After Disappointing 2022, Giants Set Sights On Important Offseason
There was no “even-year magic” for the San Francisco Giants in 2022.
On the heels of a franchise-record 107-win season in 2021, expectations were high in Spring Training for a team that added talents like left-hander Carlos Rodón and outfielder Joc Pederson to its roster.
Following a year in which the offense mashed 241 home runs (second in all of baseball) and the pitching staff boasted a 3.24 ERA (also second in baseball), it seemed as if the Giants were in a good position to defend its National League West crown.
As the 2022 season unfolded, the injuries began to pile up for San Francisco.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) October 3, 2022
Evan Longoria, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood, Brandon Belt, Tommy La Stella, and LaMonte Wade all spent large portions of time on the injured list. The hole that was left behind by legendary catcher Buster Posey loomed large as newcomer Joey Bart struggled to find consistency in the batter’s box. Brandon Crawford regressed after posting MVP-esque numbers in 2021.
In 2021, everything seemed to go right for San Francisco. In 2022, quite the opposite transpired.
After missing the postseason for the fifth time over the past six seasons, it’s time for Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi to swing big this offseason.
Retaining free-agents-to-be Rodón and Pederson will likely rank near the top of Zaidi’s to-do list. Both 2021 signees made the National League All-Star team in 2022, with Rodón (14-8, 2.88 ERA) in line to receive Cy Young Award votes.
When you look at the San Francisco Giants, though, there is one thing that they are missing: star power.
This offseason, there will be several free agents that can move the needle in that department, as shortstops Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, and Dansby Swanson will hit the market this winter. Could the Giants find an heir to Crawford, who could be finishing his career in 2023?
Of course, all eyes will be on New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge this offseason as the Linden native will become a free agent at the end of the postseason. The 30-year-old broke the American League home run record in 2022 after mashing 62 home runs in will surely result in the 6’7 outfielder’s first Most Valuable Player award.
A season unlike any other in the history of our game.
Congratulations on 6⃣2⃣, Aaron! pic.twitter.com/M7RsjcNxbT
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 5, 2022
Several executives around Major League Baseball expect Judge to re-sign with the Yankees, but could Zaidi swoop in with a $300 million offer to bring the local product back to California?
Back on Opening Day, Judge rejected a seven-year, $213 million deal that would have made him the highest-paid position player in New York Yankees franchise history. Now that an MVP season that includes a .311 batting average, 62 home runs, and 131 RBI is on the table, Judge likely added an extra $100 million to his asking price.
Expect the outfielder to be in the market for an eight-to-nine-year deal worth at least $330 million.
San Francisco has to make a swing-for-the-fences (pun intended) type of splash this winter if they want to get back into the thick of the National League pennant race. Judge and the list of All-Star shortstops will be there for the taking. Zaidi should–and is expected to–be aggressive on the free agent market.
For now, we must wait and see how the postseason unfolds as the questions surrounding this franchise’s future begin to mount.
The real work is about to begin for Zaidi and the front office. Let’s just hope that they don’t forget their checkbooks.
San Francisco Giants 2022 Free Agents
- 3B Evan Longoria – $13 million team option for 2023, $5 million buyout
- 1B Brandon Belt
- OF Joc Pederson
- SP Carlos Rodón – $22.5 million player option for 2023