San Francisco Giants: Grading the 2019-20 offseason
It wouldn’t be the offseason if we didn’t talk about roster subtraction as well.
This was the roughest part of the offseason for the club.
The biggest and most painful loss was without a doubt the departure of longtime ace Madison Bumgarner.
Throughout the 2019 season, there was hope among the fans that Bumgarner would re-sign with the team and finish his career in San Francisco. But on December 17, he signed with the NL West rival Arizona Diamondbacks on a five-year, $85 million deal.
Losing Bumgarner was one of the worst gut punches to the team because he was not only their ace, but also one of the main leaders in the clubhouse.
On top of that, the team also opted against bringing back 2019 Willie Mac Award winner Kevin Pillar. He was one of the Giants’ most productive hitters last season with a career-high 21 home runs and 88 RBI to go along with a .287 average. On Feb. 14, Pillar signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, ending any remaining hope of a reunion.
The other crushing blow of the offseason came when All-Star closer Will Smith signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the Atlanta Braves on Nov. 14. Over the last two seasons, Smith had not only been a reliable closer, but he was the team’s lone All-Star in 2019.
Stephen Vogt also played a major role last season as the backup catcher. He signed with the D-backs on a one-year, $3 million contract in November.
Other notable losses include Mike Gerber, the first player Farhan Zaidi brought in after taking over as the president of baseball operations last offseason. Left-handed reliever Fernando Abad also was let go after providing solid bullpen depth last season.
Perhaps the biggest loss was future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy, who chose to retire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
In many ways, it has been a brutal offseason as the team builds toward the future.