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna headline the current crop of

Do the Giants add a free-agent corner outfielder?
-- @VillefanJB via Twitter

I think the Giants will upgrade their outfield contingent in some form this offseason, but whether it will be through free agency or trade remains to be seen. Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna headline the current crop of free-agent outfielders, and they both seem to be moving closer to choosing their landing spots. Ozuna has reportedly narrowed his field of suitors to the Cardinals and Rangers. If Texas misses out on Ozuna, the club could ramp up its pursuit of Castellanos, who has been linked to the Giants this winter.

The trade market hasn’t been as active as free agency, but perhaps it will start to heat up now that the arbitration deadline has passed. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has already pulled off one creative trade this offseason, and the Giants have enough payroll flexibility to give him license to explore others.

Regarding the Zack Cozart-Will Wilson/Garrett Williams trade, did the Giants ask about other high-ranked Angels SS prospects, like Jeremiah Jackson and Kyren Paris, before they decided on Wilson? Based on pure speculation, Jonathan Mayo surmised the Giants may have asked about Paris. -- @GaseyMcCehee via Twitter

I don’t know if the Giants inquired about some of the Angels’ other shortstop prospects, but trade proposals tend to go through various iterations before they’re finalized, so it’s reasonable to assume they considered other targets before settling on Wilson. It’s worth noting that Wilson was a known commodity to the Giants, who had thought about drafting him 10th overall in June. (They ended up using their first-round Draft pick on Arizona State outfielder Hunter Bishop.) Unlike Jackson or Paris, Wilson also played collegiately (North Carolina State) and could move quickly through the Giants’ farm system, so perhaps that played a role in shaping the return package as well.

Which of the Giants’ non-roster invitees do you think have the best odds of making the Opening Day roster?
-- Jim S., Concord, Calif.

The Giants don’t have a ton of catching depth behind Buster Posey, so I think Tyler Heineman could be well-positioned to challenge Aramís García for the backup job. Switch-hitting catchers are hard to find, so the Giants might take an extended look at Heineman, who hit .285 with a .363 on-base percentage in the Minors.

The Giants are currently projected to start three left-handed hitters (Alex Dickerson, Steven Duggar and Mike Yastrzemski) in the outfield, so that could create an avenue for Joey Rickard, a righty bat, to make the team. Zach Green and Cristhian Adames could also be in the mix to replace Pablo Sandoval as the club’s backup corner infielder.

The Giants seem to have expanded their coaching staff from last year. Who do you expect to be in the dugout during games?
-- Rafael F., Redwood City, Calif.

The Giants can have a maximum of seven coaches in the dugout with manager Gabe Kapler during games, so that group seems likely to include bench coach Kai Correa, first-base coach Antoan Richardson, third-base coach Ron Wotus, pitching coach Andrew Bailey and bullpen coach Craig Albernaz. The Giants will have three hitting instructors on their staff this year -- Donnie Ecker, Justin Viele and Dustin Lind -- so two of them could round out the in-game personnel. Director of pitching Brian Bannister is the only member of the coaching staff who isn’t expected to be in uniform on a regular basis.

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