Giants officially sign OF Blanco


Giants officially sign OF Blanco

The Giants officially signed outfielder Gregor Blanco, confirmed Tuesday morning after reporting the news last Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not discussed.

Blanco spent 2011 with the Triple-A affiliates of the Nationals and Royals. In 51 games with the Syracuse Chiefs and 23 games with the Omaha Storm Chasers, Blanco hit just .201, but stole 24 bases and had an on-base percentage of .350.

Signed by Atlanta as an amateur free agent in 2000, Blanco is just one year removed from a solid season with the Braves and Royals. In 2010, Blanco hit .283 with a .360 OBP and 11 steals in 85 games.

The editor of Baseball America tweeted last Wednesday that Octagon Baseball reported that Blanco, 27, signed with San Francisco, but it was not confirmed until early Tuesday.

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of weeks ago, a Giants official expressed amazement about how little was known about the desires of Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani.

“Teams know just about as much as you guys (in the media),” he said. 

The Giants are hoping that changes this week. General manager Bobby Evans and assistant GM Jeremy Shelley have traveled to Japan to take a look at the 23-year-old, who reportedly will come over to play in Major League Baseball next season. 

“There’s going to be a lot of attention on him and it’s part of the scouting process every club goes through,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s doing our due diligence, as you say.”

Otani is a rare prospect, a potential ace on the mound and lineup-altering bat in the outfield. He has 47 homers in just over 1,000 professional at-bats, and this season he’s batting .341. As a hard-throwing pitcher with a wipeout breaking ball, Otani has a 2.57 career ERA for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He had a 1.86 ERA last season with 174 strikeouts in 140 innings. 

Because he’s said to be coming over at such a young age, Otani will sacrifice the chance to sign a massive contract. The CBA limits him to collecting money from a team’s international bonus pool, and the Giants are limited to $300,000. Still, some other big-market teams are in the same boat, and despite their lack of pool money and poor season, the Giants surely believe they have plenty to offer. 

It’s not known what Otani is looking for, but perhaps he wants to play in a big city to make up some of his lost earnings? Perhaps he wants to play on the West Coast, closer to his home country, or in a region with a big Japanese population? Perhaps he’s just a big Buster Posey fan? The Giants intend to find out, and to be in the bidding. 

It’s possible that Otani has seen the way Bochy uses Madison Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter, but Bochy said he can’t imagine using a true two-way player. 

“I don’t think it would work,” he said. “You’re talking more of something that might work in the American League. That’s a lot of throwing and wear-and-tear.”

Giants lineup: Sandoval shifts to third, Hundley catching Moore vs Rockies

Giants lineup: Sandoval shifts to third, Hundley catching Moore vs Rockies

After playing first base the last three game, Pablo Sandoval is manning third base against the Rockies on Tuesday.

Colorado Rockies:
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Trevor Story (R) SS
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF
6. Gerardo Parra (L) RF
7. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
8. Jonathan Lucroy (R) C
9. Tyler Chatwood (R) RHP

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. Matt Moore (L) LHP