SF Giants: Grading Farhan Zaidi's Free Agent Strategy

MLB free agency is perhaps the most influential changing of hands and shuffling of cards that occurs in the MLB calendar. This places a massive emphasis on making prudent and intelligent signings that help your team in the short and long term. There is no doubt that the most recent free agent signings by Farhan Zaidi and the SF Giants front office have been, to put it kindly, a mixed bag. Is this one year a continuance of a pattern or a blip on the radar? Today, we will be grading Farhan Zaidi's free agent strategy since his tenure began as the head of the proverbial table. The methodology is simple. Farhan Zaidi was hired on November 6th, 2018 therefore the 18-19 off-season will be disregarded as he was not hired until after free agency had begun. Furthermore, extensions and minor league contracts will not affect the grading while qualifying offers will be counted as one-year contracts.
San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves
San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves / Alex Slitz/GettyImages
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Grading Farhan Zaidi's Free Agent Strategy

2021 - 2022 FA Class

Matthew Boyd: 1 yr $5.2 million. He never made an appearance with the Giants. Traded to Seattle with Curt Casali for Michael Stryffeler and Andy Thomas on August 2nd.

Joc Pederson: 1 yr $6 million. 2022 134 G, .274/.353/.521, 145 OPS+, 1.3 bWAR. Signed his qualifying offer for 2023.

Carlos Rodon: 2 yr $44 million with opt-out after year one. 2022 178 IP, 2.88 ERA, 138 ERA+, 5.4 bWAR. Opted out, signed 6 yr $162 million deal with NYY.

Brandon Belt: 1 yr $18.4 million. 2022 78 G, .213/.326/.350, 93 OPS+, .3 bWAR. Signed 1 y, $9.3 million deal with TOR.

Anthony DeSclafani: 3 yr $36 million. 2022 19 IP, 6.63 ERA, 61 ERA +, -.8 bWAR. 2023 99.2 IP, 4.88 ERA, 88 ERA+, .3 bWAR.

Alex Cobb: 2 yr $20 million. 2022 149.2 IP, 3.73 ERA, 107 ERA+, 2.7 bWAR. 2023 149.1 IP, 3.62 ERA, 118 ERA+, 3.1 bWAR.

Alex Wood: 2 yr $25 million. 2022 130.2 IP, 5.10 ERA, 78 ERA+, .3 bWAR. 2023 87 IP, 4.55 ERA, 94 ERA+, .5 bWAR.

Jakob Junis: 1 yr $1.75 million. 2022 112 IP, 4.42 ERA, 90 ERA+, 1.6 bWAR. Retained through arbitration for 2023. 2023 80.2 IP, 4.02 ERA, 106 ERA+, .7 bWAR.

Trevor Rosenthal: 1 yr $1.9 million. He never made an appearance with the Giants. Traded to MIL for Tristan Peters.

Summary: What a massive bundle of weirdness. Spending over $7 million on players who never appeared for the Giants is a massively questionable choice. The pitching was all over the place.

Undoubtedly, Carlos Rodon, Alex Cobb, and Jakob Junis were all very good deals. On the other hand, the contracts for Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclafani, and of course getting nothing from Matthew Boyd or Trevor Rosenthal is a painful grouping. Factoring in the cost and pitching was a reasonably epic failure during this offseason.

As for the bats, Joc Pederson was a massive success on his initial deal but that positive is wiped out by spending over $18 million for 78 games of awful Brandon Belt. This class is tough to look at.

Grade: D-