SAN FRANCISCO -- When considering the Giants' lack of significant personnel additions to the bullpen this offseason, consider this fact: The most productive reliever who they acquired last year arrived during the season. That would be right-hander Sam Dyson, who was obtained from Texas in early June.Thus, Giants management isn't
SAN FRANCISCO -- When considering the Giants' lack of significant personnel additions to the bullpen this offseason, consider this fact: The most productive reliever who they acquired last year arrived during the season. That would be right-hander Sam Dyson, who was obtained from Texas in early June.
Thus, Giants management isn't shrinking from its publicly stated intent to upgrade the bullpen. The club's brain trust is simply awaiting the right circumstances, as it did a season ago when Dyson replaced an injured Mark Melancon as closer and converted 14 of 17 save chances.
"We're still exploring opportunities," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said Thursday.
• Hot Stove Tracker
Indicating that the search for relief help will continue into Spring Training, Evans added, "We'll explore opportunities to Scottsdale and then some."
The Giants would prefer not to dip into their remaining supply of Minor League talent in any sort of trade, having parted with infielder Christian Arroyo, outfielder Bryan Reynolds and right-hander Kyle Crick in various deals.
So unless another team is willing to accept a fringe prospect or two while sending the Giants a reliever, San Francisco is more likely to find a fit in free agency. That method, however, also comes with constraints, since the Giants would prefer to avoid the $197 million payroll threshold for contributing to the competitive balance tax.
Most of the available free-agent relievers, however, appear to be past their prime. An exception is right-hander Greg Holland, an All-Star closer who's overqualified for the setup role that the Giants probably would offer. The Giants aren't in desperate need for a closer, since Melancon is expected to be fully recovered from forearm surgery.
Evans hinted that the Giants will pay close attention to the relievers who get cast aside toward the end of Spring Training as ballclubs make their final roster cuts.
"I think some of the best pickups come at the end of spring," Evans said. "We're going to stay engaged to find an edge where we can."
Giants pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 13 and will conduct their initial workout the next day. Position players are due to report to camp on Feb. 18, with the first full-squad workout set for Feb. 19.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.