The Giants have been very good about sticking to whatever game plan they’ve had. That was true in the Brian Sabean era — when they didn’t even make an offer to Vladimir Guerrero (because they already had Barry Bonds and didn’t have any cheap talent to supplement the roster) and punted a draft pick (because the draft wasn’t important) to land Michael Tucker — and it seems like it’s shaping up to be true in the Farhan Zaidi era.
As Henry Schulman noted yesterday, the Giants don’t seem interested in reacting to the Padres signing of Manny Machado, and that on the whole, Zaidi isn’t compelled to make reactionary moves that could affect the organization for years and years. That seems like a pretty obvious smart statement to make so it makes sense that a very smart person like him repeated it, but what’s ultimately a little bit frustrating for this impatient blogger is that we don’t really know yet what the program is that he’ll be sticking to over these next five years.
With Sabean it was clear: 30+-year old veterans. And lots of ‘em. Young players were suspect because they struggled and it was unclear if they would be able to sort out their troubles. Given the lack of player development during his tenure except for that magical draft run from 2006-2009, he almost had no choice but to deploy that strategy. Farhan’s time with LA and previously in Oakland definitely suggests that the opposite will be in place here and that he’ll rely a lot more on his smarts to find unheralded, cheap, young talent to fill the roster and shy away from most free agents.
But it’s not an absolute. And we’re literally in month three of this not-rebuild. And, yes, these things take time. And YES, the Giants will never land a top of the market free agent hitter so long as they play in Oracle Park. But if they’re out on Harper and they’re out on a theoretical Trout free agency, and they aren’t going to give up draft picks to sign a Dallas Keuchel or even Marwin Gonzalez, then it certainly limits possible enthusiasm in the offseason. Isn’t the excitement of a new year at least in part to dream about what could be?
Are you dreaming of Drew Ferguson winning the Rookie of the Year? Will Yangervis Solarte’s 25 home runs satiate your desires? This will be a weird adjustment to make in the post-success era of Giants history, but dammit, I’m gonna give it a go. Here’s hoping for 20 holds from Pat Venditte.