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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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SF Giants, Garrett Richards
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Garrett Richards (43) pitches during the first inning against the SF Giants at Petco Park. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

SF Giants Mock $200m Payroll Offseason: Final Roster

Total Opening Day Payroll: $195,235,000

Starting Lineup vs. RHP
RF Mike Yastrzemski
2B Ha-Seong Kim
1B Brandon Belt
LF Marcell Ozuna
SS Brandon Crawford
3B Evan Longoria
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
C Buster Posey
*Pitcher’s Spot*

Bench
Chadwick Tromp, Wilmer Flores, Jason Vosler, Donovan Solano, Alex Dickerson, Mauricio Dubón

The offense would have nearly every major contributor back with a few notable upgrades. Posey back in the fold would be a huge improvement behind the plate, even if he hits at his 2019 level. Ozuna would probably be the best hitter on the roster from day one. While Kim has the potential to become one of the SF Giants most dynamic players. With Solano still on the roster though, they could ease Kim into an everyday role if he needed it. While Dubón was good in center last season, Bradley takes their defense to another level too.

If the Giants signed Ozuna, they would be holding out hope that the NL adopted the DH permanently, but in it’s absence, they would still have players like Dubón and Dickerson to be defensive replacements late. However, the outfield roster crunch would make Austin Slater the odd-man-out.

Defensively, the group looks strong across the board, with Yastrzemski the only starter below-average at their position. Assuming Vosler is a solid defender at third base, all reports suggest he is; then there are competent defenders available behind every starter. While Solano might be limited defensively, remember that Kim was developed at shortstop and Dubón remains a top super-utility option. Flores is not going to making many contributions with his glove but could be an incredibly valuable platoon/pinch-hit bat.

Given this roster construction and budget limits, Darin Ruf also falls off the roster. While he and Slater won’t induce a massive bidding war, an American League team looking for a right-handed-hitting DH would very likely offer a lower-level prospect in return for Ruf and another team might offer a prospect with a bit more upside for Slater.

Starting Rotation
1. James Paxton
2. Kevin Gausman
3. Jose Quintana
4. Garrett Richards
5. Johnny Cueto

This unit would obviously have a high-variance of outcomes. The upside is tremendous, but the downside, given Paxton, Richards, and Cueto’s injury history alongside Gausman’s erratic effectiveness, is concerning. Still, players like Logan Webb, Tyler Beede, Andrew Suarez, and Conner Menez would be on the outside looking in ready to step in if someone goes down or struggles. Furthermore, prospect Sean Hjelle could be ready for the rotation by season’s end.

No one is likely to be an ace, although Paxton and Cueto have had their moments, but the group would have four starters that seem worthy of a second or third spot in a rotation. It probably will not deliver dominance, but it should produce consistency. Cueto remains the wild-card, but again, with so much depth, they could handle replacing him if his 2021 heads in the wrong direction.

Bullpen
LR Wandy Peralta**
MR Matt Wisler
MR Jarlin Garcia
MR Reyes Moronta
SU Tyler Rogers
SU Sam Selman
CL Liam Hendriks

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

Evaluating bullpens on paper never seems to work, but this unit looks like the best the Giants have had in years. Hendriks would be the best closer the Giants have had since Brian Wilson and his presence would enable Rogers, Selman, Moronta, Wisler, Peralta, and Garcia to handle the high-leverage situations from the 6th-8th inning. Manager Gabe Kapler would have three lefties, three righties, and plenty of different looks to throw at hitters.

Trevor Gott would have to be designated for assignment, barring an injury or exceptional performance, but many of the other options from last season, like Rico Garcia and Sam Coonrod, would remain a promotion away at Triple-A if the team needed reinforcements. Given that both Garcia and Coonrod got legitimate high-leverage opportunities last season, it shows what adding a couple of arms can do for the pen’s depth. That’s before you get to other dynamic arms, like prospect Camilo Doval, who could be ready to contribute as well.

Related Story. What The SF Giants Bullpen Looks Like Right Now

This is the final piece of a four-part series on how the SF Giants offseason could look with various payroll restrictions. If ownership decides to return payroll to around $200 million, the front-office could have the flexibility to add three mid-rotation starters, a dominant closer, a top-100 prospect, a new cleanup hitter, and an elite defensive centerfielder. Best of all, only three of the players are estimated to require more than two years of guarantees.

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