The baseball offseason is midway through, and it has gone at a pace that makes turtles look fast, but the SF Giants have been unusually aggressive.
Heading into the winter, the SF Giants identified a left-handed bat, starting pitching depth, and bullpen depth as offseason priorities. To an extent, they have addressed those needs with the following signings:
- Infielder Jason Vosler: $575,000 major league contract
- Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman: One-year, $18.9 million contract
- Starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani: One-year, $6 million contract
- Reliever Matt Wisler: One-year, $1.15 million contract
- Reliever John Brebbia: One-year, $800,000 contract
In the case of Vosler, Wisler, and Brebbia, they are on rookie contracts so the Giants have control of them after 2021. Despite how slow the baseball offseason has been as stars such as Trevor Bauer and D.J. LeMahieu remain on the market, the SF Giants have been zigging when everyone else has been zagging.
So far, they have committed roughly $27.5 million to 2021 through free agency this winter. When the offseason began, they had in the neighborhood of $85 million available below the competitive balance tax (CBT), which is set at $210 million for 2021.
With the decision to non-tender Tyler Anderson, who was due a modest raise from his $1.75 million salary in 2020, and the moves they have already made, the Giants have $61 million remaining below the CBT. I should caution that just because they have that much available does not mean they will necessarily spend all of it.
Rather, the Giants have been looking to limit the long-term contracts they hand out with the money they have already committed to Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria, and Johnny Cueto.
With that being said, the Giants have shown that they have been willing to spend this offseason. Despite the lost revenues from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Giants seem to be in a better financial position than many teams. So far, no team has spent more on the 2021 roster than the Giants have this winter.
There is still work to be done as the starting rotation is light on depth. Since taking over as the president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi has been aggressive in January and February. We may see more of that this year, especially when it comes to signing veteran pitchers on minor league deals. They likely have room to make three or four more additions of that nature.
In terms of the bullpen and lineup, the Giants seem pretty content and much of the legwork appears to be done. They should still target a left-handed bat to give them another option behind Vosler, but it will likely be a minor league deal as well.
With only six weeks remaining before pitchers and catchers are projected to report, there are still a lot of free agents on the market. The Giants might not be in the market for the top-end names, but they will likely continue shopping in the bargain section as they get the roster ready for 2021.
Edit: The New York Mets have spent more in free agency, including the qualifying offer to Marcus Stroman, than the Giants.