A lot has been made about the how old the San Francisco Giants lineup was in 2017, and the way it looks to be the same in 2018. Is that a problem?
I certainly think the way you win championships is with a mix of young and old. Right now the Giants just look to be old, with very little young mixed in — and no youth close to contributing.
After April 20th at least five players in the Giants current lineup will be 30 or older. And of our top three starting pitchers, only Madison Bumgarner will be under 30.
The way we view ages in baseball has changed over the past several years as steroids have left the game for the most part. Before a player could be a key contributor well into their mid-30s. Now things are more back to normal as a player tends to decline after their age 32 season.
Of the nine players I’m referring to above, only three will play the 2017 season at 32 or older. Obviously Hunter Pence will be the oldest at 34 (35 after April 13), but there is a good chance he’s either not on this team to start 2018, or is a fourth outfielder for the team.
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So the way I see it, the Giants have a two-to-three year window to win with this group of players before they become “too old.”
The San Francisco Giants aren’t done making moves this offseason, so there is hope they can add youth to the lineup. The problem with that is, you have to give up youth for youth. Anyone you sign through free agency is going to either be old or close to being old, so to get young you have to make trades.
As many of you are aware, the Giants don’t have a lot of young players in their farm system. At some point you have to develop and hope to get young through your prospects — as the Giants did at the beginning of their World Series runs.
So are the San Francisco Giants old? I believe the answer is yes, but not too old. I think the front office sees a small window left with this core and is trying to win now instead of investing for the future. That’s all well and good, but you better win.