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What A SF Giants Offseason Could Look Like With A $200m Payroll

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 26: San Francisco Giants President of Baseball Operations, Farhan Zaidi, talks on the phone before the postponement of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on August 26, 2020 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 26: San Francisco Giants President of Baseball Operations, Farhan Zaidi, talks on the phone before the postponement of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on August 26, 2020 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Marcell Ozuna, SF Giants
Atlanta designated hitter Marcell Ozuna (20) drives in a run with a single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the eighth inning of game four of the 2020 NLCS at Globe Life Field. (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

SF Giants Mock $200m Payroll Offseason: Offensive Acquisition(s)

Marcell Ozuna: 4-years, $72 million
Ha-Seong Kim: 5-years, $40 million
Jackie Bradley Jr: 2-years, $16 million
Total Payroll: $159,020,000

In these simulations, estimated contracts for free agents are from MLB Trade Rumors’ top-50 free agent predictions.

I was especially satisfied with the $180 million payroll team I constructed in part three of this series and decided to use the excess budget space to splurge on one Marcell Ozuna. While limited defensively, I made the case earlier this offseason that he would be a strong enough upgrade to their lineup to be worth the risk. Just as importantly, the National League is almost ensured to have the universal designated hitter within the next two seasons, allowing him to not play defense altogether.

Kim may be my favorite free-agent on the market and could easily be the Giants shortstop of the future. At just 25-years old, the Kiwoom Heroes infielder could help the team immediately and be a part of their long-term plans. Multiple outlets have said he would rank among the top-100 prospects in baseball and if the Giants have money to spend, those are the kind of players that fit best.

Donovan Solano could return to a utility role where he could spell Kim at second base, or take Brandon Crawford’s spot in the lineup against a lefty, when Kim could shift to short defensively. Kim could be the primary second baseman in 2021 while preparing to replace Crawford after he enters free agency next offseason.

Signing Kim would cost the Giants an additional posting fee to his Korean team, roughly 20% of his guarantees. However, that money would not count against the luxury tax threshold. It’s fair to suggest that ownership could consider that a part of payroll, but in this exercise, that is treated as a separate cost. If that were an issue, the team would probably pass on signing Bradley.

To round out the lineup, the Giants can finally unite with Jackie Bradley Jr. Given the early free-agent deals we have seen, the pitching market seems more robust than the position-player side. If that holds out, Bradley will probably sign an even cheaper deal than estimated here. Still, even at this cost, he’d be a great get for San Francisco.

Bradley may be 31 next year, but he still ranked in the 99th percentile in outs above average last season. Even at his age, he’s arguably the best defensive centerfielder in the game. His offensive game has had its highs and lows, but ultimately he’s been consistently a league-average hitter since 2015. With Mauricio Dubón available to platoon, the Giants would have their best outfield since Barry Bonds, Ellis Burks, Armando Rios, and Marvin Bernard were on the team in 2000.

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