This Time of Year, Pay Attention to the Options Game

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants had the day off Tuesday, which gave the staff a chance to step back and evaluate what's been seen so far. Roster decisions won't purely be made based on performance, though.

As always this time of year, it's important to pay attention to the options game. The players certainly know all about it, and they talk about it often. Young players who are on the bubble and have minor league options remaining know they're likely headed for Sacramento no matter what they do. Those who have no options left know that they could be in for anything over the next three weeks. 

Here's a look at the Giants who are out of options, and where they stand halfway through the spring:

Trevor Gott: The former National has had an impressive start to his spring, striking out six in three scoreless relief innings. Gott is 26 and has had success at the big league level before, so the right-hander is the type the Giants would like to find a way to keep, but it's getting crowded in the race to fill out the bullpen. Farhan Zaidi has proven effective at sneaking players through waivers, so perhaps he'll feel confident in his ability to do that here. 

Steven Okert: Early in camp, Bruce Bochy credited Okert for coming to Scottsdale in great shape, and he impressed the staff last year with a strong performance as a September call-up. The Giants plan to carry three left-handed relievers, but Will Smith and Tony Watson have two of those spots locked up. Among the other players in the mix, Okert and Travis Bergen are in similar spots. Bergen isn't out of options, but he's a Rule 5 pick the Blue Jays would likely take back, and unlike Okert, he was added to the roster by Zaidi. With Pat Venditte and Ty Blach also on the 40-man, this is one roster battle that could extend through the Bay Bridge Series. 

Chris Stratton: There isn't room in the rotation unless the Giants find a creative way to get through the first few weeks, and Stratton has shown enough at the big league level that you figure another team would claim him. You know there's a front office out there that would be eager to work with his spin rates. The Giants could sneak Stratton onto the roster as the long man, but with Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez and a resurgent Tyler Beede around, perhaps they won't feel the need. 

Alen Hanson: Versatile in the field and solid from the left side of the plate, he looked like a good fit for a Zaidi roster. But then the new boss went out and signed Yangervis Solarte, a more accomplished utility type who recently added left field to his spring resume. If the Giants go with a traditional bench setup --  two outfielders, two infielders and a backup catcher -- it's hard to see Hanson beating out Solarte and Pablo Sandoval, but perhaps they'll keep all three and go short in the outfield. 

Mac Williamson: Speaking of the outfield, Williamson looks like a starter in one of the corners. He hit an impressive homer the day the Giants lost out on Bryce Harper and is one of the few ways to get more power onto this roster. Barring something strange happening over the next three weeks, Williamson looks like he'll finally get his shot to hold down an everyday job. 

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