Team president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is heading into the final year of a five-year deal he signed back in November of 2018. However, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic confirms (subscription required) that Zaidi will be under contract after this season.
SF Giants to retain top front office executive beyond 2023
The terms of that contract are not yet known as the Giants are considering a couple of options. Giants chairman Greg Johnson indicated that the Giants hold a team option for Zaidi for the 2024 season. Their plan is to either exercise that option or work out a longer-term deal.
This puts to rest any idea that Zaidi would be entering this season as a lame-duck executive, which would not be fair to him or the Giants. I know if you asked a handful of Giants fans to offer a report card on Zaidi's first four seasons at the helm, you would get a wide range of responses.
That said, he joined the Giants at a time when the organization was very much in transition. San Francisco was coming off of two disappointing seasons in 2017 and 2018 while struggling to accept that the championship window had closed.
Zaidi was brought in to build a more sustainable organization that expected to compete year after year. However, to get there, the Giants had to go through some lean years as they were strapped with too many underperforming contracts.
San Francisco decided to follow a conservative spending approach while many of those contracts fell off of the books with the hopes that they could be aggressive in free agency yet again. That has not exactly come to fruition, but not for a lack of trying as they attempted to sign both Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa this past offseason.
You are not going to land every star player in free agency. However, it is fair to say that some fans are growing impatient as the list of misses continues to grow. That is a topic for a different day.
In four seasons as team president, the Giants have been competitive but not necessarily in the playoff picture on a consistent basis. Of course, they had the 107-win season in 2021, but they have finished at or below .500 in the other three years.
Of course, some of the Giants' woes have been due to a complete drought from the farm system over the past 10 - 12 years. Since Zaidi has been in charge, only one draft pick (Cole Waites) he has selected has made it to the majors with the Giants.
That is just not good enough but that narrative should begin to change this year. Hopefully, that narrative is loud enough to justify extending Zaidi beyond this season.
He is a very competent front office executive. However, in terms of building a sustainably-competitive team, we just have not seen enough of it. That could change and it needs to change for fans to have confidence in him going forward. Though, one way or the other, Zaidi will be under contract for the next two seasons.