Happy New Year Everyone! It’s back to business for us here at TWG Central on this fourth of January 2024. The latest Giants news, and I have been scouring the Internet, tells us the Giants are in the hunt for a top flight Scott Boras free agent. That is, that’s what several sources indicate, including ESPN’s Jeff Passan and MLB Trade Rumors. Those potential free agent acquisitions include Cody Bellinger, Jordan Montgomery, Matt Chapman and Blake Snell. Each is a Scott Boras current free agent. Hard pass on Bellinger for me. Yes to Montgomery (for the right price). No to Chapman (past his prime). Yes to Blake Snell, the reigning NL Cy Young Award Winner and a pitcher who could dominate the best line ups in baseball come playoff time. Snell is a difference-maker. I don’t care about his sometimes lack of command or his issues with going more than five innings. Give me a pitcher who can shut down the best teams any day of the week. Imagine the Giants rotation at the top with Logan Webb and Snell! That’s not bad at all. It would also be getting closer to the Giants championship DNA since we all know those three World Series Rings were grounded in excellent starting and relief pitching.
The Giants DNA
That pitching-first approach is something that has escaped the Giants brass since 2019. It is one of the heavy biases of the Analytics-first mode of baseball operations that front offices tend to value hitting and scoring more than run prevention and pitching. It’s perhaps the biggest mistake of that warped philosophy. We all know that San Francisco’s Willie Mays Field is a pitcher’s park and that pretty much any pitcher’s park in San Francisco will always be that way because of the cool summer weather and damp air. It’s one of the main reasons the Giants have had a tough time attracting big time hitters as free agents. It’s not the only reason, mind you, but it is a factor and it has been cited repeatedly, most recently by Shohei Ohtani. There’s also the fact that in popular culture, in terms of a media market and in terms of competitiveness, the Giants are far, far behind their rivals in Los Angeles. It’s just the brutal, hard truth and it’s time to accept that the path forward for the Giants must be through drafting well and making shrewd trades. The big time free agent hitters ain’t coming to the city by the bay, at least not until the Giants can compete for a Division and a Championship.
Sometimes a person, or a baseball team has to know and accepts its real Identity, It’s real DNA to succeed. Going against that identity to be something you are not just does not work. I would argue that was the first mistake of the current regime. They learned absolutely nothing about how the Giants won three World Series and decided they knew better.
How has that worked out so far?
New Year’s Resolutions for the Giants
Maria Guardado at MLB.com just published her “five resolutions for the Giants for the new year”. It’s interesting as a list and it includes adding a top of the rotation starter, score more runs for Logan Webb, clean up the defense, be more aggressive on the basepaths and find more shortstop depth.
I would add: Draft better!