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Where the San Francisco Giants Can Shed Payroll

Jake Mastroianni
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 31: Hunter Pence (right) #8 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with Denard Span #2 after scoring on a sacrifice fly hit by Carlos Moncrief #39 of the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning against the St Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on August 31, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 31: Hunter Pence (right) #8 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with Denard Span #2 after scoring on a sacrifice fly hit by Carlos Moncrief #39 of the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning against the St Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on August 31, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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As the San Francisco Giants look to turn things around for 2018, they may need to try and shed some current contracts of aging players.

The Giants’ current payroll for 2018 is already at around $160 million. The tax threshold in 2018 will be $197 million, which gives the Giants a little over $30 million to play with.

That’s essentially enough for one big free agent signing or trade. And we all know it’s going to take more than that for the Giants to win in 2018.

For example, if the Giants were to trade for Giancarlo Stanton — and not move any big contracts in the process — they’d have around $10 million left before hitting the luxery tax for 2018.

That might be enough to go out and make a few small signings, or perhaps one more substantial one. But it’s still not enough to turn this ship around.

What the Giants would love to do is shed some of the current contracts they posses.

Here are a few players the Giants could try to move to open up payroll:

Jeff Samardzija – $19.8 million

Hunter Pence – $18.5 million

Brandon Belt – $17.2 million

Denard Span – $11 million

Matt Moore – $ 9 million

Obviously not all of these players can or will get moved, but this is a list to pick from.

With some of these players too, you’d have to find an equal or better replacement at a cheaper value. That’s why I don’t think it makes sense to move Samardzija unless someone makes you an offer you can’t refuse.

The same could be said for Moore, as he’s not costing you that much, but he also had an ERA of 5.52 in 2017. If someone else wants to take a chance on Moore and eat half of his salary for us, that would save us four or five million. And I think we could find a more consistent pitcher to replace him.

Pence is an obvious one to me as I’ve wrote about before. Even if someone just pays for half of his contract we’re opening up close to $10 million that can be used in free agency or in a trade.

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I would love to get rid of Span, but I doubt anyone is going to take on much of his salary. Still, if they can find someone who needs a veteran fourth outfielder that will take on three to four million of his contract, that’s more money to use.

The big one is Brandon Belt. He’s signed to a comfortable $17.2 million each of the next four years. And he’s still a productive player in some eyes, so I would think a team would be willing to take on most of that contract.

This past season wasn’t his best year, so now might not be the time to sell on Belt. But if the interest is out there, I think we could move him to open up some space.

Don’t forget, next offseason will be one of the biggest free agent classes in history. So part of dumping this salary now or during next season, is to be ready for that free agent class.

Next: Saltzman: What I am Thankful For as a San Francisco Giants Fan

As for this offseason, I think the Giants would do well to move both Pence and Span. That alone could open up over $10 million, giving them a little over $40 million to spend this offseason.

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