Valuable assets, such as 26-year-old Dutch Caribbean shortstop, Andrelton Simmons, are already starting to be traded this off-season and it’s not even December. General managers across the league will indeed approach the 2015-16 off-season aggressively, including the San Francisco Giants’ very own GM, Bobby Evans.
The Giants have been rumored to be interested in their rivals’ number two starter Zack Greinke but the 32-year-old might not be the best answer for the Giants, who don’t have a history of signing top-tier free-agent pitchers.
Assuming Greinke is looking for a deal he fully deserves, this would mean the Giants would have to bring out the big bucks — possibly over 180 million dollars over the course of six years. This would effectively take him to the age of 38 and to end of his major league career.
According to sbnation.com, “The Giants are quietly amassing a bit of a war chest, and they have a very, very obvious goal this offseason: Get a starting pitcher, maybe two. They have about $50 million to spend if they increase their payroll at the same rate they’ve been increasing it … but they might not stop there.”
In the very same article, author Grant Bisbee, mentioned an interesting tidbit about how the Giants will be in a great financial standpoint in the next few years after a real estate project. According to the article, once Proposition D passes, the Giants will have money to spend for themselves.
“If Proposition D passes, and every poll shows it will, the project will be a financial boon for the Giants, giving them a steady stream of money that they won’t have to share with other Major League Baseball teams. When it comes to being able to buy superstars, the new money will raise the Giants to the level of big-market teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and yes, the Dodgers.”
For this off-season though, the Giants should go after the 29-year-old Jordan Zimmermann. The Nationals offered Zimmermann a healthy deal last off-season — 5 years, $105 million. But after a solid 2014 campaign and a great performance against the Giants in the playoffs (8 and 2/3 innings and only 3 hits given up), the right-hander bet on himself to have a great 2015 season, turning down the offer.
According to mccoveychronicles.com, “The Zimmermann whisper is more than just a stray rumor, though” Grant Bisbee writes, “it’s the blueprint of the offseason. For the first time in … ever? …The Giants have a completely clear and unambiguous offseason goal. There are no detours. The possible sidetracks are minimal. If it’s not Zimmermann, it will be Johnny Cueto. If it’s not Cueto, It’ll be Zack Greinke. If it’s not Greinke, it’ll be David Price. If it’s not Price, It’ll be Scott Kazmir. There’s a tier below this, too, and the Giants will be kicking tires and kicking tires and kicking tires on every single starting pitcher.”
Although the possibility of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes coming to San Francisco has been rumored, I do not think he, or any power-hitting outfielder is the number-one answer for the Giants right now.
It’s a sexy scenario for the Giants to think about: having Jarrett Parker play left, Cespedes play center and a healthy Hunter Pence return to the everyday lineup in right field. This would also mean the end of Aoki’s time in SF, although the club did not pick up the left fielder’s option, there are talks of re-signing him. This situation would be plausible enough, as the team would still have Gregor Blanco as the fourth outfielder who would fill in nobly if Parker underperformed.
If the Giants did go this route, they probably would not have the guns to still get Zimmermann. So instead, an alternate way to approach the position player side of things, would be to pull off a crazy trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for Jonathan Lucroy.
This would balance out the Giants’ left-handed heavy lineup, and give Posey and Lucroy both the chance to play half first, half catcher. I would love to see a trade for Lucroy happen; as this would prolong Posey’s career and help his legs stay fresh for the post-season.
The rough part would be: the Giants would definitely have to give up Brandon Belt, which I would be okay with, but I am not sure SF management is. They would likely have to package him with Andrew Susac and maybe even Ray Black, the hard-throwing, highly touted back-end-of-the-bullpen prospect they are in love with.
If they still have the money after signing a couple of good pitchers, I’d say add one veteran position player. But pitching is where they need to improve if they want to make it four even years of World Series titles in a row.