San Francisco Giants fans can rest easy even if the team does not made any big trades or sign any top-tier free agents this offseason.
The calendar has flipped to 2020 and pitchers and catchers will report to spring training in a few short weeks. While other teams have made splashy additions in free agency or on the trade market, the San Francisco Giants have held steady.
That’s not to say they have been completely in action.
Among their notable offseason transactions are a trade to acquire Zack Cozart and infield prospect Will Wilson from the Los Angeles Angels, and the additions of Kevin Gausman and Tyson Ross in free agency.
All of this may be concerning to Giants fans.
Despite the seemingly lackluster performance by the front office this offseason, fans can take solace in the team’s proven ability to make productive moves late in free agency and on into the regular season.
As noted by Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, some of the Giants’ most valuable players last year came to the team well after the start of the new year:
Two of those notable acquisitions came during spring training.
First, the team signed veteran catcher Stephen Vogt on Feb. 14 to serve as backup to Buster Posey. Then, on March 23, minor league pitcher Tyler Herb was sent to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for outfielder Mike Yastrzemski.
Vogt finished with a .263/.314/.490 line while cranking out 10 home runs and 24 doubles in 280 plate appearances. Yastrzemski likely earned himself a starting spot in next year’s outfield after hitting .272/.334/.518 with 21 home runs in 411 trips to the plate in his rookie season.
The acquisition of key contributors kept coming as the season went on.
Pillar was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays on April 2 for Derek Law, Alen Hanson, and minor leaguer Juan de Paula. He would finish the season as the Giants’ top hitter across several statistical categories — hits (157), doubles (37), home runs (21), RBI (87), runs scored (82) and steals (14) — while also playing in the most games (156).
On June 10, Alex Dickerson was acquired from the San Diego Padres at the cost of minor league reliever Franklin Van Gurp. He provided a left-handed power bat, adding six home runs and 26 RBI in just 171 plate appearances while hitting .290/.351/.529. He also proved to be a respectable pinch-hitter, finishing with a .250 batting average when coming off the bench.
So despite the fact that spring training is fast approaching and the Giants have yet to make a splash, a quick review of Farhan Zaidi’s ability to find diamonds in the rough should give fans a chance to breathe. The deals that will best benefit the Giants in 2020 and beyond may be yet to come.