What Have the Giants Been Up to This Offseason?


The Dodgers will be formerly introducing their new 2015 shortstop Jimmy Rollins on Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. The offseason for the Dodgers has been abuzz with a flurry of moves which mostly went down during the MLB winter meetings last month in San Diego. The Dodgers have revamped their bullpen, defense, middle infield and back of their rotation along with adding depth to their minor league stash. The moves have been sweeping by the new front office headed by Andrew Friedman.

Even though the Dodgers have won two consecutive National League West division titles, the Wild Card San Francisco Giants came back to win it all in typical black and orange style to all our dismay. It was a heartbreaking loss to the St. Louis Cardinals for the second year in a row which segued into the epic nightmare which was the World Series. The Giants predictably knocked out the Kansas City Royals and picked up their trifecta of triumph. It’s all too nauseating to write about or to admit, yet the Dodgers will still need to defend their N.L. West crown from their rivals again next season.

The guys over at McCovey Chronicles feel that their offseason has been disappointing. Well, that’s always nice to hear. Their biggest move of the offseason could very well be their acquisition of new third baseman Casey McGehee. That makes me feel very good about the Dodgers offseason.

Nov 25, 2014; Boston, Ma, USA; A man in a panda costume greets Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval after the introductory press conference at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers and Giants both lost offensive production out of their lineup when Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval left for Boston. For once, I can sympathize with San Francisco’s disdain for Boston this winter after they scooped up both sluggers and moved them out of the National League. Even though I’m happy to see those ugly panda hats retired, I sort of enjoyed watching Sandoval play in our division. He was surprisingly agile at the hot corner, and his athleticism was quite astounding being that he was well, plump. Anyhow, Hanley and Pablo are gone and the Giants are left with a certainly weaker third baseman.

What else has happened up north? Tim Hudson had ankle surgery, and he will be out eight weeks. Unless the Giants sign James Shields or Max Scherzer, their rotation seems a bit shaky with the rusty Hudson, the reliever-but-maybe-a-starter-again Tim Lincecum, the questionable Matt Cain and Jake “don’t get me peeved” Peavy. The Giants also lost left-hander Mike Kickham to the Cubs who claimed him off waivers this offseason. The Dodger rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson seems infinitely better especially if McCarthy and Anderson stay healthy. It doesn’t look like the Giants plan to pick up any front line starter this season, and they will instead look to their farm system or non-roster invites. Of course the Giants have World Series Madison Bumgarner who is seemingly unstoppable during the postseason.

Even though the Giants have lost Michael Morse and Pablo Sandoval, they still have some productive hitters in Hunter Pence, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey and the up and coming second baseman Joe Panik. Their second half offensive resurgence was a big reason for their successful push into the postseason.

The Giants also had a much better bullpen than the Dodgers last season with Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo. Another offseason move by the Giants was the resigning of Romo for 2-years and $15 million. Even though Romo blew some saves last summer, he has been an integral part of the Giants three championships.

"“He’s meant so much to our success,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “So much is talked about with our bullpen. Whether setting up or closing, I thought it was important for our team, for our bullpen. Sergio knows all of us, we know him, there’s a sense of comfort there. We know what we’re getting, a very good pitcher who’s comfortable pitching late in the ballgame. I can’t say enough about how he carried himself this year. I know we made a switch there. He was all about winning.”"

Even though the Giants haven’t made any splashy moves like the Dodgers have this offseason, we shouldn’t let our guard down against them next season. They are still a World Series caliber team, and they always seems to scrape up someone mid-year who somehow becomes their magic token. Travis Ishikawa? Really?

The front office of the Giants have cohesively put together some fantastic teams over the past few years. Brian Sabean and company have compiled some impressive accolades, and they continue to produce results even though they are far from perfect. While the Giants have had a quiet offseason, the noise made by Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi will only be enjoyably audible if it equals bringing the World Series trophy to Los Angeles.