With the Houston Astros winning the World Series, the offseason officially began on Sunday with four SF Giants electing free agency. However, two more decisions are looming with Carlos Rodón and Evan Longoria. Those decisions will be resolved by Thursday.
SF Giants have 2 big option decisions looming
Teams and players have five days from the end of the World Series until decisions regarding options and opt-outs must be made. In the case of the Giants, Rodón has an opt-out clause, whereas the Giants hold a $13 million team option on Longoria.
Rodón's case is simple and a foregone conclusion. The veteran southpaw signed a two-year, $44 million pact last winter. This included an opt-out clause that would be triggered if he reached 110 innings, which he did with ease by the middle of the season.
The hard-throwing pitcher was one of the best arms in baseball in 2022 as he recorded a 2.88 ERA, 2.25 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 12.0 K/9, and a 4.56 SO/W ratio in 31 starts for the Giants. He has had durability issues in the past, but the number of starts (31) and inning pitched (178.0) represent career highs. The lefty will likely earn consideration for the NL Cy Young award when the voting results are published this month.
He is looking to score a massive payday, which he will likely receive as one of the best pitchers on the market. The question is whether that will be with the Giants or another team?
On the other hand, San Francisco holds a $13 million team option with a $5 million buyout on longtime third baseman Evan Longoria. Team president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi expressed interest in retaining Longoria, but it did not sound as if the Giants were keen on doing it at that $13 million price point.
The 15-year veteran had a fine season at the plate, slashing .244/.315/.451 (114 OPS+) with 14 home runs, 42 RBI, and 31 runs in 298 plate appearances. When he was healthy, Longoria was undoubtedly a productive player.
However, health remains a big question mark and one that does not tend to improve for players who are heading into their age-37 season. Longoria appeared in under 100 games for the second straight year, so the Giants cannot necessarily pencil him in to make 130 or more appearances at the hot corner next year.
The defensive metrics have slid in recent seasons, but Longoria remains one of the better defensive third baseman in the organization. This will be a tough decision for the Giants.
Longoria still provides value but the cost and lack of availability in recent seasons might hurt his chances of the Giants exercising the team option. They may be interested in bring him back at a lower rate, but the option decision will need to be resolved first. One way or the other, the Giants will have clarity on the longtime third baseman by Thursday.