Giants

EXTRA BAGGS: Long drive for Bumgarner, but no contract drive (yet)

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EXTRA BAGGS: Long drive for Bumgarner, but no contract drive (yet)

Madison Bumgarner said the Giants havent approached him yet on his contract for this season.

But Im told the Giants would have interest in doing a multiyear deal with Bumgarner, which would provide some cost certainty through his arbitration years.

That cost certainty will be extremely important to determine what the Giants budget will be in the next few seasons. And that will be extremely important soon, when Tim Lincecums long-term future will become a topic again. The club will need to know how much they can afford to commit and still be able to field a team around him.

Bumgarner and Buster Posey are among the players with less than three years of service time. Players in this group can be assigned any salary above the league minimum. The deadline to complete this process is usually in early March.

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Bumgarner drove to spring training from his place in North Carolina, with his brother-in-law along for company. They did not make it a leisurely trip.

Two days, 35 hours you think its not that much fun, but we had a good time, he said.

They stopped one night in Weatherford, Okla., and the town was true to its name.

It was blowing snow the whole time, Bumgarner said. Going 35 the whole way through the panhandle

Yep, a good time was had by all.

-- Tim Lincecum threw fastballs and changeups in his bullpen session with Buster Posey. It was the third time Lincecum threw to Posey since they traveled to Arizona shortly after FanFest earlier this month.

We picked up where we left off, Lincecum said.

And thats good, since Lincecums last start with Posey was a three-hit shutout May 21 against the As.

Lincecum told a funny story about that start. He said he didnt feel he had the movement or location he wanted, but Posey kept encouraging him to trust his stuff. That faith made a difference.

I remember him after the last pitch, strike three, he gives me the ball, Lincecum said. And he said, Why arent you excited? I said I was still pissed because my stuff wasnt that good.

And pairing up together again Sunday? Its like having the old Posey back, Lincecum said.

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During Lincecums session with reporters, someone mentioned that Jamie Moyer, all of 49 years young, signed with the Colorado Rockies. That bit of news had slipped past Lincecum this offseason.

Holy moly, he said.

Moyer was among the Mariners players that Lincecum, a Seattle-area native, enjoyed watching as a kid.

Could Lincecum envision pitching in the big leagues at 49?

Ha ha ha! Lincecum said. No.

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John Bowker will forever be the answer to two trivia questions. The first: Who is the first Giant to homer in each of his first two big league games? (Bowker beat Brett Pill to it by three years.) The other: Who was the starting right fielder on opening day for the 2010 World Series champions?

OK, so Bowker didnt hold that job for long. But he absolutely made a contribution to the Giants title run. He went to Pittsburgh in what turned out to be a vitally important trade for left-hander Javier Lopez.

Bowker later ended up in Philly, and now hes back in a Giants uniform: A Tokyo Yomiuri Giants uniform, to be precise. Bowker signed with the Japanese League club earlier this month.

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective

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USATI

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective

Because we are too cool to allow the games to sustain us and because we all think the purpose of sports is actually not to be the best player but the general manager, the new item on the baseball menu is not the pennant races but “Where should Giancarlo Stanton go?”

The usual suspects are listed – the Yankees, the Giants, the Chunichi Dragons, Real Madrid – and the $295 million still on his contract is not considered an impediment.

But the logic behind the Marlins keeping him is just as clear and more pressing. Namely, Bruce Sherman, the incoming owner, and Derek Jeter, the designated face, did not buy this team and promptly try to make themselves detested by the few people who still care about it.

So far, we know that the monstrous thing in center field (no, not Christian Yelich) is likely to be torn down, and that Stanton is don’t-go-to-the-bathroom-during-his-half-inning entertainment. Beyond that, we know only that the Marlins draw when they win a lot and barely at all the rest of the time. They are clearly a distant third in a four-team race with the Dolphins and Heat for people’s hearts, and now that hating Jeffrey Loria’s living guts are off the table for the fans, there really is no there, there.

So what’s the up-side of moving Stanton (and before we go any further, the Giants don’t have nearly enough assets to make that work, so calm the hell down) for the Marlins? Prospects, the dark hole that makes a three-year plan a six-year plan.

And the down-side? Sherman may as well move the team for the level of fun he’ll get from it, and the only reason to buy a team looking at a $60 million loss is for the fun. Besides, onlky a very few owners have ever made the full turn from villain to hero – the first impression almost always lasts forever.

So while Stanton may create immediate wallet relief for this aggressively average team (their current record of 57-61 is the 12th best in their 25-year history, and they’ve only had eight winning seasons ever), they also have nothing to sell the fans that they have to live with every day. And if they don’t have enough fans . . . well, I hear San Jose is always hot for a mediocre franchise that lurches between spending money and hoarding it.

 

Giants lineup: Posey out, Sandoval hitting cleanup vs Marlins

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AP

Giants lineup: Posey out, Sandoval hitting cleanup vs Marlins

Bruce Bochy and Don Mattingly issued their lineups for today's series finale in Miami:

Giants (48-73) 
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Hunter Pence (R) RF
3. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
4. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Nick Hundley (R) C
7. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
8. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
9. Matt Cain (R) P (3-9, 5.22 ERA)

Marlins (57-61) 
1. Dee Gordon (L) 2B
2. Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
3. Christian Yelich (L) CF
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
5. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
6. Derek Dietrich (L) 3B
7. Tomas Telis (S) 1B
8. Mike Aviles (R) SS
9. Jose Urena (R) P (10-5, 3.76 ERA)