The San Francisco Giants need to stay away from restricted free agents this offseason, for the sake of their future.
The San Francisco Giants need to re-stock their farm system. Not that it’s atrocious, because it isn’t. But they need to bring the bottom end of the talent up a few notches. They can start doing that with this draft. The last two seasons they’ve made some very good picks through the top five rounds that have slowly replenished their farm system. In fact, their top 15 according to MLBPipeline.com has only three guys not drafted in the first five rounds. The Giants’ draft selection spot is going to land them a lot of talent that can fill in the lower half of their farm.
If the Giants were to sign any player offered a qualifying offer by their ball-club, the Giants would lose their second and fifth draft picks, plus $1million in International Bonus Pool money. That’s a decent hemorrhage to their ability to stock their farm with good young talent. So they have to weigh that out. Is adding one of the restricted free agents so beneficial to them to where they don’t feel like they need those 3-4 players that would come into the system?
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The two players who are under qualifying offers that fit a need the Giants have are Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas. Living in Kansas City has given me a close look at someone Moustakas, and I do really like him. But Mike Moustakas isn’t the guy I’d lose that talent for. Yes, solid hitter. He’d likely hit bombs into the bay a ton. His power is that of a lefty pull, and he’s not one for line drive homers.
But I do have reservations about his ability to stay healthy in the long run, and his ability to last at 3B defensively over the life of a 4-5 year contract. The Giants probably will have a harder time ignoring Moustakas if they can’t get Frazier either. Frazier may not have the hit for average ability that Moustakas does, but he’s better defensively, and has been more consistent over the life of his career.
As for Lorenzo Cain? I’d be able to live with it for Lorenzo Cain. Cain is an awesome centerfielder and is a good hitter as well. There are options behind him that can be good, but aren’t as sure-fire of a player as he is. Austin Jackson hasn’t played a full season in a while, but is really good. The Giants have to take into consideration too, the fact that Steven Duggar might be a legitimate threat to get into the team in the future. So if they believe in Duggar, why would they block him for a long time?
The San Francisco Giants are going to have to make that decision here. Do they blow past the Luxury Tax and lose the ability to stock their system? Or do they blow past the luxury tax but on guys like Jay Bruce and J.D. Martinez? Or do they do nothing at all, sell off, play the kids and start the rebuild? Who knows. We’ll see what happens. But if I had any say, I’d steer well clear of any restricted free agents.