SF Giants team president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi sat down with KNBR on Tuesday to discuss the offseason. Of course, he was asked about the Carlos Correa saga, but he admitted that the Giants needed to get younger and more athletic after 2022 as well.
SF Giants News: Farhan Zaidi believes lineup incrementally improved in important area
Zaidi feels like the roster is incrementally younger than it was a year ago. Free agency is a tough way to get radically younger as most free agents have at least six years of experience by that point. However, it is fair to point out that San Francisco began last season with Brandon Belt (34), Evan Longoria (36), Darin Ruf (35), and Tommy La Stella (33) on the roster.
The Giants have experienced some turnover as Longoria, Belt, and La Stella departed free agency, whereas Ruf was shipped to the New York Mets at the 2022 trade deadline. Given those ages, it was hard for the Giants not to get younger. So, the front office cannot take too much credit in that regard.
If you plot out the likely position players, you will see that the lineup should feature some younger players:
Catcher - Joey Bart (26)
Infielders - LaMonte Wade Jr. (29), Wilmer Flores (31), Thairo Estrada (27), Brandon Crawford (36), David Villar (26), and J.D. Davis (29)
Outfielders - Michael Conforto (30), Mike Yastrzemski (32), Austin Slater (30), and Mitch Haniger (32)
DH - Joc Pederson (30)
The ages above reflect how old each player will be on Opening Day. The Giants could conceivably run out an infield lineup that features four players under 30-years-old in Bart, Wade Jr., Estrda, and Villar. You would probably have to go back to 2016 for when the last time that consistently happened.
In fact, Zaidi highlighted the relative youth at first base and third base compared to last year with Wade Jr. and Villar, respectively, set to receive playing time.
For years, Giants fans have been clamoring for the Giants to get younger. It looks like they are getting closer to that stated desire. Now, does getting younger translate to better performance? That remains to be seen but they are hoping that younger leads to faster and more durable players.
On the other hand, the Giants seem perfectly content with having an older rotation. Outside of Logan Webb, every other projected starter will be over 30-years-old. The bullpen is on the older side as well. Teams, in general, seem fine with having an older pitching staff as long as they remain effective.
So, maybe the youth movement is beginning. That should only improve with players like Marco Luciano, Kyle Harrison, and Casey Schmitt getting close to the majors.