The SF Giants had a disappointing 2022 season. Looking to replicate most of the success of their franchise-record 107-win 2021 campaign, the Orange and Black started well before taking a dive; only a late push helped the team avoid a sub-.500 mark overall.
Obviously, the coaches and front-office staff know the ins and outs of their team and strategy better than us fans - but there were a few decisions made this year that seemed questionable from the beginning and ended up hampering the team's present and, possibly, future. Hopefully the braintrust led by President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi learned a few lessons in these important areas:
1. Make a decision at the trade deadline
When the Major League Baseball trade deadline rolled around in early-August, the Giants had multiple paths to consider. Was it best to sell the top performers and rake in prospect talent? Shore up glaring weaknesses with a big deal that sends away prospects? Or stand pat with only minor moves here and there, keeping the team relatively intact?
The Giants chose the last of those. It was questionable in the moment, and as the team continued to watch their playoff opportunities disappear it became more of a glaring mistake. Going into the deadline the team was one game under .500 and got smoked by division-leading Los Angeles the night before. Almost 20 games out of the division and over four games behind the last Wild Card spot, with an offense riddled with injuries and age (more on that later), they probably should have picked one of the other two options.
Imagine: trading a dominant Carlos Rodon brings back a couple of top-100 prospects, and Joc Pederson in the midst of possibly his best season nets one more and/or a young player in the Majors already who just needed an open spot and playing time to break out.
On the flip side, sending some decent prospects (not their top guys like Marco Luciano and Kyle Harrison, of course) for players like Brandon Drury or Josh Bell could have helped in areas where the regulars were hurt or under-performing.
A bit of help was unlikely to make up the six games by which they missed the playoffs, and the big names traded at the deadline didn't perform as well as their teams expected (such as Juan Soto). But small deals for a team that wasn't inspiring confidence for over a month before the deadline was the worst choice.