The San Francisco Giants put forth a franchise-best performance in 2021, notching 107 wins to best the Los Angeles Dodgers by one game and force their rivals into the NL Wild Card Game.
Though it didn’t matter because LA defeated San Fran in the NLDS, it certainly affected the Dodgers’ ability to rest their players down the stretch, which doomed them in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves. Had the Giants not powered through from Opening Day until the beginning of October, Max Muncy wouldn’t have been playing in Game 162, Justin Turner would’ve had more off days, and maybe Max Scherzer’s dead arm wouldn’t have been a thing.
After that kind of success, you’d think the Giants would keep their foot on the gas pedal to put more pressure on the Dodgers, who are in the midst of an uncertain offseason that could drastically affect the franchise’s foreseeable future.
But as we already talked about, it seems like they’re blowing a golden opportunity … especially after you learn they never even offered a contract to starting pitcher Kevin Gausman, who has pitched incredibly well against the Dodgers in 2020 and 2021.
The Giants never offered a contract to Kevin Gausman, which is great for the Dodgers.
Gausman ended up signing a five-year, $110 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, subtracting a top-of-the-rotation arm from the roster. San Fran spent nearly $29 million on Gausman over the previous two seasons and unlocked his potential … but were unwilling to commit to him again after a career year?
That’s not the main issue, though. Giants fans better hope their front office has a plan because they lost a key player that would’ve cost just $22 million per year (now a fair price for effective starting pitching) when they have just $120 million committed to their 2022 payroll. And if you look ahead, the 2023 and 2024 numbers are just $128 million and $83 million. This would’ve played no role in holding them back financially.
With so few high-end starting pitching options left in free agency (wait, are there any, actually?), the Giants just suffered a major blow (barring a blockbuster trade) to arguably the most important area of their roster due to their inaction on the open market before the lockout. Not even an offer to a pitcher who finished 2021 sixth in the NL Cy Young race!
We’re certainly not complaining, though. The Giants could’ve kicked the Dodgers while they were down after the losses of Corey Seager and Max Scherzer. Instead, they replaced Gausman with Alex Cobb and will likely let Kris Bryant walk.
Pressure off LA’s front office, that’s for sure.