Why the SF Giants front office will be active before Opening Day

2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training
2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants front office has stated that they are done making moves in free agency. It is a phrase they have uttered a couple of times in the offseason, but I believe them this time around. On the other hand, there is still work that needs to be done to finalize the Opening Day roster before Thursday.

Why the SF Giants front office will be active before Opening Day

Some of those moves are seemingly predictable. While Marco Luciano has made a solid, last-minute case to break camp with the club, Nick Ahmed has had a strong spring as well. Whether Luciano starts the year in Triple-A or the majors, there needs to be a clear path to playing time.

That is hard to do if Ahmed is on the roster. The glove-first infielder came into camp as a non-roster invitee and has performed well. In 29 at-bats, Ahmed has tallied 11 hits, including four extra-base hits, with seven RBI. Cactus League numbers do not always translate to regular season success, but he has done everything that the Giants would want to see from a non-rostee invitee.

If Ahmed makes the Opening Day roster, the Giants need to create space on the 40-man roster. There is a possibility that Joey Bart is moved before Opening Day given that he is out of minor league options. If Bart does not make the roster, he will need to be placed on waivers.

That is one way to create a roster spot, and perhaps, the only question mark among the position players. However, the Giants still need to fill out a starting rotation and a bullpen.

For the rotation, the first three pitchers are set in stone to start the year. The Giants hope that Keaton Winn can make his first turn through the rotation, but who rounds out that unit remains a mystery for now. Daulton Jefferies and Landen Roupp finished camp competing for a spot. None of the three are on the 40-man roster, so the Giants would need to make a corresponding roster move to add them before the start of the season.

This is where it gets more challenging. The Giants have some soft spots on the 40-man roster that they could consider. David Villar has fallen down the depth chart despite putting together a strong spring. He could be a candidate to be moved off of the 40-man roster along with Sean Hjelle, Cooper Hummel, and Brett Wisely.

The Giants could move Ethan Small to the 60-day injured list after sustaining an oblique strain. Or, there could be a trade. Heliot Ramos does not have a clear path to reaching the majors at this point and he has been leapfrogged on the depth chart by Luis Matos and Jung Hoo Lee among others.

Lastly, who fills out the bullpen? The Giants have a solid core of relievers with Camilo Doval, Tyler Rogers, Taylor Rogers, Ryan Walker, and Luke Jackson. They could carry eight relievers, leaving three spots open. Perhaps, the Giants would prefer to use Jefferies in a bulk-innings role rather than as a starter, but that leaves open two spots.

There are a lot of directions in which the Giants can go. And, it seems pretty clear that they will be active before the first game of the season in San Diego on Thursday.