What A SF Giants Offseason Could Look Like With A $140m Payroll

Jose Quintana is one of the many lefthanded starting pitchers that the SF Giants could target this offseason. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jose Quintana is one of the many lefthanded starting pitchers that the SF Giants could target this offseason. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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SF Giants, Brandon Belt
Brandon Belt #9 of the SF Giants bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the first inning at Oracle Park on August 22, 2020. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Marc Delucchi is kicking off a series where he will take readers through a SF Giants offseason with a $140m, $160m, $180m, and a competitive balance tax-line payroll.

In their second offseason together atop the SF Giants baseball operations department, Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris hope to take the next step towards building a strong contender. The organization’s revamped farm system appears to have the makings of a future core, but will those players join a legit contender or have to carry a mediocre team?

With ownership groups around MLB instituting strict payroll limitations on their front-offices, it’s not inconceivable that Zaidi and Harris will face a similar restriction. Of course, the Giants are one of the wealthiest sports franchises in the world. Any budgetary restrictions would solely aid team owners in extracting greater profits from the team. Still, the team already laid off roughly 10% of their employees this year, suggesting a stringent budget.

In 2020, the Giants were scheduled to have an Opening Day payroll of around $165 million, which would have been the team’s lowest payroll since 2014. Needless to say, if ownership is trying to cut corners and save money, limiting the front office to a $140 million Opening Day payroll is not out of the question.

SF Giants Mock $140m Payroll Offseason: Guaranteed Contracts

Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria, Wilmer Flores, Jason Vosler, Alex Dickerson, Austin Slater, Donovan Solano, Darin Ruf, Kevin Gausman, Johnny Cueto, Wandy Peralta, Jarlin Garcia, Trevor Gott, Reyes Moronta
Total Payroll: $123,285,000

Vosler could technically be cut or waived with relatively little cost, but since he signed a big-league deal, it’s worth slotting him into the Opening Day roster. Cueto and Gausman are obviously going to be in the big-league rotation, barring injury, and the Giants infield mix is already settled.

While a boatload of money is set to clear off the books after next season, a bulk of the team’s payroll in 2021 will go to Posey, Belt, Crawford, and Longoria. Many have no-trade clauses, but it’s hard to envision them finding a trade for anyone without getting more creative than I plan to get in these simulations, even if they did not.

Dickerson, Slater, Ruf, Peralta, Garcia, and Gott, all agreed to deals prior to the non-tender deadline. Solano and Moronta were tendered contracts for arbitration. Solano’s salary is estimated at $3 million, and Moronta’s is estimated at $800,000. Technically, many of those deals are non-guaranteed, but it’s fair to say they are on the fast track for roster spots.

Given these payroll constraints, the Giants would only have about $15 million to play with to sure up their pitching staff. With multiple holes in the starting rotation and bullpen, the front-office would probably have to rely on a lot of internal development to become a legitimate contender.