MadBum gets 3rd straight Opening Day start

Bochy tabs Giants' ace to face Brewers at Miller Park

MadBum gets 3rd straight Opening Day start

It may still be a few months out, but the Giants already know who will toe the rubber when they open the 2016 regular season on April 4 against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

As expected, ace Madison Bumgarner is slated to make his third consecutive Opening Day start, manager Bruce Bochy announced on Saturday at the team's FanFest.

More

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lincecum's tenure with Giants nearing end?

With full rotation, right-hander's future is hot topic during FanFest

Lincecum's tenure with Giants nearing end?

SAN FRANCISCO -- Even in his absence from Saturday's FanFest at AT&T Park, Tim Lincecum remained a significant presence.

Lincecum, a free agent who reportedly has recovered from hip surgery, is expected to prove his fitness to pitch by conducting a throwing session in the Phoenix area for all interested teams. Though the Giants are expected to send a representative to the right-hander's showcase, the club's starting rotation is full -- barring injuries -- and thus cannot accommodate Lincecum's anticipated desire to start.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Healthy Pence hungry for Spring Training

RF 'better than ever' after injury-plagued '15

Healthy Pence hungry for Spring Training

SAN FRANCISCO -- Right fielder Hunter Pence described the Giants' collective attitude as containing "an undertone of extreme eagerness. There's a lot of excitement to get the ball rolling."

Pence might as well have been talking about himself Friday, as Giants players, coaches and manager Bruce Bochy spoke with reporters at AT&T Park in the club's annual day-before-FanFest media availability.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cain confident injuries are behind him

Righty still big part of revamped rotation

Cain confident injuries are behind him

SAN FRANCISCO -- A year ago, Matt Cain was beaming with optimism as he enjoyed the last moments of the offseason, wrapping up the top amateur performance at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament. After a rough 2014 season that ended with elbow surgery, he was feeling good and raring to go to Arizona to get his career back on track, a wayward ace fully focused on the task ahead.

"I wanted to be excited about it, and I was excited about it," Cain said Friday during a media session at AT&T Park. "I thought I was physically where I needed to be, but my body told me to take a little step back right before the season started. That was kind of the path we had to take, and it was a little bit of a roller coaster from there."

More

John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Panik optimistic about health for 2016 season

Giants All-Star '100 percent' recovered from lower back inflammation

Panik optimistic about health for 2016 season

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants All-Star second baseman Joe Panik insisted Friday that not only will he enter Spring Training fully recovered from lower back inflammation, but he'll also remain healthy through the season.

Panik, who missed most of the final two months of last season with his back woes, feels so fit that it's as if his injury never happened.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Span, Cueto, Shark highlight Giants' new faces

Center fielder, starting duo bring high-impact potential to club

Span, Cueto, Shark highlight Giants' new faces

SAN FRANCISCO -- Acquiring one impact player is a sufficient cause for celebration for most teams. Imagine adding three potential difference-makers to the roster, and you'll know why the Giants sense more than their usual optimism as Spring Training approaches.

The Giants committed more than $250 million to right-handers Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija and center fielder Denard Span in the hope that the trio can help the club return to the postseason. San Francisco was among the most aggressive teams in free agency this offseason, and the organization believes that attitude can carry over onto the field.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crawford travels back 24 years for all-time great #TBT photo

|
Crawford travels back 24 years for all-time great #TBT photo

Most people who post #TBT (Throwback Thursday) photos don't take it too seriously. Maybe it's a picture of them as a baby eating cat food or some embarrassing moment from college. But Brandon Crawford? He takes #TBT's very seriously.

The Giants shortstop traveled back in time (possibly via McCovey Cove's DeLorean) to post one of the greatest versions of all-time. Check it out below.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Belt agrees to one-year deal with Giants

Slugging first baseman avoids arbitration

Belt agrees to one-year deal with Giants

The Giants and Brandon Belt have agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, a source told MLB.com on Wednesday. 

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported the terms to be $6.2 million.

More

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Where could Tim Lincecum's 'secret location' be?

|
Where could Tim Lincecum's 'secret location' be?

With just a week to go before pitchers report to Spring Training, Tim Lincecum is still without a baseball team to call his own. But now, word comes that he's been working out and is ready to show off his skills in hopes of landing a job. 

Only problem: He's in a "secret location" as Jon Heyman reported on Thursday night: 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Giants' rebound wish list for '16 is long

Belt, Blanco, Cain among players seeking bouncebacks

Giants' rebound wish list for '16 is long

SAN FRANCISCO -- Like ballplayers, coaches and managers, who all insist on approaching the long season a game at a time, we're handling our Spring Training countdown one topic at a time. During the coming week, you'll read separate stories on newcomers, prospects and projections for this season.

Here's a look at several Giants who are "on the rebound" -- intent on recovering from a subpar season or inconvenient injuries. San Francisco's list is long, considering that manager Bruce Bochy's projected everyday lineup for 2015 played exactly one game together. Here are the Giants who hope that Spring Training will propel them onward and upward:

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perry to get statue at Giants' ballpark

Hall of Famer pitcher will join Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Cepeda in honor

Perry to get statue at Giants' ballpark

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will put the finishing touches on honoring their San Francisco-era Hall of Fame quintet by unveiling a statue in right-hander Gaylord Perry's honor before the Aug. 13 game against Baltimore, the organization announced Monday.

The bronze image of Perry, 77, will join the sculptures of Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda that are located along AT&T Park's perimeter. Each played virtually all or a significant amount of his career with the Giants after they moved to San Francisco in 1958.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

5 bats could shape how NL West is won

5 bats could shape how NL West is won

The Dodgers and Giants have ruled the National League West in recent seasons with dominant pitching, but the division also houses some serious offense. The Rockies and D-backs scored the most runs in the league in 2015, with the Giants coming in fifth.

Let's zero in on five pivotal NL West bats heading into Spring Training.

More

Lyle Spencer is a columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants' annual FanFest set for Saturday

Giants' annual FanFest set for Saturday

SAN FRANCISCO -- Virtually every square inch of AT&T Park will be thrown open to the public on Saturday, when the Giants conduct their annual FanFest.

Admission is free as gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. PT. Although parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis in Lots A and B and at Pier 48 for $10, the Giants urge fans to take public transportation to the ballpark.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Any surprises to open season with Giants?

Beat reporter Haft answers fans' questions

Inbox: Any surprises to open season with Giants?

What are the chances of someone like Ricky Romero or Kyle Blanks making the Opening Day roster? Also, is there any rookie who might be a surprise to open the season with the Giants?
-- Mike V., Tucson, Ariz.

Blanks conceivably could be this year's Justin Maxwell. He might not be as proficient of a defensive outfielder as Maxwell, but his ability to play first base makes him more versatile. Romero or any other starting pitcher will struggle to make the season-opening rotation, unless somebody in San Francisco's projected five-man contingent (Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Cain and Jake Peavy) sustains an injury that sends him to the disabled list.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

5 potential impact arms in wild NL West

5 potential impact arms in wild NL West

Remodeled pitching staffs make the National League West one of the most unpredictable and fascinating of the six divisions as Spring Training approaches. Any number of arms could prove pivotal in a lively race. Here are five to watch:

1. Kenta Maeda, Dodgers
Division champions three years running with dominant starting pitching, the Dodgers can't replace what Zack Greinke gave them with one arm. But Maeda, polished and experienced on the international stage, is one of several who can help ease the impact of Greinke's move to Arizona.

More

Lyle Spencer is a columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Hughes looks back at signing DeShields, Elway in Q&A

Veteran baseball executive renowned for signing multisport athletes

Hughes looks back at signing DeShields, Elway in Q&A

Gary Hughes was the left fielder on a Serra (Calif.) High School team in the late 1950s that featured future All-Star shortstop Jim Fregosi. In addition to being a star shortstop, Fregosi was the star quarterback on Serra's football team, as well as a standout in basketball who also set the California high school record in the triple jump.

Hughes never forgot. As one of the higher-profile scouts in baseball, Hughes always had Fregosi in his mind when he evaluated players, and has become known over the years for his willingness to take a chance on multisport stars.

More

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Healthy Susac leads crowded backup catcher's field

Healthy Susac leads crowded backup catcher's field

SAN FRANCISCO -- On paper, a scramble for the Giants' backup catcher's job appears imminent. In reality, Andrew Susac should reclaim the role with minimal fuss.

Settling on a stand-in for Buster Posey, San Francisco's three-time All-Star, shouldn't be a consuming issue after pitchers and catchers report to Major League camp on Feb. 17 in Scottsdale, Ariz. General manager Bobby Evans reported that Susac, last year's reserve until arthroscopic right wrist surgery ended his season in early September, seems healed.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

High-risk trades pay off for Sabean's Giants

Ex-GM returned results in deals despite drawing ire of fans

High-risk trades pay off for Sabean's Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brian Sabean observed that the Groundhog Day aspect to trades, the issue that emerges and commands notice with every deal, is the risk-versus-reward factor. Sabean obviously has been rewarded more often than not, assembling teams that won three World Series and finished above .500 in 13 of his 18 seasons as the Giants' general manager.

But one particular trade exposed Sabean to considerable criticism from fans and media: The November 1996 swap that sent third baseman Matt Williams and utility man Trent Hubbard to the Indians for second baseman Jeff Kent, shortstop Jose Vizcaino and right-handers Joe Roa and Julian Tavarez. Sabean received so much disapproval for parting with All-Star slugger Williams that he felt compelled to defend himself by saying, "I am not an idiot." He wasn't, as Kent, Vizcaino and Tavarez contributed significantly to San Francisco's National League West title in 1997.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A Hunter Pence face for any situation

|
A Hunter Pence face for any situation

Ever have trouble making the correct face in certain situations? Whether it's smiling for the camera, looking angry when somebody takes a bite of your hot dog or being excited that Spring Training is just 14 DAYS AWAY.

Well, allow these Hunter Pence faces to guide you through your daily lives.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Kontos, Giants reach agreement on deal

Kontos, Giants reach agreement on deal

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants and right-hander George Kontos avoided salary arbitration by reaching a compromise Monday on a one-year, $1.15 million contract.

First baseman Brandon Belt is the lone Giants player remaining in the arbitration process.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants' Arroyo lands on Top 100 Prospects list

Young shortstop could force tough decisions for San Francisco in coming seasons

Giants' Arroyo lands on Top 100 Prospects list

SAN FRANCISCO -- Christian Arroyo could cause nightmares for the Giants' decision-makers in a year or two. For now, they can still dream about him blissfully.

Arroyo, named Friday as baseball's No. 82 prospect on MLBPipeline.com's annual Top 100 Prospects list, appears destined to join the group of productive infielders the Giants have developed in recent years. San Francisco possesses an entirely homegrown starting infield consisting of first baseman Brandon Belt, second baseman Joe Panik, shortstop Brandon Crawford and third baseman Matt Duffy.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Who will replace Affeldt in Giants 'pen?

Beat reporter Chris Haft answers fans' questions

Inbox: Who will replace Affeldt in Giants 'pen?

With Jeremy Affeldt's retirement, can the Giants pick up another reliever of his caliber and impact? I sense a hole in the 'pen.
-- Robert P., Omaha, Neb.

Affeldt's departure spurred the Giants' interest in free-agent right-hander Joakim Soria early in the offseason. The two-time All-Star has limited left- and right-handed hitters to batting averages of .215 and .210, respectively, during his nine-year Major League career. But Kansas City signed Soria. Nevertheless, the Giants may have another Affeldt in left-hander Josh Osich, who finished 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA in 35 appearances as a rookie last season. Righties hit only .213 off Osich. Left-handers posted a .222 batting average off him. Assuming Osich stays healthy and makes the necessary adjustments against hitters who have devoured his scouting reports and scrutinized him on videos, he could strengthen San Francisco's bullpen for a long time.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Swift reflects on MLB career, coaching in Q&A

Former pitcher discusses post-playing days as Arizona Christian College's head coach

Swift reflects on MLB career, coaching in Q&A

Bill Swift is a baseball lifer. And right now he is enjoying life under the national radar.

The second player selected in the 1984 Draft, Swift spent 13 years in the big leagues, pitching for the Mariners, Giants and Rockies. He led the National League with a 2.08 ERA with the Giants in 1992 and won 21 games for them the next year.

More

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beede, Arroyo among Giants' camp invites

Beede, Arroyo among Giants' camp invites

SAN FRANCISCO -- Top prospects Christian Arroyo and Tyler Beede, as well as former Major Leaguers such as Kyle Blanks, Grant Green and George Kottaras, are among 21 non-roster invitees whom the Giants will welcome to Major League Spring Training next month.

Despite their relatively low profiles, these players aren't to be ignored. Non-roster invitees who have made a considerable impact for the Giants in recent seasons include outfielders Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres, utility man Joaquin Arias and right-handers Ryan Vogelsong and Guillermo Mota.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Listen to Giants prospect Tyler Beede freestyle

|
Listen to Giants prospect Tyler Beede freestyle

Stream the Cut4Cast here or subscribe on iTunes. And, when you're done listening, share your thoughts on these topics with us by tweeting us at @Cut4 with the hashtag #Cut4Cast.

Last week, Yoenis Cespedes came to an agreement with the Mets, and Noah Syndergaard immediately offered to be his roommate. But which MLB player would the Cut4 staff most want to live with? Mike BerthaDakota Gardner and Gemma Kaneko spent this episode choosing their ideal roomies, giving each other baseball advice, and deciding which TV shows need an MLB cameo.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Resurgent Richmond affiliate supplies studs, lessons

Giants' Double-A club began season 3-17, battled back to finish 72-68

Resurgent Richmond affiliate supplies studs, lessons

SAN FRANCISCO -- A quick look back at last year's exploits of the Giants' Double-A Richmond affiliate gives them more reason to look forward to the near future.

The Flying Squirrels witnessed the legitimacy of one of baseball's most immutable laws -- never give up -- as they recovered from a season-opening 3-17 record to finish 72-68 and barely missed qualifying for the Eastern League playoffs. A 15-game losing streak that could have immediately doomed the Squirrels instead became almost incidental as they built a quartet of six-game winning streaks.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bochy a candidate for Cal League Hall of Fame

Bochy a candidate for Cal League Hall of Fame

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has been selected for an online fan vote that will determine the 15th and final member of the California League's inaugural Hall of Fame class.

The shrine is being created in conjunction with the league's 75th anniversary. Fan balloting will be conducted during Spring Training.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.