With the World Series over (Congrats Boch!) it’s time to start thinking about 2024. The 2024 Offseason has officially started.
The Giants will play their first Cactus League game of 2024 on February 24. With a new Manager in Bob Melvin there is reason for optimism. It is my opinion that other than Ron Wotus, Bob Melvin was probably the best hire the Giants could make for their new Manager. Now let’s see what the Giants front office has cooked up in terms of free agent signings and trades.
Here are the key dates for the offseason:
Nov. 2: Clubs can resume trading Major League players, and eligible players become free agents. This begins a “quiet period” in which free agents may negotiate only with their own teams.
Nov. 6: This is the deadline for teams and players to decide on contract options and for clubs to tender qualifying offers. It’s also the end of the “quiet period,” meaning free agents will be eligible to sign with any club beginning at 2 p.m. PT.
Nov. 7-9: GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Nov. 14: The deadline for players to accept a qualifying offer is 1 p.m. PT. The deadline to add players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft is 3 p.m. PT.
Dec. 4-6: Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., including the MLB Draft lottery on Dec. 5 and the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 6.
Jan. 12, 2024: Eligible players and their teams exchange arbitration figures.
Giant Free Agents
Here is the list of free agents on the Giants:
OF Joc Pederson, SS Brandon Crawford, LHP Alex Wood, RHP Jakob Junis, RHP John Brebbia, LHP Scott Alexander and C Roberto Pérez.
Pederson is gone. BCraw too. I will write an ode to Crawford sometime down the road. Wood is gone. Junis may be re-signed. Brebbia, I am not sure. Alexander? Maybe, Perez, I don’t think so.
Opt-Out and Team Options
There are also players with opt-out options, a contractual detail I HATE WITH A PASSION! Why not just sign a player for the term you want? The whole player option is an item I would never allow my front office to make were I an MLB owner. Here is the list of Giants:
• Alex Cobb, team option, $10 million
• Sean Manaea, player option, $12.5 million
• Ross Stripling, player option, $12.5 million
• Michael Conforto, player option, $18 million
The Giants will likely keep Cobb. I see Manaea walking. I see Stripling walking and I see Conforto staying. I don’t think his value on the open market is that high and he may want one more year to prove his worth. On the other hand, there are not many left-handed semi-power hitters on the free agent list this year, apart from Ohtani, of course. So, Conforto could go too. That would mean the Giants would have $43 million off the books in terms of payroll heading into 2024.
The six players who are arbitration-eligible for the Giants. Arbitration can be an ugly way for a player to get a raise or not. Ownership makes their case against the amount a player is seeking. Arbitration is one of the stranger aspects of baseball contracts. Here is the list of Giants eligible this year:
• Austin Slater ($3.6 million)
• J.D. Davis ($6.8 million)
• Mike Yastrzemski ($7.3 million)
• LaMonte Wade Jr. ($3.3 million)
• Tyler Rogers ($3.2 million)
• Thairo Estrada ($4.8 million)
The list of salaries next to the player’s name is the amount estimated by MLB Trade Rumors. It’s an interesting list and I think the J. D. Davis amount could be higher.
The List of Top Free Agents In 2023
This might be the most interesting part of the Giants offseason: who
1. Shohei Ohtani, DH/RHSP
2. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, RHSP
3. Blake Snell, LHSP
4. Cody Bellinger, CF/1B
5. Aaron Nola, RHSP
6. Jordan Montgomery, LHSP
7. Josh Hader, LHRP
8. Matt Chapman, 3B
9. Jung-hoo Lee, CF
10. Sonny Gray, RHSP
11. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF
12. Michael Wacha, RHSP
My List of Who the Giants Should Sign
Blake Snell, P
Aaron Nola, P
Sonny Gray, P
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF
Look, as I have written before, the Giants have wallowed in mediocrity for four of the last five seasons. It’s time to do a full-on rebuild from the ground up or to go big and sign some real stars who can make an immediate impact for the team and get them into the postseason. The Giants needs are many and if I were the owner I would not continue down the same dumpster-diving philosophy of small-market team-building that we have seen the past five years under the current regime. I would asses the chances of success with a new crop of free agents like Snell, Nola and Gurriel and what that might mean for the luxury tax and payroll versus rebuilding and letting only the young players play and hoping for better drafts. It’s not an easy decision. It’s the curse of teams that are not quite awful and nowhere near great. That’s what our Giants team is right now.
2023 Gold Glove Winners
MLB recently announced the winners of the 2023 Gold Glove. Before I get to the list I want you to consider this, Giants fans: The Rangers made only 57 errors last season. The DBacks only 56. Those were 1 and 2 in the rankings respectively and it’s no accident that solid defense was a key factor in each team’s World Series run. Let’s hope the Giants front office is learning from this. It’s been a sticking point for me for a long time. The Giants don’t have a good power hitting team and they are even worse defensively. It’s time for a major shift in philosophy on run prevention.
This year’s group of Gold Glove winners featured 13 first-timers the second most since the award was established in 1957, trailing only last season’s 14 when the utility player category was introduced.
National League Gold Glove winners:
- First base: Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Second base: Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs
- Third base: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Shortstop: Dansby Swanson, Chicago Cubs
- Left field: Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs
- Center field: Brenton Doyle, Colorado Rockies
- Right field: Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres
- Utility: Ha-Seong Kim, San Diego Padres
- Pitcher: Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies
- Catcher: Gabriel Moreno, Arizona Diamondbacks
American League Gold Glover winners:
- First base: Nathaniel Lowe, Texas Rangers
- Second base: Andrés Giménez, Cleveland Guardians
- Third base: Matt Chapman, Toronto Blue Jays
- Shortstop: Anthony Volpe, New York Yankees
- Left field: Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians
- Center field: Kevin Kiermaier, Toronto Blue Jays
- Right field: Adolis García, Texas Rangers
- Utility: Mauricio Dubón, Houston Astros
- Pitcher: José Berríos, Toronto Blue Jays
- Catcher: Jonah Heim, Texas Rangers