4 mistakes that have cost the SF Giants dearly this season

The San Francisco Giants have definitely had their fair share of screw-ups this season.

Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants
Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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The SF Giants basically standing pat at the trade deadline was a colossal error

While the first two mistakes on this list were important, the biggest mistake the Giants made in 2023 was how they handled the trade deadline. The Giants were in the thick of the race in the National League West and even if they were convinced that there was no way they could hold off the Dodgers, they were still heavy favorites to snag a wild card spot if they could just shore up their roster a bit.

Instead, the Giants essentially stood pat with their only move of consequence at the trade deadline was to trade for the often injured and past his prime AJ Pollock who, to the surprise of no one, is hurt again. No reinforcements for the bullpen, no meaningful help for the offense.

To be fair to Farhan Zaidi and co., the level of talent available at the trade deadline this year (especially on the offensive side) was historically bad and prices were pretty silly in some cases. However, there were guys like Jordan Montgomery, Keynan Middleton, Kendall Graveman, Paul Sewald, and Scott Barlow that would have made this Giants team better without mortgaging their future too much. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and the trade deadline became a colossal missed opportunity.

Giving Joc Pederson the qualifying offer has not worked out well

This one is tough because Joc Pederson was really, really good for the Giants in 2022. In 433 plate appearances last season, Joc slashed .274/.353/.521 with a 146 wRC+ with San Francisco last season. Evaluated in a vacuum, that sort of production is usually rewarded by a team wanting to keep a guy around and the Giants did so by giving Joc the qualifying offer which he promptly signed.

Sadly, that hasn't really worked out for the Giants as Joc has put up just a 116 wRC+ and a .799 OPS in 93 games this season. Far from a disaster to be sure, but probably not worth the nearly $20 million that Pederson is taking home this season.

On the one hand, Joc has underperformed this season and the Giants probably should have considered his inconsistency at the plate (particularly with his hit tool) over the course of his career before handing him the QO. On the other hand, Joc is great for team vibes regardless of how he is hitting and there didn't seem to be any opportunity cost in giving him his money as the Giants were still shopping at the top of the free agent market regardless. All in all, this is a deal that hasn't worked out the way San Francisco hoped, but probably didn't mess things up on it's own too much.

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