The SF Giants have struggled to a 71-77 overall record in 2022, which is good enough for third place in the NL West. The front office deserves a fair share of the blame and Giants fans have certainly found it culpable for the team's struggles. That said, it has not been all bad as the Giants have made some pretty nice moves since the new front office took over.
SF Giants: 3 best signings of the Farhan Zaidi era
Over the weekend, I chronicled some of the worst signings the Giants' front office have made since Farhan Zaidi was hired as team president of baseball operations in November of 2018. For better or worse, the Giants have been relatively conservative with free-agent spending, so the underperforming contracts should not impact future spending.
I am only going to be looking at guaranteed contracts for now, but minor league deals such as the ones handed out to Donovan Solano and Darin Ruf a couple of seasons ago turned out to be good value additions.
Speaking of value, the contracts handed out to Jake McGee (two years, $5 million) and José Álvarez
(two years, $2.55 million) paid off nicely in the first year of each deal but each pitcher struggled in the second year. Given the contract terms, it is hard to not see these as wins by the front office.
1. Pitcher Kevin Gausman (one year, $18.8 million)
Kevin Gausman had one of the more successful, two-year stints in Giants history. The right-handed hurler posted a 3.62 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 59.2 frames with San Francisco in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
That was an excellent value in and of itself as the Giants originally signed Gausman to a one-year, $9 million deal. After his first season with the orange and black, the 31-year-old pitcher accepted a qualifying offer for $18.9 million.
This proved to be an excellent value for both team and player as Gausman went on to register a 2.81 ERA, 3.00 FIP, 1.04 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, and a 4.54 SO/W ratio in 33 starts. This included an NL All-Star bid as well as a sixth-place finish in the NL Cy Young voting.
For the time being, Gausman's 10.6 K/9 ratio is a franchise record but that will soon be surpassed by Carlos Rodón. The veteran starter proved to be the co-ace of the rotation along with Logan Webb that helped the Giants to win 107 games, which is a franchise record.
The Giants nearly defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2021 NLDS, but regardless of the ending, that season was truly special and Gausman had a lot to do with it. Even though he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays last winter, his time with San Francisco will always be remembered fondly.