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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, Mike Yastrzemski
Mike Yastrzemski #5 of the SF Giants is presented with the 2020 Willie Mac Award by teammate Brandon Crawford #35 before the game against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

SF Giants Mock $140m Payroll Offseason: Final Roster

Total Opening Day Payroll: $139,680,000

Starting Lineup vs. RHP
RF Mike Yastrzemski
2B Donovan Solano
1B Brandon Belt
LF Alex Dickerson
3B Evan Longoria
SS Brandon Crawford
C Buster Posey
*Pitcher’s Spot*
CF Mauricio Dubon

Bench
Chadwick Tromp, Wilmer Flores, Jason Vosler, Ehire Adrianza, Austin Slater, Darin Ruf, Jaylin Davis*

*competition between Davis, Steven Duggar, and Luis Alexander Basabe

The offense would be virtually identical to last year’s team, with Posey back in the fold behind the plate. Assuming Tromp does return on a minor-league deal as reported, he seems like a heavy favorite to win the backup catching job to enable Joey Bart to get more reps in the minors.

Defensively, the starting lineup looks incredibly strong across the board, with Yastrzemski and Solano probably the two “weakest links.” Assuming Vosler is a solid defender at third base, all reports suggest he is; then there are competent defenders available behind every starter. Of course, Ruf and Flores are not going to making many contributions with their gloves but could be incredibly valuable platoon/pinch-hit bats.

While the designated hitter’s fate seems up in the air, it’s hard to imagine it not becoming universal by 2022. If it were not for the complicated CBA negotiations, it would almost assuredly be this coming season. Without one, though, Ruf, Flores, and Belt create a pretty heavy backlog at first base. In this scenario, Ruf probably gets shopped a bit to free up a roster spot for a 12th pitcher, but injuries do happen too.

Starting Rotation
1. Kevin Gausman
2. Jose Quintana
3. Johnny Cueto
4. Michael Wacha
5. Logan Webb**

**competition between Webb, Tyler Beede, Conner Menez, Andrew Suarez, Caleb Baragar

No one will be afraid of that rotation, but it has quite a bit of upside. If Gausman can maintain his success in 2020, Quintana is healthy, and just one of Cueto or Wacha can have a strong bounce-back campaign, the Giants are just a Logan Webb breakout away from having a really good rotation. Of course, there’s a lot of things that have to go right for that to happen.

The odds are this unit would struggle with consistency and probably health (given Cueto and Wacha’s history). Still, players like Beede, Suarez, and even prospect Sean Hjelle could be capable of filling in. It would not earn a lot of confidence, but it’s worth remembering it would probably be an upgrade over what their rotation looked like heading into this season.

Bullpen
LR Wandy Peralta**
MR Trevor Gott/Sam Coonrod
MR Reyes Moronta
SU Tyler Rogers
SU Jarlin Garcia
CL Sam Selman

**competition between Webb, Tyler Beede, Conner Menez, Andrew Suarez, Caleb Baragar

Most Giants fans still have not accepted it, but the team’s bullpen actually was pretty solid this season. Tony Watson is unlikely to return in free agency, but it’s hard to see him playing a major role even if he did. The truth is they have many competent middle relievers but need a premium arm to take the next step. This could be solved if Moronta is his old self returning from shoulder surgery, but that’s easier said than done. Without much payroll room, that’s probably their best hope aside from a breakout from prospect Camilo Doval.

The biggest issue for manager Gabe Kapler will be the changes to rosters in 2021. If rosters are restricted back down to 26 players, the Giants will not roster 13-15 pitchers like they did most of last season. Given how successful the team was at maximizing platoon splits, it will be hard to maintain that same usage passage. This will only accentuate the problems with rostering Flores, Belt, and Ruf if there is no DH in the National League.

SF Giants: Three Lesser-Known Free Agent Targets. Trending

This is the first of a four-part series on how the SF Giants offseason could look with various payroll restrictions. If ownership decides to pinch-pennies and limits payroll to $140 million, the front-office would be limited in its ability to sure up an iffy rotation and solidify a bullpen that probably needs one more trustworthy arm.

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