General manager discusses Cueto, outfield and more in press conference Tuesday
By Jonathan Hawthorne
SAN FRANCISCO -- While it's possible the Giants adjust their trajectory by making changes to their coaching staff after an unsuccessful 2017 season, no definitive decisions have been made yet according general manager Bobby Evans, who spoke Tuesday at the club's end-of-season press conference.
"We're going through evaluations," Evans said. "We'll be making determinations in the near future."
Evans indicated that some of the Giants' coaches could be candidates for other positions across the Majors -- third-base coach Phil Nevin has been linked to the Tigers' manager job -- and there's speculation the Giants may replace hitting coach Hensley Meulens, who just wrapped up his eighth year with the club.
Further complicating matters, some coaches have contracts that are set to expire after next season. But that timeline doesn't mean the organization's Major League coaching staff isn't on Evans' list for offseason evaluation.
"Everything's up for discussion," Evans said.
Mum on Cueto
The Giants haven't yet received official word from Johnny Cueto on whether he will opt out of the remainder of his contract and become a free agent or return for the remaining four years of his contract. The club expects to hear from the right-hander after the World Series.
"He's indicated his passion for being here," Evans said. "But ultimately, he has to make a business decision, too, along with his agent."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy again hinted that his everyday outfielders could see some position changes, especially as the team becomes a player in the free-agent market.
Bochy said center fielder Denard Span is "all in" on playing left field and implied that Hunter Pence "could be" one of the veterans to experience a shift in position. The Giants' skipper added that no infielders would likely be affected and that Span's defense improved in September.
"He took it upon himself to make himself to become a better center fielder," Bochy said.
Filling the seats
Though the team's attendance numbers were down this year and its 530-game sellout streak ended, Giants president and chief executive officer Larry Baer said he's not concerned. Instead, he was impressed.
Baer said he was "blown away" by the club's fans, many of whom still attended games long after the Giants were eliminated from postseason contention.
"There's massive good will in the bank," Baer said. "We don't take it for granted. I think we're going to be fine, attendance-wise. And therefore, revenue will be fine."
With the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft secured, the Giants feel they have the luxury to weigh a prospect's ceiling and potential timeline to the Majors. A combination of the two represents a "best of both worlds" scenario as a consultation prize for an otherwise disappointing season.
"We've already started getting a pretty good idea of where guys line up," Evans said. "It's way too early to tell at this point. Sometimes guys are there that could help you much faster. That could be really attractive, especially if you're picking as high as we are."
Evans revealed that outfielder Gorkys Hernandez will undergo offseason surgery on his left hamate bone. The procedure will address calcification which led to irritation for the 30-year-old, who finished the season batting .255 over 310 at-bats.
Hernandez was sidelined for a few games in September with a wrist sprain.
Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.