$69 Million Down the Drain
I was trying, reaaaal hard to come up with a cool headline after yesterday’s debacle in which the Giants lost the rubber game of the three-game series against the Nationals, 11-6. The Nationals, a team in rebuild ever since they won the World Series in 2019, are a club the Giants need to beat at home if they want to sniff the postseason. With Sean Manaea starting and giving up an ugly line of eight runs, five hits, four walks in 2 2/3 innings now has an ERA of 7.96.
It may be time to cut bait on the Manaea experiment. Manaea, as you may recall, was signed in the offseason for a two-year contract worth $25 million and offering an opt out for the pitcher after year one. That’s a contract that looks more and more like sunken costs and a terrible expenditure for the Giants.
Throw in the exact same contract for an underwhelming (I’m being very diplomatic here, Giants fans) Ross Stripling (with an ERA of 6.66!) and $19 million for one year’s worth of Joc Pederson and you get a grand total of $69 million for three players that, if they suddenly were abducted by space aliens and forced to play in a baseball league in a galaxy far, far away, would make the Giants a better team. It’s a terrible series of signings by Farhan Zaidi and seems to run counter to the penny-pinching ways of the team in other areas, regardless of their attempt to sign Carlos Correa.
It appears that Zaidi was trying to over-compensate once the Correa signing fell through. Each of the above three contracts are serious over-pays and no, it does not take hindsight to come to that conclusion. Eyebrows were raised across baseball when they were signed, especially the Pederson contract, which was for a one-dimensional plattoon-DH player who runs counter to everything you need in a competitive National League team. I don’t want to pile on Pederson. He’s been a good Giant and he hits the occasional long ball but when you add up his and Stripling’s and Manaea’s expenditures I could think of 69 million better ways for the Giants to have used that money.
Now the question is: What do you do if you are Zaidi? Do you live in denial and double-down on your investments or do you admit your mistakes, find ways to send them packing, DFA them? Or trade them and promote youth within the system? Right now Manaea and Stripling serve zero purpose on the Giants roster other than to take up spots that could be used by other players who have something to prove. Kyle Harrison cannot get here fast enough.
This year’s Giant team lives and dies by its starting pitching. When the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation are automatic losses you cannot expect a playoff berth. Especially in a division that will be as tough as the NL West.
The Nationals Stick It to Manaea and the Giants
The Giants lost 11-6 yesterday. That’s all I feel like saying or writing about the game. The Giants tried to make it competitive after falling behind 10-1 after the top of the fifth inning. Among the few bright spots was LaMonte Wade Jr’s homer. Casey Schmitt went 2-4. Michael Conforto also homered. That’s all I’ve got about this game. I will not address the Manaea start other than to say “Don’t Ask!” There was also a crucial error by J. D. Davis, his second in as many games but blaming Manaea’s issues on that play is like well, you know,… just no…
Wherefore art thou, Alex Wood?
The Giants travel to Phoenix for four games in the air conditioning. Tonight’s game begins at 6:45 PM and will feature Cobb vs. Henry.