When Farhan Zaidi took over as president of baseball operations in November of 2018, he inherited a roster full of bloated contracts and aging veterans. It was not an enviable position to be in, but the franchise was eager to return to the postseason and willing to spend to do it.
SF Giants fail spectacularly to reward fan patience after Carlos Correa debacle
The Giants were very much in transition at the time. They had a farm system that failed to produce in recent years and a team that was coming off of its second straight losing season in 2018. Zaidi and the Giants adopted a conservative approach to free agency and this made sense.
The Giants did not have a strong roster and were flirting with the salary cap. There were just not a lot of options that San Francisco could pursue, so they looked for bargain additions with the hopes that some could become valuable trade candidates.
We watched as contract after contract fell off of the books, thus creating new opportunities for the Giants to add some excitement to the roster. However, they maintained the same conservative approach.
Sure, the Giants spent money. They spend more than most teams, but the approach to player acquisition did not change. San Francisco was still looking for bargain additions , rather than the high-profile names.
There is risk with many of those high-profile contracts and the Giants know this firsthand after they committed in the neighborhood of $285 million to Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto, and Mark Melancon. But, that was a different team and a different front office.
The hope was that this conservative spending would eventually lead to the Giants making a franchise-altering move. In a sense, they did that after agreeing to terms on a 13-year, $350 million deal with Carlos Correa.
He was going to be the next face of the franchise. He was going to lead a new era of Giants baseball. Of course, we know how this story now plays out. There was a medical issue that was flagged during Correa's physical, which forced Correa and Scott Boras to re-engage other teams.
The New York Mets wasted no time at the opportunity by signing Correa to a 12-year contract. They were eager to jump in even after knowing that concerns were raised during Correa's physical with the Giants.
It begs the question, why were teams like the Mets and Minnesota Twins so eager to hand Correa a deal of 10 years or more? The Twins, in particular, have the most recent record of Correa's medicals and the bargain-looking franchise had no qualms with offering Correa a 10-year deal.
This is a colossal disappointment on so many fronts. From the beginning of this offseason, the Giants were very open in that they had plenty of money to spend and would not be outbid. Sources from within the organization supposedly gave the impression that the Giants would land at least two stars this offseason.
They will finish the offseason with none. They went hard on Aaron Judge and missed. They went hard on Correa and got him to agree to terms only to pull out at the end.
I do not know if the front office can recover from this. Any future goodwill that they create will likely be overshadowed by the total disappointment of an offseason this has become. Unfortunately, Giants fans have been very patient in recent seasons, understanding that changing the organization was a process.
They had hopes that this patience would eventually be rewarded. It could have happened last offseason with Kevin Gausman or Marcus Semien or both. After a disappointing 2022 season, fans really needed some excitement from this franchise. It did not happen and the fans deserve way better than this.