The Giants signed Kevin Frandsen, making what is easily the least surprising news of the year. A list of past Giants who have come back to the organization in the last half-dozen years or so:
- Darren Ford
- Jackson Williams
- Jesse Foppert
- Todd Linden
- John Bowker
- Russ Ortiz
- Boof Bonser
- Brad Penny
- Eric Hacker
- Andres Torres
- Kevin Correia
- Travis Blackley
- Scott Munter
- Ryan Vogelsong
- TRAVIS ISHIKAWA
I'm sure I missed a ton, too. I just spent the last 20 minutes clicking on player's Baseball-Reference.com pages, convincing myself that they all had second tours of duty with the Giants. "Tyler Walker came back, right? Yeah, he ... no, no, I guess he didn't." I mean, I had that feeling with almost everyone -- literally dozens of players, from Tony Torcato to Ryan Rohlinger.
It's time, then, to have the Ex-Giants Most Likely to Return Power Rankings. Let's try to get one step ahead of this front office.
10. Waldis Joaquin
What he's doing now: Pitching well for Acereros de Monclova in the Mexican League.
You remember Joaquin, right? Dude has a World Series ring, so you'd better. He had a live arm, just no idea how to use it. He's in the Mexican League now, relieving and putting up good numbers. This is no small feat considering that entire league is basically pre-humidor Coors. The league ERA is 5.06, and one team is allowing six runs a game.
And yet there's Joaquin, striking out a batter per inning in a league where strikeouts are way down. He'll be back.
9. Jonathan Sanchez
What he's doing now: Chilling
This might be the least likely of the bunch, considering he's one of the few players who isn't exactly active, but the Giants sure love their why-not-can't-hurt acquisitions. I mean, maybe Brett Jackson starts turning his tools into on-field success. Why not? Can't hurt, et cetera.
A Sanchez invitation to spring training would be the ultimate why-not-can't-hurt move. He'll be back.
8. Guillermo Moscoso
What he's doing now: Pitching well as a starter in Japan
There really isn't that much of a difference between Moscoso and Yusmeiro Petit, you know. Both of them were saber-coveted for a while. Both of them had that swingman-thing going on, with a versatility that would be very helpful if they could pitch competently. But one guy had to leave the country for a chance, and the other guy set a major league record for consecutive outs and became a postseason hero with his own bobblehead. The forks in baseball's road are oddly shaped and pokey.
He's just 31, and he's pitched well enough that some team will take a chance on him for depth if he wants to return. He'll be back.
7. Nick Noonan
What he's doing now: Scuffling for the Yankees' Triple-A team
It feels like he's been gone for six years, but it's really only been a few months. He has a career .677 OPS in the minors, so it's probably never happening for Noonan. The end isn't exactly near, though, as I can see him kicking around, Cody Ransom-style, for the next few years. He'll be back.
Also, Ransom is still in Triple-A. He's an honorable mention for this list. That guy was minor league teammates with Ryan Vogelsong in their first pro seasons. He'll be back.
6. David Aardsma
What he's doing now: Pitching well for the Dodgers' Triple-A team
Aardsma will be available soon, considering he has an opt-out clause in his contract, and it doesn't look like the Dodgers are going to call him up soon. The only reason he isn't higher is because the Giants have an overstuffed bullpen as is. They'll need to look at Aardsma in the coming seasons.
He would be a very typical Giants depth move, though. And he's kind of funny!
Happy birthday to the 2nd man in the baseball encyclopedia Hank Aaron #1inourhearts
— David Aardsma (@TheDA53) February 5, 2015
He'll be back.
5. Charlie Culberson
What he's doing now: On the Rockies' Triple-A team, but on the DL with a tailbone injury
The idea of a tailbone injury makes me wince. Brrrrrr. The Rockies seem to like Culberson as a utility player, so he won't become available for a while, I wouldn't think.
Still, his minor league free agency is coming, and the Giants will lose their Brandon Hicks/Carlos Truinfel core eventually. He'll be back.
4. Roger Kieschnick
What he's doing now: Hitting kinda sorta okay for the Angels' Triple-A team before adjusting for park
Unlike the middle infielders and relievers up there, the Giants aren't exactly besotted with outfield prospects, especially ones with power. The strikeouts and plate discipline remain a work in progress, but he's a career .277/.341/.504 hitter in Triple-A. Weirder outfielders have worked their way onto the back of a bench. He'll be back.
3. Pat Misch
What he's doing now: Pitching well for the Marlins' Triple-A team
Well, he's pitching well when it comes to allowing runs, but he's not exactly ...
... you know ...
...Misching a lot of bats. Still, it's always been weird that Misch has never been tried as a LOOGY. He just keeps starting in Triple-A, first for the Giants, then for the Mets, Phillies, Tigers, and now Marlins. The one year he pitched exclusively in relief? Seventy-four strikeouts in 66 innings. And then he was never tried in that role again.
Yet. He'll be back.
2. Brett Pill
What he's doing now: Hitting for power and average in Korea
Pill has found a nice niche in the KBO, alright. Love that he's sporting the #99, too.
Does he even want to come back? Seems like being a star-type in Korea would be tempting when compared to being a Triple-A scrapper. The Giants will keep an eye on him, though. Brandon Belt's next slump is just around the corner. He'll be back.
1. Brian Wilson
What he's doing now: Live readings of Major League
Unlikely? Oh, sure. There's bad blood and Dodgers stink to contend with. Bridges have been burned and the ashes burned into smaller ashes, which were then buried with nuclear waste in a Nevada desert.
That's what makes it so likely, then. Of all the pitchers and hitters up there, this one makes the least amount of sense, which means it's totally going to happen. I don't even know if Wilson can throw a baseball harder than 86 these days, and I could see him starring in some bro-cheesy, wink-wink indie action film that's filled with irony and explosions. But I'll bet he's working hard to return and get into physical shape for someone.
Maybe not this year. Maybe next year. And we'll see which teams come calling.
Though I have a guess.