Following the 2018 season, Bobby Evans was out as the Giants General Manager. In his four years as General Manager he took a defending World Series champion and turned them into one of the worst teams in baseball with a bleak future.
That doesn’t just apply to the major league roster, that applies to the rest of the organization. The Giants currently have the 4th worst farm system in baseball and many of their top prospects are just teenagers who are many years away from becoming major league contributors.
How bad is the Giants farm system? I’ll put it this way: Farhan Zaidi selected Michael Gerber off waivers from the Detroit Tigers, and selected Drew Ferguson and Travis Bergen in the Rule 5 draft. All three of those players immediately were placed in the Giants top 30 prospects. In other words, the cast-offs from other organizations minor league systems are near the top of the Giants minor league system.
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However, there is a lot to learn from Bobby Evans and in a lot of ways Bobby Evans is a victim of Giants ownership and the fan base’s lust for championships. It is unfortunate, but Bobby Evans and GMs like him are the reason for why the past two off-seasons have been so slow. All of his incredibly player friendly contracts stick out like sore thumbs when examining how a team can fall so far so fast. Furthermore, the blame doesn’t fall squarely on Bobby’ Evans shoulders. His scouting and analytics staff let him down in a major way, but in the end Bobby Evans was the face of the front office.
It’s more than likely that the pressure to win forced Bobby Evans to overextend himself and make moves that he thought would help the team win in the short-term without thinking about the long view of the team or the larger scope of the entire organization.
The pressure to win forced Bobby Evans to continually dip into their farm system in order to obtain players that he thought would help the Giants return to championship form. He did it time and time again, and too many times he was wrong.
Bobby Evans legacy now is not only tied to the current structure of the organization, but will be defined by the careers of Evan Longoria, Kyle Crick, Luis Castillo, Bryan Reynolds, Abiatal Avelino, and Juan DePaula. In his defense, Bobby Evans didn’t really get “burned” on any of these trades (yet), but they did not return the value he anticipated. Perhaps Juan DePaula is the real deal and becomes the Giants ace for years to come. Will that absolve Bobby Evans of the mess he created in his tenure as Giants GM? Obviously, time will tell.
Farhan Zaidi has his work cut out for him. In addition to the bad farm system, he’s also inherited a lot of bad contracts, many of which have no trade protections making them even harder to move. Farhan Zaid is a very smart man and has cleaned up messes before. Perhaps he will bring in Marie Kondo as his GM to help him Tidy Up, so the Giants can “spark joy” in its fan base again sometime soon. I should probably stop watching Netflix and go outside.