Franklin Gutierrez among outfield names on Giants' short list

Baggs: Giants have lined up a few LF options

Franklin Gutierrez among outfield names on Giants' short list
December 11, 2013, 7:45 pm
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The right-handed hitting Franklin Gutierrez could form a platoon with Gregor Blanco if the Giants sign the former Mariner. (USATSI)

ORLANDO – The Giants didn’t snag a left fielder on the third day of the Winter Meetings, but sources said they advanced enough trade and free-agent options to feel confident they can pivot in more than one direction.

They’re keeping tabs on Michael Morse, who also is getting strong interest from the Houston Astros. It’s expected that the Astros will make the highest offer, and it’ll be up to Morse to decide whether to take top dollar and play for a team that expects to lose 90-plus games.

Another free-agent name the Giants like is Franklin Gutierrez, who was once a valuable piece for the Seattle Mariners but has had trouble staying healthy the past two seasons. Gutierrez, like Morse, is a right-handed hitter and could fit in a platoon with Gregor Blanco. He’s also a tremendous defensive outfielder.

The Giants also looked into Jeff Baker, who hits lefties and has thrived in a reserve role with other clubs. But Giants vice president Bobby Evans said the club has not made an offer and there haven’t been discussions in more than a week.

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The White Sox’s Alejandro De Aza has drawn the Giants’ interest, but they don’t appear willing to give up much for him.

And you can set aside slugging outfielder Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays for now. All of the names on the Giants’ list are more platoon options than everyday players.

Once Morse makes a decision, other moves might follow.

“There are things we could zero in on, but there are other things that develop,” Evans said. “We continue to look for a fit.”

Evans said that ideally, the club could wrap up a deal before they jet back to the West Coast on Thursday. He spoke from an alcove next to a noisy ice machine, and then later from an elevator vestibule, because he didn’t have a key to the Giants’ suite and the rest of the front office was at a reception for West Coast Scout of the Year Doug Mapson.

“We’d like to get something done by the end of these meetings,” Evans told reporters. “Maybe while you’re going down the elevator.”