FanPost

The Giants approach to acquiring players is weak and is not working


Hi there. I'm Gabe Vaughan, the host of Giants Baseball 101 on YouTube. I'm glad I could join sbnation.

Right now, I think we need to run through the reality of where the Giants stand and why it is that they are unable to make an impact in the free agent market. While one might be tempted to start by saying that this offseason was a piece of terrible luck, and that it came as an unexpected blow, I believe the story goes back further.

Remember, first of all, that there was not a whole lot of significant action in the 2021-22 offseason. No doubt it looked to the front office as if the team was already in prime shape, since it had just had a 107-win 2021 season. But, if you correctly analyze the key to the Giants success in 2021, you find out quickly that it in no way justified free agent market inactivity in the offseason. 2021 was, as we all know, largely the result of veteran resurgence. Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Evan Longoria all rebounded to have tremendous seasons. But this isn't something we could have expected to last, and it didn't. Posey retired, and Crawford and Belt regressed significantly. Longoria, who had a .767 OPS (baseballreference.com, n.d.)*[1] was still pretty good in 2022, but it wasn't enough to change the Giants' destiny. The 2022 season results may have come as a surprise to some, but it my mind they are not all that surprising.

And what of the Trade Deadline? The Giants did manage to look pretty good in most of the first half of 2022, and when July rolled around they were well into contention. Adding to the roster at the deadline was the message. They even had a good chance of landing Juan Soto from the Nationals. He would have been highly priced, but probably worth it. And then the Giants lost their momentum, running into a seven game losing streak, including a four game sweep by the Dodgers. The front office's drive to buy went into a decline, despite the fact that the Giants never slipped below realistic playoff hopes during that final week. Now, instead of thinking of grabbing Juan Soto, the Giants were actually thinking of trading Carlos Rodon.

Some suggested that the Giants should not go all in on either buying or selling, but instead do a little of both, and try to reinforce the bullpen a bit. But I honestly never gave up my desire for them to go all in on the buying, as I believed that the only sensible thing in their case was to choose one path or the other. After all, I reasoned, they were in Wild Card position, but had no chance unless they drastically improved their roster.

In the end, Rodon wasn't traded, but the roster was not significantly improved for the better, though trade acquisition JD Davis made a big impact, posting a .857 OPS (baseballreference.com, n.d.)*[2]. Overall, the result of the deadline was something that I couldn't understand. Keeping Carlos Rodon obviously meant that Farhan Zaidi had some kind of playoff hope in 2022, but he also expected the roster to push for the Wild Card spot constructed as it was. My point is that the team wasn't good enough. If more had been done, they might have caught up to that final Wild Card spot. But if they weren't going to be improved, I honestly think it would have been better to go ahead and trade Rodon and acquire new good prospects (particularly since we don't see their farm system producing them for the most part). So at the end of the day, I don't know what was supposed to happen, but I still think this year could have been a playoff run.

And then we have the current offseason. Farhan Zaidi thought it would be big. I sincerely believed that the Giants would find a way to rescue themselves this winter. But I still can't figure out how the loss of Aaron Judge happened. The Giants were one small step away from signing him.

Just look at the value of Judge's contract with the Yankees: 9 years, $360 million. That's not high enough for him in times like these. What I am saying is that the Giants should not have let him go for that amount. If it had taken the extreme of 10 years, $450 million, the Giants should have spent it to get Judge on their team.

The New York Mets are a great example of a team that knows how to play baseball, because they spend like a pro. In fact, they even lured Carlos Correa away from the Giants after they cast uncertainty on his health during his physical. Now, when you know that a guy is the last superstar on the board, I would say you don't do something that will turn him off.

The interesting thing is that the Mets haven't confirmed his deal either, and they are much better equipped than the Giants to exercise this caution and avoid a potential financial risk. I mean, the Mets can certainly contend without Correa. So I'm not saying what they should and shouldn't do. This is about the Giants and how they are in desperate need of superstar talent. And they have tried to take this opportunity to bring Correa back into San Francisco, but it appears to be too late.

Is it that it's too late, or is it that the Giants aren't doing enough about it? This all ties in to what I was saying about last offseason and the Trade Deadline. I think if the Giants offered the 13 years and $350 million to Correa that they were originally planning on, he'd be much more likely to return. It's a risk, but sometimes you've got to take risks. Scott Boras doesn't believe Correa's leg issue is a serious reason for concern. Yeah I know he's biased, but I still believe he speaks the truth.

At the end of the day, the Giants haven't been deliberate enough about anything. It's not enough to say they tried to do stuff. A good team needs to be able to make things happen.

*References:

1. Evan Longoria. (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2023,

from https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/longoev01.shtml

2. J.D. Davis. (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2023,

from https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/davisjd01.shtml

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