Giants on Winter Meetings: 'A good start'

December 16th, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants didn't make a major splash at the Winter Meetings by striking a nine-figure deal with a star free agent, but they departed the Manchester Grand Hyatt on Thursday feeling good about their overall productivity this week.

They leveraged their financial flexibility to pry 2019 first-round Draft pick Will Wilson away from the Angels by agreeing to take on veteran infielder Zack Cozart and the remaining $12.67 million on his contract. The Giants completed that trade on Thursday by sending left-hander Garrett Williams to the Angels as the player to be named later.

Wilson is a 21-year-old middle infielder who posted a .275/.328/.439 slash line at Rookie-level Orem in his first season of pro ball.

The Giants also fortified their rotation by signing free-agent right-hander Kevin Gausman to a one-year, $9 million deal.

"We tried to lay the groundwork early in the offseason in the hopes that we could get something done at the Winter Meetings," general manager Scott Harris said. "I think we made two moves that we're really excited about. We were able to acquire the 15th pick in the country [Wilson] and also add to our rotation with a righty with a track record, a first-round pedigree and an elevated four-seamer that we really like [Gausman]. He has a downer split that he started to command really well in the second half of last year. We're excited about those two guys.

"We're still on the phone all the time. We're still talking trades, free agency every day just trying to find ways to get better. But I think it was a good start this week."


1. Outfield: After non-tendering Kevin Pillar, the Giants are considering moving Mike Yastrzemski to center field to create an opening for an impact bat at one of the corner outfield spots. They are viewed as the top bidders for free agent Nicholas Castellanos, who is only 27 years old and could remain at the peak of his career when the Giants are ready to contend again.

2. Rotation: Even after adding Gausman, the Giants continue to have conversations on the pitching front and could look to further reinforce their rotation. Perhaps they will ramp up their pursuit to re-sign free agent Madison Bumgarner now that the Dodgers appear to have entered the picture, though president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi might not be so keen to push for a reunion if he feels it won't mesh with his long-term vision for building the Giants back into a perennial contender.

3. Infield: The Giants added a 2017 All-Star in Cozart on Tuesday, but it's unclear if the 34-year-old will fit into their plans for 2020. He appeared in only 38 games for the Angels this year because of left shoulder surgery and remains in the process of rehabbing his arm. His arrival isn't expected to preclude the Giants from pursuing a left-handed-hitting infielder to complement Evan Longoria, Mauricio Dubon and Donovan Solano, all of whom swing right-handed.


The Giants selected right-handed reliever Dany Jimenez from the Blue Jays in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft and catcher Bryan Torres from the Brewers in the Triple-A phase. They did not lose any players in the Major League phase, though they saw three players selected by other organizations in the Minor League phase. Right-handers Adam Oller and Miguel Figueroa went to the Mets and Reds, respectively, and infielder Manuel Geraldo went to the Nationals.


"I think some of the level of activity so far has made it seem later in the offseason than it maybe is," Zaidi said. "There's plenty of offseason left. There are still a lot of really good free-agent outfielders and guys potentially available in trades. It's going to be something we continue to evaluate. And we're looking to fill other things as well. There's still plenty of options out there for us to evaluate."