Many fans dreamt of transcendent reliever Andrew Miller closing out the Giants’ 2016 title.
But the organization simply didn’t have the prospects to land the bullpen ace. (The Cleveland Indians, apparently, did as they shipped off the No. 5 pick in the 2013 draft and four other prospects for Miller’s team-friendly contract and absurdly impressive 307 ERA+).
So where does that leave the Giants?
“I think we just have to stay open-minded because the market is so limited that I don’t think we can stay singular in our thoughts,” general manager Bobby Evans said on Sunday. “I think we have to be flexible depending on what opportunities are out there. And we’ll see if there’s an upgrade for us in other areas, as well. But I think that we have to react to the market.”
Translation: The dream is over, it’s time to get realistic.
The Giants aren’t totally lost in the bullpen. They’ll have ups and downs, sure. But the panic over Santiago Casilla and his cohorts has been overblown. Mostly because of the timing of this year’s team regression to the mean. (They were overachieving as the best team in baseball, and having a swoon after the All-Star Break is no reason for alarm, because, as manager Bruce Bochy explains, it’s hard to find your rhythm when you have that much time off.)
Casilla had expressed his belief that the Giants didn’t need anyone to take over the ninth inning from him. And on Sunday, Bochy was impressed with what he saw as Casilla’s audition to affirm Casilla as the man for the job
“This is a tough time for the players,” Bochy said. “It’s part of baseball. They hear rumors. ‘We’re going to get this or get that.’ When that happens you hope the players do what he was doing. Make a statement. ‘I can do this job in this role.’ He’s really trying to show, hey, he is the guy.”
Only time will tell if he really is. But the fact remains: The Giants aren’t the kind of team to undercut their future for the immediate term. It’s won in the past, perhaps it’ll work again this season.
A deal for a lesser-known name is still possible, but this is the group and that shouldn’t be an offputting predicament for fans.andrew millerBobby EvansBruce BochyCleveland Indiansjacob c. palmerNew York YankeesSan Francisco GiantsSantiago Casilla