Friday, January 27, 2017

Your 2017 Giants: Nick Hundley Signs for $2.0M to be Backup Catcher

The Giants signed Nick Hundley for $2.0M recently.  Andy Baggarly called it with a paragraph on this when the Giants agreed to sign Hwang.  While he was not named as the backup starter, he pretty much is, with his relatively large contract, resulting in Brown either being the 3rd catcher or starting in AAA.  With the 40-man roster full, the Giants DFAed Ehire Adrianza.  Evans said that they would take him back and place him in the minors should he not be picked up, and would get a spring training invite.


ogc thoughts

The Giants sign Hot Rod Hundley's son!  I always liked Hot Rod, a great defensive catcher in his day, and noticed when Nick became a major leaguer.  However, there was not much talk about his defense, only that the drop-off won't be as large when he comes in for Posey, instead of Brown, and of his power.

This deal moves the Giants further beyond the penalty threshold.  My calculations has them at $202.834M, resulting in a $3.917M penalty tax.  Essentially, the Giants are paying $3.0M in order to have Hundley on the roster.  

He brings a better bat to the backup C position, with proven MLB power, and he's very familiar with the NL West, playing much of his career for the Padres.  As nicely as Brown played last season, there should be less of a drop-off in production from Posey to Hundley, per reports.  And since he is a long-time MLB C, Bochy should not hesitate to sit Posey when he needs a rest, whereas with Brown in there, I think he was riding Posey a bit, which worn him down late in the season.

Still, the plan is to start Posey at catcher for 120+ games in 2017, which has been his range in recent seasons.  And with Belt established at 1B, Posey won't be getting as many starts at 1B, probably only against very tough LHP (part of the reason Posey has hit better historically when starting at 1B), and probably will get one game to DH in every interleague series.

It's a calculated risk to DFA Adrianza, as most other teams already have full 40-man rosters too, and might not want to lose another prospect in order to pick up Adrianza, who has been a mixed bag in the majors, but has had nice spurts of hitting ended by his frequent injuries, another reason why he might fall through.   Might be a few teams, however, who have left open a spot to pick up players who get DFAed like this, so we'll see what happens.

I still like Adrianza, and think that if he ever got a chance to play regularly somewhere, he could be a nice hitter with good defensive abilities, a good bench player who could be like Blanco had been for us, who could start should anything happens to a starter.  With Rollins, Tomlinson, and now Hwang in the system as potential replacements at SS, I guess Adrianza wasn't as necessary anymore.

Thinking further on this, the writing has been on the wall for Adrianza for a while, given the signings of Rollins (who I forgot to mention in the Hwang post, sorry) and Gillaspie, and the likelihood of carrying five outfielders, with Hernandez likely to take Blanco's role of 4th OF who could play all three positions, in particular CF, where Span proved to be weaker defensively than originally thought, and Evans noting the other day that while Williamson is battling Parker for the starting LF position (with Parker in the better position because he no longer has an option, while Williamson does), the loser is not necessarily the 5th OF, with Moore and Ruggliano probably more likely to win that final OF spot, because the Giants want better bats coming off the bench, in order to improve their ability to come back late in games.  That's four bench positions, with the last one going to the backup catcher, which is now Hundley.

Brown most probably will end up in AAA.  I actually view this more as a positive for him than a negative.  True, Hundley is around because he's a better hitter than Brown at the moment.  But the Giants brass appears to prefer him to start in AAA and work more on his catching  Though, they also noted that they wanted him to work on his infield work as well, because he brings positional flexibility in that he can play 3B and 2B.

But he showed a nice bat in the minors, and he's only 25, and if he can build on his catching ability, could be a long-term bench player playing backup at C, 2B, and 3B. Krukow noted the other day on the radio that Brown could be playing until he's 40.  He also provides needed depth for the Giants at C in the minors, as the Giants only had Posey and Brown on the 40-man.

In addition, this shows the Giants are building up their bench this season, in order to improve their chances late in games, as well as if they make it into the post-season again.  They have been spending, first with Cueto, Samardzija, and Span last season, then Melancon and now Hundley, plus signing homegrown players like Crawford, Belt, and Gillaspie.  And according to rumors, the Giants are still looking for a LH reliever, so it looks like they might not be as happy with Okert and Osich as their potential second lefty as I thought they were, though perhaps they are just looking for a minor league contract with spring training invite type of player.   We'll see.

2 comments:

  1. Not having to pay Adrianza, who's now a Brewer, and in all likelihood not having to pay Brown somewhat lessens the over-the-limit bulge in the team payroll, hence lessens the added cost of acquiring Hundley. The Hundley move surely improves the team, if he doesn't suffer one of those inexplicable collapses that somehow seem to afflict athletes, since till very recently he has been skillful enough to be a starter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the news. Work has been busy.

      Thanks for pointing out Adrianza's salary being taken off. Thanks especially for pointing out Brown would not be salaried either.

      I also left out Rollins as well, and my count is off, so I'll need to fix up my spreadsheet.

      In any case, the Giants are over the threshold and paying a 50% tax on the overage.

      Delete

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