Following the theme from Dr. Lefty’s fantastic column that reviewed the season and took a look at various Giants I want to take this moment to explore the free agent issue. Now that the dust is still settling on the Giants 2021 season I think it is time for a distraction and a look ahead. No, I am sure you, my faithful readers are not over the NLDS Game 5 loss. I sure am not. But, let us take a moment to focus on 2022 because Spring Training is only a little over 100 days away.
The Giants front office has a gigantic task ahead of them with regards to the free agents and club options on players like Buster Posey and Johnny Cueto. Key Giant free agents include Brandon Belt, Kevin Gausman, Kris Bryant, Wilmer Flores, Alex Wood, Dominic Leone and Anthony Desclafani. The complete list is below.
MARKET VALUE (AAV)
I have not even addressed possible free agent signings from other teams. MLB just published a position-by-position list of players who are free agents at the end of the season and it has some interesting names (Freddie Freeman, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Rodon, etc.).
The 2022 Giants will have a very different look compared to the magical 2021 team. My guess is Farhan Zaidi and his staff will make decisions first on which current Giants they want to retain. There are big questions:
- Should the Giants sign Buster? For how much and how long?
- Kris Bryant?
- Kevin Gausman?
- Alex Wood?
If I am Zaidi I give Bryant nothing longer than a three-year contract and with a medical exam and the assumption that he is 100% healthy. I take the club option on Buster and keep him. I let Johnny Cueto walk. I sign Gausman and Wood to three year deals. BB9 I let walk (a controversial decision but one I make based on his injury history, not his talent). I sign Flores to a one-year deal.
Regarding free agents from other teams, I look into an outfielder on a two or three year deal and perhaps a number four pitcher. I do not spend money like a drunken George Steinbrenner. I build the pitching staff from within and add Joey Bart to the 26-man roster. I save my money for 2023 when hopefully the Giants will already have Bart and Ramos on the big club with the possibility of Luciano as well.