The San Francisco Giants have had a couple of frustrating years. Now they’re sitting at a major crossroads this season thanks to some decisions from Bobby Evans that just haven’t worked out. He’s on the hot seat, deservedly so. Is there a chance he doesn’t get a chance to fix his mess?
After the 2014 World Series, the longest tenured General Manager in Baseball stepped down after what had finally been the pinnacle of his front office career. Well, he didn’t entirely step down. It was more of a vertical move for Sabean. He decided to hire his right hand man as the GM. All internal and it looked nice as an opportunity to keep things going with the same people who had been making championship decisions together.
Sabean’s first year was OK. The Giants missed the playoffs. They went 84-78 and saw their chances dwindle as starting pitching couldn’t quite hold up during the stretch run. They got break out seasons from Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, as well as Joe Panik and Matt Duffy. Duffy came in second to Kris Bryant in Rookie of the Year voting. But the Giants clearly needed some pitching.
So Evans in his second year went and spent big on starting pitching, to the tune of $210 million for two players into their 30’s. Along with the extensions for Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, the Giants payroll took a very big hike in a short amount of time. In two years, the San Francisco Giants Payroll had hiked from ~$165 million at the end of 2014, to ~$200 million at the end of 2016. Between then and now, the Giants payroll fluctuated based on trades and such, but opened at a team highest $203 million this season.
The Giants Fare likely destined to finish the season under .500. Even if they won out, their record under his tenure as GM would still be under .500. That’s how bad it is. And worse yet, they’ve gone 165-220 since the second half of 2016.
History tells us that GM’s who have expensive rosters, but aren’t winning ball clubs, don’t last long. Bobby Evans and the Giants were getting there last season. They’re definitely there now.
The one we haven’t heard from on this is Bobby Evans. It’s all been quiet from him, and the others in the front office. And then of course you have the Bob Nightengale report that the Giants are going to shake things up:
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Frankly, Bobby Evans’ judgement hasn’t been the greatest. While a lot of trades and acquisitions he’s made looked good in the moment, a majority of them have sent him back with egg on the face.
Cueto will miss an entire year of his contract as his elbow finally gave out, you have Samardzija who is getting paid a ton but hasn’t really justified the price tag, save for his 2017 season. Then you have the third most expensive closer in baseball who missed a season and blows a bunch of saves.
This all comes after trading away young, controllable talent in Christian Arroyo and Matt Duffy for Matt Moore and that ridiculous Evan Longoria contract. I do currently like the Longoria deal and what he’s brought to the team, especially in his return from the broken hand.
However, if Arroyo plays well next year, and Longo starts to sour as almost every deal that Bobby Evans has done eventually has, then I’ll be hating it again next year. That’s the root of it all though.
You don’t get to build your resume on how the deal looked when you made it. You build it on how the deal turned out for your club. The current deals he has that he can say, “Hey this turned out positive for us!” are mainly trade aways from mistakes he made anyways. Then throw in Pablo Sandoval, Alen Hanson, Dereck Rodriguez, and Derek Holland, and That’s about it. Oh yeah, the Eduardo Nunez deal looks pretty nice too.
The bottom line is that Bobby Evans has created a relative mess since 2015, and I don’t think he’ll be able to get out of it. They badly mis-judged what they had going into the last two years, and they didn’t exactly get cheaper. They’re hamstrung by bad contracts, and don’t have much in the way of the pipeline coming back in to replace the void left by the “Lincecums”, “Cains”, “Pences”, and eventually the “Poseys” and “Belt’s” of the world.
The San Francisco Giants have issues, and I just don’t think that Bobby Evans is the guy to fix them. I’m starting to believe that Baer and Sabean think the same thing.