The San Francisco Giants just won an MLB-best 107 games and were a terrible strike call away from potentially advancing to the NLCS. But the Los Angeles Dodgers came out on top, continuing a near-decade-long narrative of dominance.
You’d think LA’s division rivals would want to flip the script during a fortuitous offseason with so much talent available both pre and post lockout. The Giants are a big market team and have a ton of money to spend should they opt to do so before Opening Day, but it appears ownership isn’t taking that route.
With just $120 million committed to the 2022 payroll, there’s a lot of room for this Giants team to improve, and after the departures of key figures such as Kevin Gausman and Buster Posey, they frankly have to. The quickest way to get better is to spend money on proven MLB talent.
Thankfully, for Dodgers fans, this current Giants regime doesn’t see it that way, and we wish them the best in their endeavors. Good luck remaining a top contender without spending … especially after what we could classify as a flukey year.
The Giants will never supplant the Dodgers if they don’t spend in free agency.
Here’s what ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel (subscription required) wrote this week:
"“The Giants make sense with [Kris] Bryant, as their weakest spots in the lineup are the outfield and (depending on what you think about Evan Longoria) third base, but their payroll is expected to balloon in 2022 — maybe to CBT threshold levels. That could mean more than $75 million left to address those spots and maybe add another pitcher or two. Sources believe the Giants aren’t looking to go after nine-figure targets, so any of the aforementioned group of mid-tier free agents that goes for a one- or two-year deal on a contender might have the Giants at the top of their list. As an added enticement, San Francisco has a great track record of improving veterans, both hitters and pitchers, on the way to a big payday.”"
That means no Kris Bryant. Not that they were interested, but you can cross Carlos Correa and Trevor Story off that list — they just re-invested in Brandon Crawford after his first good season in like five years. Forget about Nick Castellanos, Freddie Freeman and Michael Conforto, too. We’re not saying the Giants were eyeing all of these guys, but they’re all expected to make $100 million or more and would no doubt bolster any MLB roster.
So what’s their plan? A bunch of mid-tier free agents? Kyle Schwarber, Carlos Rodón or Jorge Soler? That doesn’t exactly scare anybody, nor does the fact that your best hitters are 34 and older. And it’s not like they can afford to make blockbuster-esque trades. This is the best farm system the Giants have had in a decade and they’re going to need a number of these guys to fill the shoes of Posey and eventually Crawford, Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria and Tommy La Stella in the near future.
Dodgers fans were frustrated when LA didn’t go above and beyond in the bidding for Corey Seager and Max Scherzer, both of whom signed contracts exceeding a combined $450 million. It could always be worse though. You could be rooting for the Giants who are letting a chance to supplant the undisputed NL powerhouse of the last decade to fall by the wayside.