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Giants still have options to bolster roster

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The sense of urgency regarding player acquisitions that Giants general manager Bobby Evans mentioned Tuesday may have ratcheted up 24 hours later.

The Giants lost out in their attempt to trade for Miami outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who would have filled their need for a power-hitting corner outfielder. The St. Louis Cardinals obtained Ozuna for three Minor Leaguers, a package that Evans admitted was more attractive than any the Giants could have offered.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The sense of urgency regarding player acquisitions that Giants general manager Bobby Evans mentioned Tuesday may have ratcheted up 24 hours later.

The Giants lost out in their attempt to trade for Miami outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who would have filled their need for a power-hitting corner outfielder. The St. Louis Cardinals obtained Ozuna for three Minor Leaguers, a package that Evans admitted was more attractive than any the Giants could have offered.

St. Louis joined the Giants in submitting formal trade offers for Giancarlo Stanton before the Yankees swooped in and engineered a trade.

"We knew pretty much very early on, even before the deal with New York was announced, that we were going to have a hard time competing with what the Cardinals had on the table, if and when Ozuna was available," Evans said.

The Giants prepared to leave the Winter Meetings, which end Thursday, without filling any of their most critical needs: an offensively proven corner outfielder, a defensively adept center fielder to serve as a caretaker until rookie Steven Duggar is ready to inherit the position, a competent third baseman and bullpen depth, which typically can wait until late in the offseason.

Addressing these remaining priorities would appear a little less challenging had the Giants successfully traded for Ozuna, whose 2018 salary of $3.5 million subjected him to the Marlins' cost-cutting purge. Having amassed 37 home runs and 124 RBIs while posting a .312/.376/.548 slash line, Ozuna would have fit nicely into the third or fourth spot in the Giants' lineup.

Despite their fruitless bids for Stanton, Ozuna and Shohei Ohtani, the Giants still have options to pursue in their quest to upgrade the roster. Those alternatives include:

J.D. Martinez: Martinez and agent Scott Boras arrived Wednesday at the hotel where the Winter Meetings are headquartered. Asked directly whether he intended to meet with the Giants about Martinez, Boras issued a cryptic reply. "I have conversations with the Giants all the time, with Bobby," Boras said. "We talk frequently about a lot of players."

If they talk about contract values, some extremely high numbers will be discussed, given Martinez's 45 homers and 104 RBIs last season.

Jay Bruce: Bruce was mentioned in Giants-related trade rumors for years. Now he's a free agent. As a left-handed batter, Bruce might struggle to maintain his power as a Giant, given AT&T Park's 25-foot wall. But his career numbers there (seven homers in 130 plate appearances; .293/.357/.526) indicate he would be somewhat productive as a Giant.

Billy Hamilton: Hamilton has elite speed but isn't the heavy hitter the Giants seek. However, the Cincinnati center fielder would likely improve San Francisco's outfield defense.

Christian Yelich: Offensively, the Miami center fielder is more potent than Hamilton, and he probably could move to an outfield corner once Duggar's ready.

Domingo Santana: Milwaukee isn't trying to trade somebody who's so young (25) and talented (30 home runs last season). But the Brewers might decide to use Santana to obtain pitching, which the Giants likely could offer.

Todd Frazier: He's averaged 28 home runs per year in his six full big league seasons. The Giants would be thrilled if the third baseman finished a season with three-fourths of that total.

Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison: A trade involving either of the two Pirates doesn't appear imminent, though the Giants are believed to have discussed both players. McCutchen, whose contract expires after next season, fits the profile of the center fielder the Giants seek, though his defense is said to have declined. Harrison would be an ideal fit for third base.

Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas: Under ordinary circumstances, either free agent might prove valuable for the Giants. But both refused $17.4 million qualifying offers from the Royals, their previous club. Cain, a center fielder, and Moustakas, a power-hitting third baseman, would command not only big salaries but also Draft choices and international bonus pool money.

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.

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