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Would you give up the Giants’ first-round pick for any of these free agents now?

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In which we look at the players who received the qualifying offer last offseason. Would you give up the first-rounder for any of them right now?

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

In just over a month, the Giants will pick 19th in the 2017 MLB Draft. They will select someone who will instantly become one of the best prospects in the system. I plan to spend hours writing about who they might pick beforehand, as well as hours writing about who they actually picked, and I’ll do it with a smile. I love this stuff.

The Giants didn’t have to be here, though. They’re a high-payroll team in win-now mode, which is usually a recipe for a team that will consider giving up their first-round pick for the right free agent. If Mark Melancon weren’t traded midseason, for example, the Giants almost certainly wouldn’t have their pick. They would have given it up for a closer.

Should we have any regrets, though? If I can offer a hot take, it would appear that the 2017 Giants could probably use some better players. As such, some of the better free agents from the previous offseason might look pretty tantalizing right now, and it’s worth checking in to see if we would gladly hand over that first-rounder and some cash for one of those better players.

The players who got (and didn’t accept) a qualifying offer last year:

Mark Trumbo

How is he doing?
.211/.265/.303 with as many homers as Madison Bumgarner in 109 at-bats

What did he sign for?
Three years, $37.5 million

Would he have fixed the 2017 GIants?
Well, no one would have. But now that we know the Giants were willing to use Chris Marrero and Brandon Belt in left and punt defense, the relatively modest contract he signed would have made a little more sense than it looked like in November.

That written, I’ll take the draft pick and the extra money, because if Trumbo were hitting for a .568 OPS in AT&T Park, we would all be freaking out. More so.

Yoenis Cespedes

How is he doing?
He has a pretty serious hamstring injury, and he’ll be out for a while. Before the injury, though, he was hitting .270/.373/.619 with six homers.

What did he sign for?
Four years, $110 million

Would he have fixed the 2017 GIants?
Well, no one would have. But a healthy Cespedes is exactly the kind of hitter the Giants need. The caveat there is “healthy,” which wouldn’t have been the case. He just might have hamstrings of polenta.

In retrospect, Brad Ziegler and Cespedes, with a bake sale to raise the extra money, would probably be preferable to Mark Melancon. That was never financially realistic, though, so there’s no sense fantasizing about that alternate reality. More than once or twice a day, that is.

Edwin Encarnacion

How is he doing?
.198/.333/.333 in 118 plate appearances.

What did he sign for?
Three years, $60 million

Would he have fixed the 2017 GIants?
Well, no one would have. But now that we’re in May and Brandon Belt is playing a fair amount of left field, I’m kind of curious about this one. Encarnacion will eventually hit, and he’s the sort of right-handed slugger the Giants have been desperate for since Pat Burrell left

If he struggled like this while the Giants were struggling, though, my stars would that be uncomfortable for everyone involved. Part of me never wants the Giants to sign a slugger, just because we’d all freak out if he struggled in April.

Jose Bautista

How is he doing?
.196/.328/.294. Other than Cespedes, I’m sensing a theme.

What did he sign for?
One year, $18.5 million

Would he have fixed the 2017 GIants?
Well, no one would have. And while the same comments apply when it comes to punting defense, I’m pretty sure I would rather have the draft pick.

Ian Desmond

How is he doing?
He’s been injured all year. Rolling in his first 19 at-bats, though!

What did he sign for?
Five years, $70 million

Would he have fixed the 2017 GIants?
Well, no one would have. But Desmond would have been a fine left fielder, and his injury was flukish, so it wasn’t inevitable. Still, that’s a lotta clams for a low-OBP slugger, especially if you’re not going to use him at short.

Dexter Fowler

How is he doing?
.223/.302/.408 in 116 plate appearances, which is way better than the last time I checked.

What did he sign for?
Five years, $82.5 million

Would he have fixed the 2017 GIants?
Well, no one would have. But Fowler cost about as much as Melancon, and he filled a need that is apparently impossible for the Giants to keep filled. Still, that’s a big contract for someone whose ceiling is “pretty nice player.”

Kenley Jansen

How is he doing?
Man, I can’t stand this guy. So good.

What did he sign for?
Five years, $80 million

Would he have fixed the 2017 GIants?
Well, no one would have. But even though Melancon has blown two saves, I’m pretty sure that’s not the only reason Giants have been struggling. “Gee, I wish we had a better closer” isn’t a recurring thought of mine.

Justin Turner

How is he doing?
.374/.438/.515. The power isn’t there yet, but he’s very good.

What did he sign for?
Four years, $64 million

Would he have fixed the 2017 Giants?
Well, no one would have. But the Giants would have been much better with him, with a strong chance the Dodgers would have been much worse.

So which of the free agents would you take in exchange for the draft pick and financial flexibility? While the constant use of “Well, no one would have fixed the 2017 Giants” was me being dumb, it’s also kind of the moral of the story. It’s hard to imagine any of the above players on the Giants right now, with scores of millions still owed to them, playing so well that you’d feel better about the 2017 season.

An extended winning streak might change my mind, which means we could be two weeks away from wishing Bautista was on the roster, hitting dingers. As of right now, I’m pretty excited about the draft. In a way, it was almost like the kind of trade a rebuilding team might make — high-priced veteran out, highly coveted prospect in. They just never had the high-priced veteran in the first place.

I’m okay with that.

(Still kind of wish the Giants had Turner, if we’re being honest. Cespedes, too. But that’s it. Maybe Desmond, Encarnacion, and Bautista. Dinger deficiency is a serious medical condition.)