For a team that finished with a 79-83 record, the SF Giants have a lot of work to do this winter. Unfortunately, free agency may not offer much help, so they might need to turn to the trade market. Nevertheless, the front office needs to improve the roster, so what do they prioritize?
What needs should the SF Giants prioritize this offseason?
Signing Shohei Ohtani would fix a lot of things for the Giants, so they should just go out and do exactly that. There, my work is done. Somebody should hire me to run their front office! I will run it exactly like my fantasy football team, which is to say, straight into the ground.
They will have a handful of pending free agents this winter. There is a case to be made that none of them will be back. Plus, the Giants have six players eligible for arbitration, headlined by Thairo Estrada and Mike Yastrzemski. Michael Conforto, Sean Manaea, and Ross Stripling all have opt-out clauses to consider, whereas the Giants hold a team option on Alex Cobb.
Exercising Cobb's team option is an easy call. However, Conforto, Manaea, and Stripling will have to think about those opt-out clauses. None of the three performed well enough to earn a raise through another trip in free agency, but in the case of Manaea, he could secure more guaranteed money by landing another multi-year deal. Stripling has already confirmed that he will opt in.
This will all be settled before free agency begins. When it does, the Giants will have a handful of boxes to check.
1. New manager
Obviously. In a minor surprise, the Giants parted ways with Gabe Kapler before the end of the season. Kapler managed the Giants for four seasons and had one year remaining on his deal. After two straight disappointing seasons, the front office felt that a change was needed.
As soon as the news was announced, a former Giants player and longtime manager was speculated as a potential fit. However, no other names have risen to the surface just yet. Team president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has indicated that he would like to have a new manager in place before free agency begins, so a lot of the leg work for that will occur this month.