The whiffs keep coming for the San Francisco Giants this offseason. It started with Aaron Judge. Then they couldn't secure Cody Bellinger. Then they brought in Carlos Correa before a medical issue derailed the agreement.
That's left them with the "marquee" additions of Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto, Ross Stripling, Sean Manaea and Taylor Rogers (a combined $147 million in expenditures).
Let's throw a sunk cost in there, shall we?! Their latest addition in Rogers, who will ostensibly help fortify the back end of the Giants' bullpen, required a 40-man move to clear space for the left-hander.
The casualty? Tommy La Stella, who signed a three-year contract before the 2021 season and still has one more year on his deal. The Giants designated the veteran infielder for assignment and willingly ate the $11.5 million owed to him in 2023.
Maybe Farhan Zaidi isn't as good at this as Dodgers fans initially expected when he was working under Andrew Friedman in LA's front office?
Dodgers fans cant get enough of the Giants' troubles this offseason
What's even worse about this whole thing? The Giants backloaded La Stella's contract. The total value of his deal was worth $18.75 million, and he was paid out $7.25 million of that across 2021 and 2022. San Fran is cutting bait just as his salary more than doubles, and will see no return on 61% of the contract!
La Stella's outlier 2019 All-Star season and decent follow-up in the shortened 2020 seemingly duped Zaidi and the Giants. Injuries and scattered playing time have plagued La Stella throughout his career, and that's continued in the Bay Area, where he's appeared in just 136 games across two full seasons and slashed .245/.297/.380 with 43 runs scored, 9 HR and 41 RBI.
This marks another considerable salary tossed aside by the Giants since Zaidi took over as president of baseball operations. Back in 2020, the Giants designated Zack Cozart for assignment in January, before the pandemic fully took hold and salaries ended up being slashed when the season was reduced to 60 games. Because Cozart was released before a decision was made on the length of the 2020 season, the Giants had to pay his $12.67 million salary in full.
Outside of their flukey 107-win 2021 campaign, the Giants remain mired in bad decision making, possess a lack of aggression, and are devoid of any sort of good luck. Their free-agent endeavors crumble, and their attempts on the trade market hardly provide dividends.
Perhaps other teams will soon learn that poaching Friedman's underlings doesn't offer a carbon copy (or even a semblance of it) of the Dodgers' process.