News recently broke that former San Francisco Giants General Manager Bobby Evans is interviewing for the same position with the Houston Astros, who are scrambling to find both a replacement GM and a replacement manager following their recent cheating scandal.
Immediately after the news of Evans’ potential new home broke, the jokes started flying in about how the Giants will now be able to trade pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who is owed $18 million this year, per Spotrac.
Evans, of course, was responsible for signing Samardzija. And also Johnny Cueto, and Brandon Crawford, and Brandon Belt, and Buster Posey. And trading for Evan Longoria.
That’s a lot of big contracts. None of them are particularly horrendous on their own (okay, Longoria’s isn’t pretty), but they add up to create a group of players owed a metric [redacted] ton of dough for a rather minimal amount of production.
So here’s a question: Which big contract is most likely to be dealt, either this spring or at the trade deadline?
It’s safe to say that Farhan Zaidi is open to trading all of those players, with the possible exception of Posey. That said, the Giants aren’t chomping at the bit to get rid of any of them. They’re okay spending money, and they’re not going to do to another team what the Los Angeles Angels just did to them: Package a prospect with a veteran to unload a contract.
Instead, the Giants will trade one of those guys only if they play well enough to return value in a trade. Or they might trade one of those players while still eating the bulk of the contract, and getting something exciting in return.
Smart money is probably on Samardzija, since he’s in the final year of his contract, and thus is only a serviceable half-season away from being a very enticing trade chip.
But smart money doesn’t always win.