Boy, my last post did not have a long shelf life. Yesterday it was announced that coveted free agent Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto was signed by that team down south whose name shall not be mentioned, for sick money (12 years, $325 million). Once again the Giants come up short for a free agent they had desired. It happens and it is nothing to cry about. I, for one, concede nothing in December when the season has yet to begin.
It has also been revealed that Yamamoto was never really interested in becoming a Giant. The City of Angels, with Ohtani and its movie stars, was too big a draw at the end of the day. We cannot blame the Giants front office and have to look at this as one of those situations where it was just not meant to be. Yes, our rivals got stronger. Yes, the Giants are even more behind talent-wise. And, Yes, the Giants will not be favorites to win the NL West in 2024. Heck, it might be safe to say the Giants may not even be a .500 team with this roster but the winter is not over yet.
Here is how I calculate things: I think Yamamoto was a risk. He has never faced Big League hitters and there are questions about his fastball. But whatever, I don’t want it to sound like sour grapes but I do know pitchers like Corbin Burnes and Blake Snell are still available in trades. If I am the Giants front office I make BOTH of those hurlers a top priority. Land BOTH, not one, and then the Giants are right back in the battle for a postseason spot. Lose out on both without adding a decent bat and its “say hello to crowds of 12,344 at Willie Mays Field with the team leader in RBIs sitting at 58 heading into September and the Giants comfortably in fourth place.
The correct response to this situation is to trade for some top talent, draft better and develop better. That’s the only path for the Giants forward as the free agent angle is very narrow indeed. Let’s not blame it on the city, or the cold weather, or the pitcher’s park. Let’s just say that it’s tough to compete with a gigantic market like Hollywood or the Big Apple. Let’s just say the Giants need to learn who they are as a franchise and build from the ground up with great drafting, great development and great trades like they did in the 2010s and like the Cardinals have been doing for like, forever.
Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Happy Hannukah, and Happy Festivus
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