Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Giants offseason wish list: San Francisco should seek rotation help; another run for Max Scherzer possible?

The 2021-22 MLB offseason is a few weeks old and we’re still waiting for the first major move to happen. That’s not unusual — like the MLB season itself, the offseason is a marathon rather than a sprint — though the impending expiration of the collective bargaining agreement throws a giant wrench into the hot stove. Still, baseball’s offseason is underway.

With that in mind, we’re going to examine each prospective buyer’s offseason wish list over the next few days, continuing with the San Francisco Giants. Let’s get to it.

Starting pitching

It’s not an exaggeration to write that the Giants could lose their rotation to free agency. The Giants had seven pitchers make at least five starts for them last season: only Logan Webb and Sammy Long remain under team control. Meanwhile, Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, and Alex Wood are all attractive free agents. (Johnny Cueto, who had his club option declined, should appeal to teams, too.) The Giants will clearly have to add multiple starters to the mix between now and next spring.

Wish list: The Giants can go any number of ways to staffing their rotation, beginning with retaining one (or more) of the aforementioned free agents. San Francisco could also take another run at adding Max Scherzer, or even seek out help through trades. The Reds, who appear more interested in saving coins than winning games, could make for a good trade partner given their employment of Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Tyler Mahle

Middle-of-the-order bat

Between Buster Posey’s retirement, Kris Bryant’s free agency, and presumed regression from several of the Giants’ key hitters, it’s likely Farhan Zaidi will look to buttress his lineup with external additions. We’ve kept it vague — “middle-of-the-order bat” — because the Giants’ versatile roster could introduce players at any number of positions with no problem.

Wish list: The Giants could go any number of ways here, beginning with retaining Bryant. Seiya Suzuki would make sense, giving them an everyday outfielder with a dynamic skill set. Versatile free agents like Mark Canha and Chris Taylor could also appeal to the Giants. If the Giants are confident that the universal DH is coming, that would open things up even more for them. They could go after a pure DH type, a Nelson Cruz or a Jorge Soler, or they could get creative and add another infielder that would enable them to rotate their players through the DH spot as a means of keeping everyone fresh. 


Posey’s retirement means the Giants might be in the market for a new catcher for the first time in a long time. Of course, it’s possible the Giants are comfortable proceeding with Joey Bart and Curt Casali behind the plate. We wouldn’t be too surprised, though, if they at least sweep the market to see who is available. 

Wish list: Unfortunately for the Giants, there aren’t many good catching options available on the free-agent market (unless they like either Yan Gomes or Roberto Pérez, anyway). The trade market should offer better options, including Jacob Stallings, Mitch Garver, and potentially Carson Kelly. Garver, who has two seasons of team control remaining, might be the most realistic of those targets.

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