FanPost

What if the Giants Roster Was All Homegrown?

One of the biggest knocks against the Giants in recent years has been a weak farm system that failed to produce impact players, requiring the team to build its roster via free agency. But what if the Giants had a one-time "reset" button to reacquire all homegrown players while losing all acquired, expensive veteran players?

The Additions

This only covers players on current 40 man rosters, so it won't include Lucius Fox, Bryan Reynolds, Phil Bickford, etc. (all numbers through Sunday's games; wRC+ is for hitters and bigger numbers are better, while ERA- is for pitchers and lower numbers are better).

Name Pos. Age 2018 wRC+/ERA- 2018 fWAR
Andrew Susac C 28 -40 -0.3
Ehire Adrianza IF 28 94 0.5
Christian Arroyo IF 23 107 0.2
Matt Duffy IF 27 121 1.8
Charlie Culberson IF/OF 29 99 0.3
Adam Duvall OF 29 81 0.6
Clayton Blackburn* SP 25 N/A 0.0
Luis Castillo SP 25 134 0.6
Francisco Liriano SP 34 110 0.0
Jonathan Loaisiga SP 23 71 0.5
Adalberto Mejia SP 25 210 0.0
Keury Mella SP 24 N/A 0.0
Zack Wheeler SP 28 115 1.8
Joe Biagini RP 28 134 -0.1
Kyle Crick RP 25 50 0.8
Heath Hembree RP 29 87 0.4
Ariel Hernandez RP 26 N/A 0.0
Dan Otero RP 33 131 -0.4
Sergio Romo RP 35 94 0.3
Total 2018 fWAR 7.0

* Indicates player on the 60 day disabled list, so he doesn't count toward the 40 man roster

So basically, you get two starters (Duffy and Wheeler), one fringe starter (Duvall, a former All Star and 30 HR hitter) and three above average bullpen arms (Crick, Hembree and Romo). In addition, only three of the 19 acquired players have a negative fWAR, and only three are older than 30 so you have plenty of room for improvement.

Most importantly, the largest salary is $4 million and none of the players are looking at big pay days in the next two years, so the Giants would not be taking back any bad contracts.

The Subtractions

Here's what the Giants would shed in this scenario:

Name Pos. Age 2018 wRC+/ERA- 2018 fWAR
Nick Hundley C 34 111 0.9
Chase d'Arnaud IF 31 186 0.3
Alen Hanson IF 25 120 0.9
Evan Longoria IF 32 91 0.3
Gorkys Hernandez OF 30 112 0.7
Andrew McCutchen OF 31 113 1.0
Hunter Pence OF 35 43 -0.7
Johnny Cueto SP 32 61 0.5
Tyler Herb SP 26 N/A 0.0
Derek Holland SP 31 105 1.2
Dereck Rodriguez SP 26 75 0.9
Jeff Samardzija SP 33 161 -0.2
Sam Dyson RP 30 81 0.2
Julian Fernandez* RP 22 N/A 0.0
Pierce Johnson RP 27 148 -0.1
Mark Melancon RP 33 62 0.2
Will Smith RP 28 32 1.4
Hunter Strickland* RP 29 73 0.4
Tony Watson RP 33 54 1.0
Total 2018 fWAR 8.9

* Indicates player on the 60 day disabled list, so he doesn't count toward the 40 man roster

So in addition to shedding nearly $100 million in payroll (although really $82 million if you consider the Giants would be paying Sandoval's full $18.5 million salary in this scenario), the Giants would lose two starters (Holland and McCutchen), four fringe starters (Hanson, Hernandez, Hundley, Rodriguez), a solid bullpen trio (Smith, Strickland and Watson) and a handful of guys who would likely be better if not injured (Cueto, Longoria and Samardzija).

Of these 19 players, three have negative fWAR and 12 are older than 30, so most have reached their ceiling. Four are also signed for two or more free agency money years after 2018. This roster of high-priced veterans was only worth 1.9 fWAR more than the homegrown Giants in the first half of 2018.

Summary

For the tldr crowd, the problem with the Giants is not the farm system because the team has been cranking out quality guys for years that provide value to other teams. Sabean's draftees/signees represent 42 spots (mostly guys in their prime) on MLB 40-man rosters, and only 23 of those play for the Giants. The only teams with a clear advantage (more than 45 players) of homegrown talent on current 40 man rosters are the Angels, Astros, Mariners, Mets, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees.

Just for fun, let's make a 25 man Giants homegrown roster:

Lineup

# Bats Name Pos. 2018 wRC+ 2018 fWAR
1 L Steven Duggar CF 110 0.1
2 R Matt Duffy 2B 121 1.8
3 L Brandon Belt 1B 135 2.7
4 R Buster Posey C 115 1.9
5 L Brandon Crawford SS 121 2.4
6 R Adam Duvall LF 81 0.6
7 B Pablo Sandoval 3B 97 0.1
8 R Austin Slater RF 106 0.2

Bench

Pos. Bats Name 2018 wRC+ 2018 fWAR
C R Andrew Susac -40 -0.3
IF B Ehire Adrianza 94 0.5
IF R Kelby Tomlinson 56 -0.5
OF R Charlie Culberson 99 0.3
OF R Mac Williamson 88 0.3

Rotation

# Throws Name 2018 ERA- 2018 fWAR
1 L Madison Bumgarner 75 0.7
2 R Zack Wheeler 115 1.8
3 L Francisco Liriano 110 0.0
4 R Luis Castillo 134 0.6
5 L Andrew Suarez 102 1.4

Bullpen

Role Throws Name 2018 ERA- 2018 fWAR
Closer R Sergio Romo 94 0.3
Setup R Kyle Crick 50 0.8
Setup R Heath Hembree 87 0.4
Middle R Reyes Moronta 50 0.8
Middle L Ty Blach 116 0.8
Middle R Ray Black 232 0.0
Long R Dan Otero 131 -0.4

When Joe Panik returns from the DL, you can slide him into 2B, move Duffy to 3B, put Sandoval on the bench and send down Tomlinson. The farm would include solid fill-ins like Arroyo, Chris Stratton, Mejia, Loaisiga and Derek Law (in all, one catcher, three infielders, five starting pitchers and six relief pitchers in the minors).

The biggest flaws would be no true back-up CF (maybe Adrianza or Slater in a pinch?) and only one left handed reliever, but you could release Otero and bring up Steven Okert if it's required.

Final note: under this scenario, the homegrown Giants would have 41 players and need to either release a player or place a player on the 60-day disabled list. While the number of players acquired and subtracted (19) is the same, the Giants would be losing two players currently on the 60-day DL (Fernandez and Strickland) and only gaining one in return (Blackburn). The best course of action would be to release a relief pitcher (Osich?).

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