Owner: San Francisco Baseball Association, Charles B. Johnson, net worth, $6.1 Billion.
World Series Titles: 1905, 1921, 1922, 1933, 1954, 2010, 2012, 2014
Greatest Player: C Willie Mays
Division: NL West
Payroll: 13th, $173,090,000
2022 Result: 81-81, 3rd place in NL West.
General Manager: Pete Putila
Manager: Gabe Kapler, 47, 378-330, No World Series titles.
Home Field: Oracle Park, capacity, 41,915
Key Additions: When the Giants couldn’t land either of their top two elite free agents – SS Carlos Correa and MVP Aaron Judge – there was a lot of money to spend. And Putila seemingly spent it wisely. But unless he could bring Babe Ruth and Willie Mays back from the afterlife, the signings weren’t going to shake the baseball world.
Still, the Giants came away with a roster of potential:
OF Mitch Haniger, 32, inked a three-year, $43.5 million contract. He was limited to 57 games last season with an ankle injury but he belted 39 home runs with an OPS of .803 in 157 games.
P Sean Manaea was signed for two years and $25 million and slots in as the No.3 starter. He’s coming off a career-worst 4.96 ERA but his career ERA is 4.06.
P Ross Stripling signed a two-year, $25 million deal. The 33-year-old veteran is coming off a 10-4 season with a 3.01 ERA. If he can come close to duplicating those numbers the Giants got a No.4 starter at a very reasonable number.
The last out-of-house signing is the most the most intriguing. DH/OF Michael Comforto was once the face of the Mets, or at least a fan favorite. He suffered a season-ending shoulder injury and missed just about all of 2022 after undergoing surgery. The Giants took a calculated chance, signing him to a two-year, $36 million. Comforto has smacked 132 homers, driven in 396 RBIs with an .824 OPS.
The Giants retained OF Joc Pederson, who accepted a one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer, contract. Reliever Taylor Rogers (three-year, $33 million), and reliver Luke Jackson (two-year, $11.5 million.
Might be time to change the name of the Giants to Busy Bees – if the hives flourishes.
Key Losses: One could argue that if you never had a player, you can’t lose him. But when you go after two whales and don’t even come home with a guppy, it stings. Meanwhile, the teams in the southern part of the state – and division – were reeling in Jaws. The Giants swung hard for Correa and netted him with a 13-year, $350 million deal. Then the doctors took a look, and asked if Correa comes with a no-fault policy. It’s probably not a comfort that the Mets came to a similar conclusion.
The Giants also emerged as the most serious contender to lure Judge away from the Yankees. San Fran’s offer reportedly was more than New York’s but the Yankees offered the coveted captaincy, the possibility of a future in the broadcast booth and Madison Avenue has enough Judge campaigns to make the folks at Madmen happy.
Key Injury: The Giants had expectations of prospect Marco Luciano making the big-league roster next year, if not the second half of this season. Now all bets are off after the shortstop was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back this offseason. The Giants believe there will be no long-term effects of the injury but there’s no timetable for this season.
Prospect alert: When you’ve sign free agents to be your No.3 and 4 starters, the prospect of a prospect breaking into the rotation is possible. Which is what could happen with RP Kyle Harrison. The 21-year-old was considered more a style/technique throwing coming out of high school but as he’s developed physically since graduation, he’s added velocity. Harrison throws a four-seam fastball, a slider and a changeup with impressive results. Last season he led Double-AA ball whiffs per nine (14.8_ and whiff percentage (39.8). Seeing Harrison in San Fran seems like a real possibility, especially if the Giants are out of the Wildcard running later in the season.
Scouting Report:Over/Under Wins: 78.5, 3rd place in NL West. Consider the Giants the Cubs of the West Division. The Dodgers and Padres (or Padres and Giants) are two of the elite teams in baseball, with payrolls to back them. The Padres are 4th; the Giants 5th. The Giants are 13th, which is nothing to be ashamed of. But it’s a far cry from the neighborhood their southern neighbors reside.
The Giants made sensible moves in free agency after they couldn’t sign Correa and Judge. But take a look at the rotation and lineup and ask yourself if there’s true reason for optimism for a playoff spot. Pederson led the team home runs with 23. Meh. Wilmer Flores led the team in RBI with 71. Meh. And your second baseman shouldn’t be your RBI leader.
Take a look at the rotation. Logan Webb, 26, (15-9, 2.90, 163Ks) is one of the game’s top young pitchers. He still has room for improvement and can be an anchor for years to come. But the rest of rotation is as inspiring as a visit to Alcatraz.
The best thing the Giants might have going for them is that the teams they finished ahead of – Arizona and Colorado – are retched. Not exactly inspiring. We’re not hire on the Giants. Take the under on the 78.5 and take Conforto to have more than 350 at-bats, which would make for a feel good story and trigger markers in his contract that could allow him to become a free agent and restart his career. At 29, he’s got a lot of baseball to play.
BetBasics Best Bet: The question when considered the Giants is how much to you put your faith in assembling a team through free agency. We’re all for adding a few free agents to augment a team, including landing a stud or two.
The Giants failed to do accomplish which has a bad vibe blowing in Bay City. The third and fourth options in the rotation come via free agency. There is no position player who scares your socks off.
Yes, baseball is a marathon, not a short story so there is time for these pieces to come together. But, where will the Giants be in the standings when that time comes? We think it won’t come soon, it comes at all. We think the Giants will be fortunate to win 75 games. Very fortunate.