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Free agency fits, 46-50

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Let’s find some free agents for the Giants.

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2020 World Series is about to conclude, which means we’re just a few days away from free agency taking over the MLB landscape. Usually the champagne and Budweiser isn’t even cleaned up by the time the chips start to fall.

The San Francisco Giants will make moves. Perhaps not big moves, but moves. They’ll sign a Major League contract here, and a Minor League contract there.

So let’s look at some of the available options.

Fangraphs has released their free agency tracker for 2021, which allows us to sort the available free agents by their projected value in the upcoming season.

So let’s take it chunk by chunk in the next few days, and look through the top 50, stopping to note how likely it is that the Giants sign them. We start with options 46-50, which includes a familiar face.

Three notes:

  1. I am listing each player’s 2019 fWAR, 2020 fWAR, and projected 2021 fWAR. To make those numbers more meaningful, I am multiplying the 2020 fWAR by 2.7, so that it approximates a full season. This should be taken with a grain of salt of course, but it makes it easier to contextualize their production in 2020.
  2. I am listing the Giants interest on a scale of 1 to 10, but it’s worth noting the obvious, which is that the Giants are competing with 29 other teams to sign these players. So if I list a player as a “10” on the Giants interest level, that doesn’t mean the Giants will sign them, just that the Giants will want to sign them.
  3. The listed age for each player is the age that they will be when the Giants season starts on April 1.

50 — Russell Martin (C)

Age: 38
Team: None
2019 WAR: 1.2
2020 WAR: N/A
2021 WAR: 0.5
Giants interest: 3

The Giants look pretty set at the catcher position. Buster Posey will be returning next year, Joey Bart will likely get a fair amount of playing time (even if he starts the year in Sacramento), and Chadwick Tromp and Aramis Garcia are both intriguing options.

That said, Farhan Zaidi has noted that the team will look at outside options to split time with Posey. That worked well for them in past years, in the form of Nick Hundley and Stephen Vogt. But if the Giants go that route, it seems more likely that they would opt for a lefty.

49 — Andrew Chafin (LHP reliever)

Age: 30
Team: Cubs
2019 WAR: 1.1
2020 WAR: 0.0
2021 WAR: 0.5
Giants interest: 8

A player who was not good this year, but quite good the year before, and will be very affordable? That has Giants written all over it.

San Francisco will likely look to add a left-handed reliever in free agency, as Tony Watson’s contract is up.

48 — Trevor Rosenthal (RHP reliever)

Age: 30
Team: Padres
2019 WAR: -0.3
2020 WAR: 1.9
2021 WAR: 0.6
Giants interest: 4

Rosenthal would be a great addition to the Giants bullpen. However, it’s safe to assume they won’t spend much on relievers, especially right-handed relievers, and Rosenthal’s price will likely be outside of what the Giants are willing to match.

47 — Trevor Cahill (RHP starter/reliever)

Age: 33
Team: Giants
2019 WAR: -0.8
2020 WAR: 1.1
2021 WAR: 0.6
Giants interest: 7.5

It’s hard to gauge the Giants interest, because they have more intel on Cahill than anyone else. He wasn’t great in 2020, but he was decent, and provided value as a bullpen piece who could be flexed into the rotation.

If the Giants coaches think there were tweaks to be made to further increase Cahill’s productivity, then their interest is higher than 7.5. If they think that 2020 was all that’s left in Cahill’s tank, then their interest is lower than 7.5.

46 — Blake Treinen (RHP reliever)

Age: 32
Team: Dodgers
2019 WAR: -0.3
2020 WAR: 1.4
2021 WAR: 0.6
Giants interest: 5

Treinen falls into a large pool of relievers that the Giants will be interested in, and they’ll likely pick a few based on who can be had for the best deal. He hasn’t been great this postseason, but the Dodgers have still trusted him, and that might push his value up to where the Giants can find an equally good reliever for less money.

Do you want the Giants to pursue any of these five free agents?