Obvious manager question. What's the latest? Who's the frontrunner? Who's the dark horse?
-- @DaveValentin, via Twitter
A hire doesn’t appear imminent, as the Giants still seem to be in the process of conducting interviews with candidates for their managerial opening. According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Astros bench coach Joe Espada was to spend Thursday in San Francisco undergoing his second interview for the position; his first came via phone. And according to multiple reports, A’s quality control coach Mark Kotsay, former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, Cubs bench coach Will Venable, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro and Royals quality control coach Pedro Grifol are among the other external candidates who have interviewed or are expected to interview for the position. Two current Giants personnel -- bench coach Hensley Meulens and third-base coach Ron Wotus -- are also under consideration.
Kotsay is reportedly viewed as the favorite to succeed Bruce Bochy, but president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi also has a history with Kapler, who was a finalist for the Dodgers job that went to Dave Roberts four years ago and is the only member of the known pool of candidates with previous managerial experience in the Majors.
The Giants should bring Stephen Vogt back as manager! He grew up a Giants fan, wants to be with the orange and black, but wants to wait to see who the manager is. Any chance?
-- @AaronBuss9, via Twitter
Vogt is widely viewed as a future manager, but I think those aspirations will remain on hold until his playing career ends. I wouldn’t expect him to hang up his cleats anytime soon, though. As he showed with the Giants this year, Vogt still has plenty left to offer as a player and will likely draw interest from several teams as a free agent this offseason.
What are the chances of Madison Bumgarner being retained? It'd be great to see him in the Giants' rotation some three or five years more.
-- @Alex74288398, via Twitter
I think there will be interest from both sides in a potential reunion. Few Giants can rival Madison Bumgarner’s legacy in San Francisco, and it will be hard to replace the 200 innings that he delivered out of the rotation this year. While starting pitching will be a priority for the Giants this offseason, Zaidi largely avoided giving out long-term contracts to players as general manager of the Dodgers, so Bumgarner might be drawn elsewhere if he’s looking to secure the most guaranteed years as a free agent.
The Giants are expected to extend Bumgarner a qualifying offer once the World Series ends, though he will almost certainly decline it. Bumgarner said last month that he is looking forward to free agency, though recent offseasons suggest it could take a while for his market to take shape.
I see a lot of questions about what players the Giants should do this and that with. Also a lot of tracking of who the next manager will be. Is there any news on the GM front for the team?
-- Donovan G.
There hasn’t been much chatter regarding the Giants’ search for a general manager, and Zaidi said last month that he would only hire someone if he found the right person for the job. A’s assistant general manager Billy Owens, who worked closely with Zaidi in Oakland, is expected to be among the candidates, however.