If you're a transaction addict, and I know that some of you are, there are still trades to dream about. The Rockies say they aren't trading Carlos Gonzalez now, but they're probably just being coy. They have to trade someone after signing Gerardo Parra for reasons, and the Giants still have whatever trade chips they started the offseason with. Your precious transaction just might show up after all.
There's something about a free agent dangling out there, though. All he takes is money. Money and desire. Just like a salacious Dateline reenactment. The Giants could have just gone out and bought everyone, you know.
CF - Span
2B - Panik
LF - Cespedes
C - Posey
1B - Belt
RF - Pence
3B - Duffy
SS - Crawford
SP - Bumgarner
SP - Greinke
SP - Price
SP - Cueto
SP - Samardzija
I mean, they could have done that. Technically. All it takes is money and desire.
While that wasn't ever likely, there was still something tantalizing about Yoenis Cespedes just kind of hanging around the offseason. Of course the Giants would have been smart to match the Mets' offer of three years and $75 million, with an opt-out that he's certainly going to exercise if he's healthy, but there's no way Cespedes would have come over without the Giants blowing the Mets' offer out of the water. Then you return to the question of just how much the Giants should have spent on him in Theoryland. Probably not as much as it would have taken to get him. So being upset about not signing Cespedes is like having a funeral for a snipe that never existed.
Still, the offseason pipe dreams are officially over. There is no Justin Upton. There is no Cespedes. Jason Heyward is long gone. The Chris Davis weirdness is but a memory. There's no way the Giants are signing Dexter Fowler for tens of millions just to replace Gregor Blanco and Angel Pagan, and even though I'm still very much a spoiled it's-not-my-money fan, it's hard to argue that they should. This is the team.
Note that I strongly considered spending an hour making a video of different rumors and tweets set to "I Will Remember You." It seemed like a less than optimal use of my time, I'll be honest, though that's never stopped me before
To honor the offseason and the bounty it hath provided, we'll take a look at the alternate reality that wasn't. Here's what I'm guessing the Giants were going to do if they had their druthers and got the offseason they mapped out:
Zack Greinke, Ben Zobrist, and a lot of Chris Heston and/or Clayton Blackburn
It might have made for a better team, but one March sproing in Greinke's ailing elbow would have screwed up the entire season. There's still a substantial amount of risk in what the Giants did, but it's spread around just a little.
And while Zobrist in left probably would have helped the lineup a touch more than Denard Span, it would have kept Angel Pagan in center. That would have been a huge mistake. The more I think about Span in center -- even an aging, hip-rehabilitating Span, mind you -- the happier I get.
It's possible that the Giants were never seriously entertaining an open battle for that fifth spot in the rotation. So feel free to guess at a Giants-approved offseason from Halloween that included Mike Leake instead of Ben Zobrist. Greinke, Leake, and some combination of Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, Blanco, and Pagan in the outfield. It would have been an offseason plan with some merit, and if we got to March without seeing the Cueto/Samardzija/Span reality, we probably would have been okay with it, what with Greinke not on the Dodgers or Diamondbacks.
As is, the Giants charged into free agency with a fervor that they hadn't shown since Barry Zito. They missed on a couple targets, but never panicked, knowing they picked the right offseason to need two pitchers and an outfielder. According to this super-scientific poll, almost everyone is pretty okay with how it all turned out.
If you're looking for more transactions, the offseason's closed. The moose out front should have told you. Cespedes represented the last refuge of the Giants fan committed to his or her right to spend other people's money. All we have now is the fast-approaching season and the actual freaking baseball games it will bring.
Goodbye, fascinating offseason of myriad possibilities. You were one of the most entertaining offseasons in recent memory.