As the NLCS moves to San Francisco for games three, four, and five, the Giants are just three games away from playing in their third World Series in five seasons. When the season ends, however it ends, Brian Sabean and the Giants’ front office will have many moves to make in the offseason to ensure they make the playoffs in 2015. Here are my keys for the offseason:
1. Acquire right-handed bat for left field
When the Giants signed Michael Morse in the offseason before the 2014 season to play left field there were many questions lingering about his fielding ability. He was bad. In 579 innings in left he had negative nine defensive runs saved, negative 11 UZR, and an overall defensive value of negative eighteen, according to FanGraphs. An everyday left field is needed, specifically right-handed.
Your options are to trade Brandon Belt for one, send away your top prospects or sign one. Guys like Starling Marte, Michael Cuddyer, Giancarlo Stanton (SOMEHOW), Alex Rios, Ben Zobrist, Nelson Cruz, Marlon Byrd, Steve Pearce, and Drew Stubbs.
2. Re-sign Pablo Sandoval
Who could the Giants possibly acquire, for less than Sandoval’s deal that could bring the same value?The price will likely be up to five years, $100 million, but the alternate options are not there. In 869 games with San Francisco, he has a combined FanGraphs WAR of 20.9 with a 122 wRC+. In 29 postseason games he has a 150 wRC+ and had a pretty memorable night in 2012. Also, he is 28 years old!
3. Let Jake Peavy walk, acquire a starter
Ryan Vogelsong and Jake Peavy are free agents in the offseason, which leaves the Giants with Madison Bumgarner, Tim Hudson, Matt Cain, Yusmeiro Petit, and Tim Lincecum. If Peavy re-signs, it will have to be for at least one-year, $11.6 million due to the 80% re-signing rule.
Some options could be Jon Lester (Non-qualified), James Shields (Qualified), Jason Hammel (Non-qualified), Justin Masterson (Non-qualified), Ervin Santana (Qualified), and Francisco Liriano. You could also trade Belt for a starter or Susac for a starter. I was thinking something like Susac for Jeremy Hellickson or Alex Cobb?
4. Acquire bench depth
The Giants’ bench in 2014 was brutal. Joaquin Arias, Matt Duffy, Ehire Adrianza, Juan Perez, Gary Brown, and Travis Ishikawa won’t get it done. San Francisco was lucky enough to catch lightning in a bottle with Joe Panik and Andrew Susac, but you can’t always get away with having a poor bench.
Acquiring players such as: Craig Gentry, Jarrod Dyson, Steve Pearce, Ryan Flaherty, Kelly Johnson, Martin Prado, Jordy Mercer, Gaby Sanchez, or Mark Reynolds would help out the Giants in order to make the playoffs in 2015.
5. Sign free agent reliever Andrew Miller
Two years, $18 million could land the deceptive lefty and use him and Santiago Casilla in high leverage situations. Hunter Strickland might not be ready for that role (HAS GIVEN UP 4 HOME RUNS THIS POSTSEASON), but constructing a bullpen has become key this offseason for many clubs including the Dodgers, Tigers, and Angels. It is clear that Sergio Romo is good as gone as he is a pending free agent who is going to get overpaid somewhere. Acquiring an elite reliever like Miller could make the Giants tough in late inning.
The 29-year-old 6’7 southpaw posted a 2.02 ERA in 62.1 innings pitched with the Red Sox and Orioles. He had an astounding 14.87 strikeouts per nine innings, 1.51 FIP, and a 2.3 fWAR. FanGraphs says he was worth $12.7 million in 2014. $28 million for his career (492 innings pitched).
What are your thoughts? I know the season isn’t over, but it’s never too early to start thinking about their future!