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The Giants still looking for relievers

But are they looking to promote from within? Or are they looking to give out some hilarious contracts?

Jennifer Stewart

Brian Sabean held an impromptu state of the Sabean address during the conference call to announce Ryan Vogelsong's official deal, in which he announced:

  • Brandon Belt isn't playing left field. And the left fielders under consideration aren't likely to be exciting.
  • The high-ticket free agents are out, including Beltran and Choo. You knew that, of course. And considering what Ellsbury signed for and what the rumored numbers are for Beltran, that's probably good news.

    Complaining about not adding Cano or whatever on a $150 million payroll? First-world problems. Complaining about how the payroll got to $150 million in the first place? Oh, yeah, that's fair game.
  • Ryan Vogelsong is probably in the rotation. You knew that, too.

But the tidbit that caught my eye was that the Giants spent all day discussing internal vs. external relief options.  I'm pretty sure the Giants are going to sign a reliever. Seems like a Giants thing to do, especially considering how bad the bullpen was last year. The expensive relievers generally don't come with the sticker shock that other premium free agents do. They just prevent teams from paying for those premium free agents. Like now. With the Giants.

Still, assume these guys are in the bullpen because they're being paid to be there:

Sergio Romo
Jeremy Affeldt
Javier Lopez
Santiago Casilla

Assuming a seven-man bullpen, that leaves three spots. Here are the internal options:

Yusmeiro Petit
Heath Hembree
Jake Dunning
Mike Kickham
Derek Law
George Kontos
Jean Machi
Erik Cordier
Jose De Paula

I'm mostly comfortable penciling Petit in for the Mota/Gaudin/swingman role. That leaves two spots open for the rest of the bullpen.

Dunning's a'ight. Little confidence in him, though, just because I don't know him.

Kickham probably has a future in the bullpen. I wouldn't want to trust that the future started right away, though.

Kontos contributed to 2012, so he'll always have a place in my heart. He also hung every third slider last year, and that makes me worried about his arm (or baseline talent, even). He's a show-me-in-the-spring option. Machi's there, too.

Cordier seems like Jonathan Sanchez without the control. I like De Paula as a Petit-type, not as a middle reliever.

Hembree was almost the best part of Giants baseball last September. And on cold fall nights, I just curl up next to the fire and look at Derek Law's stats:

Year Age Lev ERA IP H HR BB SO BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2011 20 Rk 2.50 18.0 16 0 2 19 1.0 9.5 9.50
2012 21 A 2.91 55.2 45 6 23 67 3.7 10.8 2.91
2013 22 A-A+-Rk 2.31 66.1 51 2 12 102 1.6 13.8 8.50

Oh, man.

Without the benefit of checking all these guys out in spring, I'd guess there are going to be two palatable options there. Hembree, almost certainly. Picking between the rest doesn't seem like a season-breaking move.

One more known quantity isn't going to hurt, though. Here's a list of the right-handed relievers still on the market, according to MLB Trade Rumors:

David Aardsma
Alfredo Aceves
Matt Albers
Hector Ambriz
Scott Atchison
Luis Ayala

Andrew Bailey
Grant Balfour
Ronald Belisario
Joaquin Benoit
Rafael Betancourt
Mitchell Boggs
Michael Bowden

Joba Chamberlain
Jesse Crain
Octavio Dotel
Kyle Farnsworth
Frank Francisco
Chad Gaudin
Kevin Gregg
Matt Guerrier
Juan Gutierrez
Joel Hanrahan
Kameron Loe
Brandon Lyon

Ryan Madson
Jeff Manship
Carlos Marmol
Cristhian Martinez
Nick Masset
Kyle McPherson
Zach Miner
Edward Mujica
Brett Myers

Pat Neshek
Sean O'Sullivan
Chris Perez
Chad Qualls
Fernando Rodney
Henry Rodriguez
Francisco Rodriguez
Sandy Rosario

Jose Valverde
Jose Veras
Ryan Webb
Jerome Williams
Brian Wilson
Jamey Wright

There are some good options in there. There's also Sandy Rosario. There are some broken players (Rafael Betancourt), too-expensive players (Grant Balfour), and almost-signed players (Brian Wilson). I can make arguments for a lot of them.

Here's my stipulation: one year. No multi-year deals for any of these guys. If there's someone up there who's healthy and willing for a year, I'm in. Jamey Wright, I'm even looking at you. Otherwise, give me Hembree and Other, and hope that Other has a breakout year.

The most important part left in the offseason is left field. Another reliever would probably be a good idea, but only if they can get one for cheap.