The offseason is officially underway for the San Francisco Giants. A few days of rapid movement on the managerial search front led to a Tuesday announcement that the team would host a Wednesday morning press conference. It was fairly obvious what that press conference would reveal: the team was hiring Bob Melvin to their be manager.
A huge question when the Giants began searching for a manager was how President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi’s expiring contract would impact things. Would managers shy away from signing with a team where the front office leader was potentially in a lame duck year? Would a manager be willing to sign on for more than just one season?
Even The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, who broke the news that the Giants had received permission from the San Diego Padres to interview Melvin and broke the news that the Giants were planning to hire Melvin, wrote on Tuesday that he didn’t know if Melvin would be joining the Giants with more than a one-year deal.
Well now we have a whole lot of clarity on the situation. At Wednesday’s press conference, a giddy Melvin was flanked by Zaidi and Giants chairman Greg Johnson. Zaidi was asked to reveal the length of his new manager’s deal, and said that it is a three-year contract that will keep Melvin in the black and orange through the 2026 season.
Zaidi was then asked a follow-up question to see if he is still entering the final year of his contract. He offered a tentative “yes,” before turning things over to Johnson, who said that the Giants and Zaidi have “agreed in principle” to an extension that will line Zaidi up with Melvin through the 2026 season. Johnson said the Giants will likely announce the deal shortly.
While Zaidi has his fair share of detractors in the fanbase, it’s always a smart thing to align the timelines of a manager and a front office, so that they can truly work together. And a little job security could be the difference between Zaidi making smart long-term moves, and making moves that might increase the win total in 2024 at the expense of 2025 and beyond. So it’s a very good move in my book.
In other contract details, Zaidi revealed that the Padres did not ask for compensation from the Giants to interview or hire Melvin. It was widely expected that compensation would be, at most, very minimal, and certainly seems that the main compensation San Diego was looking for was the right to not have to pay Melvin next year. So, mission accomplished.
Now Zaidi and Melvin can get to work with a free agency period that kicks off sometime between November 5 and November 9, depending on how the World Series plays out. While Johnson made some comments about the Giants spending habits that I’d prefer to pretend weren’t said, Zaidi and Melvin both sounded excited about the team-building task ahead of them, and it was pretty easy to see why players are so effusive in their praise for the three-time Manager of the Year.
Melvin’s chops as a manager and recruiter are why the Giants hired him, but it was a delight hearing the Bay Area native talk about the city and the organization. Asked if he’d ever imagined being the Giants manager, Melvin said that he did so every single time that he managed at Oracle Park. He made it very clear that managing the Giants is the dream of all dreams for him, and said that it was the only job he would have listened to.
BoMel says the Giants' managerial role was "the only one" he would've listened to pic.twitter.com/smNXPUgJEZ— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) October 25, 2023
Excited to have you, Bob. Here’s to the next three years.
Now let’s see if the deal is Logan Webb approved.
"I'm very excited, especially growing up an A's fan."— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) October 25, 2023
Logan Webb on his initial reaction to the Bob Melvin hire pic.twitter.com/sSa8DH5nVj