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.

Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

PHOENIX — A few weeks ago, Nick Hundley said he preferred not to talk about his future until the end of the season. We’re close enough, so after hitting the go-ahead homer Monday night, Hundley was again asked about his 2018 plans. He smiled.

“How many have we got left? Five?” he said. “Ask me Sunday.”

It’s not just the media and fans seeking an answer from the popular backup who has nine homers. The Giants hope to get some feel from Hundley as they finalize offseason plans, and manager Bruce Bochy said he would talk to the veteran this week. Bochy left no doubt about what he hopes will happen.

“I think he knows what we think of him,” he said. 

Hundley, a 34-year-old who came over in the offseason, has been one of the few overachievers this season. He has 32 extra-base hits in 274 at-bats, taking advantage of increased time with Brandon Belt done for the year and Buster Posey sliding over to first base. Hundley is one of the lineup’s more potent right-handed options, and he has earned praise from the starting staff. Johnny Cueto said Hundley helped him navigate a post-clinch Diamondbacks lineup that was essentially pulled straight out of Triple-A. 

Cueto did so with ease, striking out eight in six innings. He evened his record at 8-8, and he’ll have a chance to clinch a winning season on Sunday. Bochy said Cueto will start the final game of the season, and he confirmed that Matt Cain will start either Friday or Saturday. Asked for more details, the manager kept it just as mysterious as his catcher. 

“I’ll let you know tomorrow,” he said.

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

After batting fourth on Sunday in Los Angeles, Hunter Pence is back in the leadoff spot in the series opener against Arizona.

Additionally, Denard Span, Joe Panik and Jarrett Parker return after sitting against Clayton Kershaw.

San Francisco Giants:
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

Arizona Diamondbacks:
1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
2. Kristopher Negron (R) SS
3. Brandon Drury (R) 2B
4. Christian Walker (R) 1B
5. Rey Fuentes (L) CF
6. Adam Rosales (R) 3B
7. Jeremy Hazelbaker (L) RF
8. John Ryan Murphy (R) C
9. Zack Godley (R) P