The recipe for success for the SF Giants has to be different than their rivals
The Giants should acquire a boatload of pitchers and create a super-rotation to hold down the Dodgers. However, That is not the only move they need to make. They need to invest in defense and contact. The Giants finished 2023 with the 6th highest K%, 3rd lowest batting average, and the fewest stolen bases in MLB. The next-lowest team in stolen bases had 15 more than the Giants! Strides have already been made with the acquisition of Jung Hoo Lee but there are more players out there that could perfect this strategy.
One player the Giants could acquire in this new direction is Amed Rosario. In 2024, Rosario is projected for a .275 BA, 14-15 SB, and as a plus defender at 2B. The last few seasons have shown Rosario to be a poor defender at SS but is now being projected as a 2B moving forward where he is expected to be a plus defender.
Furthermore, he is projected for a K% of just 17.7% and he works out to a 96 wRC+ which is perfectly in line with the league average for 2B. Despite the league-average bat, he is projected for a 2.3 WAR. Rosario would represent an influx of speed, a high contact rate, and a plus defender at 2B with the capability to play all around the infield. The Giants should strongly consider Rosario for a super-utility role.
Yes, he is currently on the Giants roster but consider this a plea for him to start the season with the big league team. While Fitzgerald won't help solve the strikeout problem (29.4% K% in 2023) he will be a massive help in the defense and speed department.
Fangraphs gives Fitzgerald a 55 grade speed and 50 grade defense both of which are above average. In 10 games in SF, he managed two stolen bases. In 102 games in Sacramento, he had 29 stolen bases. Furthermore, he grades out in the 99th percentile in sprint speed. Something the Giants haven't had in a very long time.
Fitzgerald represents 30 SB-upside. The Giants haven't had a 30 SB season since Dave Roberts in 2007!!! Furthermore, Fitzgerald has spent time at 2B, 3B, SS, and CF. He may struggle early as he adjusts to the speed of MLB but speed and defense will always play and Tyler Fitzgerald has an abundance of both.
The Giants must take a long look at the strategy they are about to take with the remainder of free agency. Attempting to go toe to toe with the Dodgers won't work. The Giants are better off taking advantage of their pitcher-friendly ballpark by investing in pitching and defense. The Giants aren't going to beat the Dodgers thinking like them. The only way to beat a team like the Dodgers is to force them to play the game your way.