SF Giants dodged a major bullet by not keeping former major trade acquisition

The Giants were wise not to sign Kris Bryant to a major deal.
Colorado Rockies v Oakland Athletics
Colorado Rockies v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The SF Giants front office had been criticized prior to the most recent offseason for a seeming reticence to spend on big free agents. That caution proved prudent when the team decided to not sign 2021 trade acquisition Kris Bryant to a big deal.

SF Giants dodged a major bullet by not keeping former major trade acquisition

The Giants traded for Bryant in the midst of their historic 2021 season that saw them win 107 games. The Giants got Bryant right at the trading deadline, giving up Alexander Canario and Caleb Kilian to land the former MVP. The move was seen as necessary for the Giants after the Dodgers were able to land Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in a trade.

Bryant played pretty well for the Giants in 2021. In 51 games he slashed .262/.344/.44 with 7 home runs and 22 RBI. He also hit well in the Divisional series against the Dodgers, picking up 8 hits in the 5-game series.

Given Bryant's versatility and the positive impression he made in his stint with the Giants, it seemed likely that he would be more than just a rental. Plus, after Buster Posey's retirement, it would have made sense to lock up a player with Bryant's pedigree to a long-term deal. Bryant himself even spoke positively about the possibility of playing for the Giants beyond 2021.

However, the Giants did not show much interest in him in free-agency, and he wound up signing a lucrative deal with the Colorado Rockies for $182 million over 7 years. That deal has looked like a major disaster for the Rockies.

Bryant just went on the injured list yet again with a rib injury. Bryant has been injured for more games than he has played for the Rockies. His production on the field has dwindled as well. He is currently slashing .186/.307/.279 with 2 home runs and 10 RBI in 101 plate appearances.

It is unfortunate for both Bryant and the Rockies that injuries have dominated his career since he turned 30. But the Giants must feel very fortunate that they dodged a bullet by not giving him a massive contract after 2021.

Front offices often get criticized for deals they did not make or deals they make that do not pan out. Sometimes, it is the deals that you do not make that end up looking pretty smart. That was certainly the case by avoiding Kris Bryant.