Giants

Brian Wilson likely headed to free agency

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Brian Wilson likely headed to free agency

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brian Wilson and the Giants are nowhere near agreement on the shape of a contract for 2013, and barring a last-minute change, the All-Star closer and former World Series hero will be able to shop his services on the open market beginning 9 p.m. Friday night.Wilson will become a free agent if the Giants do not tender him a contract by the deadline. Because tendering him a contract would guarantee him a minimum salary of 6.8 million through arbitration, I'm told Giants do not plan take that tack and Wilson, from what I understand, is viewing that stand as an affront.RELATED: Could Brian Wilson wind up with the Dodgers?
The Giants appetite is to negotiate an incentive-laden contract with a lower guaranteed salary with Wilson. Sabean acknowledged the two parties are not at that stage but he intended to use the nine or so hours remaining before the deadline before making a tender decision just to be thorough.In other words: Almost certainly, Wilson will become a free agent. So his return will be determined by whether he gets a better deal on the open market.The Angels might have provided one clue. They just gave right-hander Ryan Madson a 3.5 million guarantee with another 3.5 million in incentives based on days spent on the active roster and games finished. Madson had Tommy John surgery in March, just a few weeks before Wilson did.RELATED: Giants 'jockey' with Pagan, Scutaro
Then again, Wilson's Tommy John procedure was his second, which makes his rehab schedule and outlook less predictable. Sabean said Wilson is going at a snails pace, which is to be expected following the procedure in April; he continues to play catch from 60 feet on flat ground and has vowed to be fully operational by opening day.Whether Wilson returns or not, it's likely to be another casting call again as the Giants figure out a closer to begin the season. Sergio Romo's emerging effectiveness against left-handers, combined with his terrific postseason culminating with his final pitch to strike out the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera to clinch the World Series title, makes him the prime candidate. But Jeremy Affeldt is returning as well, and the Giants are talking to right-hander Santiago Casilla, who is arbitration-eligible, about a multiyear deal.Although Sabean will look for relief depth on the open market, it will be dependent on what dollars remain, if any, after the club either re-signs or replaces second baseman Marco Scutaro and center fielder Angel Pagan.

Down on the Farm: Giants prospect Suarez sets season-high with nine Ks

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USATSI

Down on the Farm: Giants prospect Suarez sets season-high with nine Ks

The Giants, with one of the oldest rosters in baseball, have turned to their farm system more often than in the past during this tumultuous season. As they look to get younger though, the youth movement has come more from the offensive side of the ball compared to on the mound. 

Already, the Giants have looked to offensive prospects such as Christian Arroyo (21 years old at time of his debut), Austin Slater (24), Ryder Jones (23), Miguel Gomez (24), and Orlando Calixte (25). 

On the hill, Kyle Crick (24) is the only real prospect who has been promoted and seen substantial time in San Francisco. The Giants also called up Dan Slania (25) for one inning. 

In Sacramento on Thursday night, Andrew Suarez (24) gave a glimpse into the potential bright big-league future he has on the rubber. The Giants’ second-round pick from 2015 set a season-high of nine strikeouts over seven innings pitched in the River Cats’ 2-1 win over the Round Rock Express for their third straight victory. Suarez also only allowed one earned run on four hits and walked two batters. At one point, he retired 14 straight batters.

“He came in and he was not intimidated at all by the (Pacific) Coast League,” River Cats announcer Johnny Doskow recently said about his first impressions of Suarez.

The Pacific Coast League can tear you down as a pitcher. Lazy fly balls turn into home runs and ERAs can be deceiving to how a pitcher is truly performing. Suarez’s stats have took a bit of hit since his mid-season promotion from Double-A Richmond to Triple-A with the River Cats, but he sits only behind Joan Gregorio, who is currently suspended due to PED use, as the team’s leader in ERA among starting pitchers. Over eight games, seven starts, Suarez is now 4-4 with a 4.18 ERA and has struck out 45 batters in 47.1 innings pitched for the River Cats. 

With his ninth and final strikeout of the night on Thursday, Suarez reached 100 strikeouts on the season between Richmond and Sacramento. He is only 24 strikeouts off his career-high in which he set last season in five more appearances. 

As the Giants continued to tumble in the standings, the front office will have to take a longer look at their prospects. Even if a slot doesn’t open via a trade, there’s no reason Suarez shouldn’t get at least a look in San Francisco as a September call-up. 

The lefty is ranked as the Giants’ No. 6 prospect by Baseball America and No. 11 by MLB Pipeline. Suarez sits behind only Tyler Beede, who is now expected to miss the rest of the season with a groin injury, as the top pitching prospect in the organization. 

Around The Horn 

— For everything you need to know about familiar faces in Triple-A, Alex Pavlovic has you covered

— Sandro Fabian, who is only 19 years old at Low-A with the Augusta GreenJackets, had a huge game Thursday night. The outfielder went 3-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI. 

— Panda Watch: Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-4 Thursday night. He is now batting .211 (4-for-19) between the San Jose Giants and Sacramento River Cats.

Source: Giants' top pitching prospect expected to miss rest of season

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USATSI

Source: Giants' top pitching prospect expected to miss rest of season

SAN FRANCISCO -- With a postseason spot long gone, the Giants hoped to take a look at some of their top prospects in September. Another injury will likely keep that from being a reality for the organization's top minor league pitcher. 

Right-hander Tyler Beede is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a groin strain while warming up for his last start, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned. Beede, a first-round pick in 2014, will be sidelined at least four weeks, but he is headed to the club's facility in Scottsdale to rehab and keep open the possibility of being ready at some point in September.

The more likely scenario is that Beede pitches in the Arizona Fall League after the season in order to get more innings under his belt. After throwing 147 1/3 innings in Double-A last year, he was at 109 innings in Triple-A at the time of his injury. Beede is viewed as a 2018 rotation option, so the Giants will need him to get more work in before this year is over. 

The timing is brutal, and not just because Beede was potentially a month away from a September call-up. When he got hurt, Beede was coming off one of his best starts of his season with the River Cats. He allowed just one unearned run in seven innings on July 19, striking out five and walking one. Teammates raved about the stuff Beede showed that day, but he wasn't able to build off the start. He got hurt while warming up in the bullpen for his following start. 

The 24-year-old battled inconsistency at times in Sacramento, but of his final five starts with the River Cats, three were of at least seven innings with two-or-fewer earned runs. He certainly looked headed for a September call, and at times this year, he has been mentioned by team officials as a potential starter down the stretch. Overall, Beede had a 4.79 ERA in 19 starts. His final month was his best; he posted a 3.57 ERA in July. 

It's been an odd season for the Giants in terms of developing prospects. Christian Arroyo likely would have been called up after the Eduardo Nuñez trade, but he is also in Arizona, rehabbing after hand surgery. Austin Slater seemed to win the left field job, but a groin injury has him out for a couple of months and the Giants now want him to play winter ball to get extra at-bats. Arroyo and Slater have not officially been ruled out for the rest of the season, but it'll be hard for the Giants to get either player ready by the end of September.