Outside of signing Jung Hoo Lee to a six-year, $113 million pact, the SF Giants have not made many high-profile moves this winter. Despite this and the fact that they are coming off of a 78-win season, Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections paint them as a better team than some fans might think.
2024 PECOTA projections do not believe SF Giants will be as bad as fans think
The projection model believes that they are an 81-win team, which is good enough for third place in the NL West. The Los Angeles Dodgers (101 - 61) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (85 - 77) are ahead of them in the division, whereas the San Diego Padres (80 - 82) are projected to finish in fourth place.
Interestingly, only the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves (101 - 61) are projected to win more than 86 games in the NL in 2024. This is a sign that there is plenty of parity outside of those two teams and an indicator that the rest of the NL is a bit watered down.
It is also a sign that some teams, including the Giants, can move the chips a little more in their favor. There are a few teams that are likely done making moves this offseason, but it does not feel like San Francisco is one of those teams.
They are still in the market for veteran third baseman Matt Chapman and might be one of just two teams currently in that market. After shipping Ross Stripling to the Oakland A's last week, they have a need for a pitcher or two as well.
For the Giants, the offseason work is still incomplete, so the projections for them are not capturing the full picture. Of course, this could be said about a handful of other teams who still have work to do in preparation for the upcoming season.
Outside of Lee, the Giants have added Robbie Ray, Jordan Hicks, and Tom Murphy. They have made several smaller moves around the margins as well. With Ray and Hicks, the Giants add potential upside but with the caveat that Ray may not even be able to help the rotation until midseason. With Hicks, there is no telling how the experiment will go and there is even a good chance that he is in the bullpen by the end of the four-year deal. In Murphy, the Giants get a bat-first backup catcher.
San Francisco is seemingly placing a lot of this year's success on their younger pitchers. That is not a bad thing, but there are generally bumps along the way.
It has not been the most exciting offseason for the Giants. It felt like there were a few moves to make, but it did not work out for one reason or the other. Regardless, an objective measure of the team seems to believe that they are currently in the middle of the pack.
That is both a good place and bad place to be. With a couple more moves, they could move closer to a team like the Diamondbacks and in position for a playoff position. At the end of the day, the games still need to be played. While we wait for spring training to begin, at least we have something to chew on in the meantime.