Giants: Remembering the 2014-15 MLB offseason transactions
By Joel Reuter
With the 2019-20 MLB offseason right around the corner, let’s take a look back at how the San Francisco Giants fared in recent offseasons. Next up, the 2014-15 offseason.
An offseason of roster retooling awaits the San Francisco Giants as they continue to work toward future success.
Before free agency and the rumor mill kick into high gear, we’re taking a look back at the past decade of offseason wheelings and dealings by the team.
We’ve already looked back on the 2009-10 offseason, 2010-11 offseason, 2011-12 offseason, 2012-13 offseason and 2013-14 offseason, so we’re up to the winter immediately following their third World Series title.
The beginning of the end, so to speak.
We know that in hindsight, but heading into the 2015 season, the Giants had legitimate aspirations of contention once again.
Here’s a closer look at all of the notable moves the team made that winter:
Notable Free Agency Departures
- OF Michael Morse
- 3B Pablo Sandoval
The big departure here was obviously Pablo Sandoval, who wound up signing a five-year, $90 million deal with the Boston Red Sox.
While letting him walk proved to be the right decision after he flopped in Boston, the gap it created at third base led to one of the most ill-advised trades of the decade. More on that in a bit.
Slugger Michael Morse also cashed in, albeit to a slightly lesser degree, after 130 OPS+ with 32 doubles and 16 home runs in 2014. He signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Miami Marlins.
Notable Free Agency Additions
- SP Jake Peavy (2 years, $24 million)—re-signed
- RP Sergio Romo (2 years, $15 million)—re-signed
- OF Nori Aoki (1 year, $4.7 million)
- SP Ryan Vogelsong (1 year, $4 million)—re-signed
- RP Cory Gearrin (MiLB deal)
- OF Justin Maxwell
Once again, the biggest signings of the offseason for the Giants were to re-up with their own key free agents, with Jake Peavy, Sergio Romo and Ryan Vogelsong all playing a crucial role in the team’s 2014 title run.
Nori Aoki was the most impactful newcomer, hitting .287/.353/.380 for a 103 OPS+ with 20 extra-base hits and 14 steals in what would be his lone season with the Giants.
Cory Gearrin didn’t see much action in 2015, but he later emerged as a solid contributor in the bullpen. Outfielder Justin Maxwell showed some decent pop with eight doubles and seven home runs in 274 plate appearances, but he hit just .209/.275/.341 in the process.
- 3B Casey McGehee acquired from Miami Marlins in exchange for RHP Kendry Flores, RHP Luis Castillo
Looking to replace Pablo Sandoval at the hot corner, the front office swung a trade for Casey McGehee after he hit .287/.355/.357 with 76 RBI in 2014.
However, he hit just .213/.275/.299 in 138 plate appearances before he was released, with Matt Duffy eventually taking over the job.
While Kendry Flores was the centerpiece prospect at the time of the trade, Luis Castillo has since emerged as one of the most promising young pitchers in baseball after being traded again to the Cincinnati Reds.
He would look awfully good at the top of the San Francisco rotation right now.
After winning a World Series in 2014, the Giants backslid to an 84-78 record in 2015 to finish second in the NL West and miss the postseason. A busy 2015-16 offseason awaited as they looked to get back on track. More on that next time.