The San Francisco Giants shouldn’t re-sign any of their free agents. Not Pablo Sandoval, nor Michael Morse, nor Jake Peavy, nor Sergio Romo nor Ryan Vogelsong. I love these guys. They’ve brought highs and lows, ups and downs, and a World Series Championship — or two, or three in the case of some. It’s been an incredible journey with a truly incredible team, but it’s time to move on. The answer is from within: rookies. Unbeknownst to almost everyone, even the Giants themselves, the Giants actually have a strong group of young hitters ready to conquer the big leagues. Or try, anyway.
Following this plan would be far from glamorous. It would most likely upset the fans. Having said that, if you think pragmatically, it’s a pretty great idea. I mean, look no further than the Boston Red Sox. Ignore the horrible record, and what they did on the heels of winning the World Series Championship was nothing short of exemplary. Rather than going all out in attempt to achieve the almost impossible task of winning back-to-back World Series rings, they were clever. They cleared space for their plethora of talented rookies, and bought some time for the ones who weren’t quite ready.
If everything fell into place, they would’ve been World Series contenders. As the Giants know better than anyone else, everything must fall into place to win the ultimate prize. Look at it this way: if the Giants resign their free agents, and construct a roster similar to last seasons, they have a legitimate chance of going all the way again next year. If they clear space for the talented rookies, and everything falls into place, they have a chance of making the postseason. If they resign their experienced free agents and fail? They fail in the long run. The Giants could essentially become the Phillies. And what a painful thought that is.
They could potentially end up with lots of old, underachieving, overpaid ball players. And for what? On the contrary, if they integrate the young talent through, things could be very different. If they fail next season, the year after is only even more exciting. If the rookie gamble doesn’t pay off, the sophomore gamble is a lot more likely to. It gives the Giant a chance at going for the postseason next season, and for many years after that. It gives them a future.
The team would look something like this, and it excites me massively. Andrew Susac would be the catcher. Susac is better than Joe Panik if you ask me, which is saying something. His bat is dependable, and could be a main fixture in the middle of the Giants’ order. He knocked in 20% of runners this season, which was good enough for second in baseball, behind Miguel Cabrera. (It’s a tiny sample size, but a tough one to ignore.) Furthermore, his defensive ability behind the plate, would probably be equal to Poseys. Which is encouraging. I seriously think that if not this season, the year after, Susac is a 100 runs batted in, kind-of-hitter.
In turn, Buster Posey moves to first. Which excites me even more. His offensive production at first would make him an MVP again. What’s more, as a permanent first baseman, I actually think he’d be a gold glover. Something Kruk and Kuip pointed out towards the end of the season made me realise this. When Posey is ‘resting’ at first, he’s a pretty good defensive player. He never practises first. Never. Can you imagine what he could do if he practised a little over spring, and during the season. He’d be a gold glover — with a huge bat.
Oct 26, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) and catcher Buster Posey (28) celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Royals during game five of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The middle infield would be as you were. Brandon Crawford and Panik is a pretty nice, long term partnership if you ask me. At third? Let it be a competition. Tell Adam Duvall, Chris Dominguez, Hector Sanchez and Matt Duffy (bearing in mind Posey could maybe play third) that there’s a spot open for whoever wants to be the San Francisco Giants’ third baseman for the future. Spring training would be one massive audition, and it’d be really fun. Assuming Duvall/Dominguez wins the competition, there is some serious home run power now residing at third. Pablo Sandoval, who?
The outfield would consist of Brandon Belt, Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence. If that doesn’t excite you, what will. Essentially, the Giants would have twenty home runs in left, an incredible, when healthy, leadoff hitter in centre and Pence in right, who needs no build up. Susac, Posey, Panik, Crawford, Duvall/Dominguez, Belt, Pagan and Pence is a good team. What’s more, if it doesn’t play well this year, who cares? They’ve about six years of being brilliant. I don’t want anyone resigned. I want this Giants team to have a chance.
Pitching is probably the Giants’ biggest problem, however. If no money is splashed on the lineup, like it shouldn’t, there will be plenty to go round for the rotation. Someone like Jon Lester, Max Scherzer or James Shields could be signed. Someone like Cole Hamels could be traded for – we have an abundance of young pitching, and guys like Perez, Scutaro and Sanchez can all be shopped. And I don’t see why there won’t be a few dollars left over for Andrew Miller, or Sergio Romo. Okay, maybe we should resign Romo. But other than that, lets give the rookies a chance. Let’s build a future.