by Landon Kim (’25) | November 18, 2022
The 2021 San Francisco Giants were one of the best teams in both franchise and Major League Baseball history. The 107-win team was balanced in every aspect of the game, from a dominant starting pitching staff to a home-run-fueled offense. With lead tactician Gabe Kapler leading the way, the team looked unstoppable going into the 2021 playoffs. Unfortunately, that’s when their magical run came to an end, as the rival Los Angeles Dodgers beat them in the quarterfinals. Regardless, the 2021 season was still positive for the team.
During the following offseason, the front office’s plan was simple: bring back the same players that were successful and put them on the field. Following this plan, they brought back Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, two key offensive contributors during the 2021 season. However, this plan, set by Kepler and Giants’ president Farhan Zaidi, fell short, as pitcher Kevin Gausman joined the Toronto Blue Jays for a better paycheck. Additionally, star third-baseman Kris Bryant left to sign with the Colorado Rockies for $182 million. The Giants compensated for these major losses by bringing in two additional pitchers: all-Star Carlos Rodon and 2006 fourth-round draft pick Alex Cobb. Even if the offseason did not go as planned, the Giants still managed to equip themselves to compete in the 2022 season.
Despite high expectations and a playoff-ready roster, the Giants had an abysmal 2022 season. Every player who had success the prior year massively underperformed, which led to 26 fewer wins and an 81-81 record. The mediocre season was fueled by the lack of a desire to win, a weak offense and defense, and a significantly worse bullpen. Many fans started giving up two months before the season even ended because of how poorly the Giants were playing. The season was a step backwards for the Giants in their effort to win another World Series.
In light of their failure to meet expectations for the season, there is one thing that can get the Giants back on track: spending money on players. It is well known that Zaidi refuses to commit to long-term deals attached to large paychecks; however, his frugality is detrimental to the team. With the best free agent class in recent history and over $100 million to spend, it is time for Zaidi to bid on the best–soon to be the American League’s most valuable player, Aaron Judge is a good place to start. The Giants’ fanbase has expressed interest in Judge, as he grew up in Northern California as an avid Giants fan. Additionally, the plethora of young, talented shortstops such as Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson, and Trea Turner are worth taking note of. Any one of those three would be the perfect upgrade for an old and slowing Brandon Crawford.
2023 is a make or break offseason for the Giants. If they want to compete with powerhouses like the Dodgers and Padres, they need to load their team with stars and not be afraid to spend money to do so. Zaidi owes it to the franchise and the fans to put out a quality team every game, inning, and pitch. The Giants have not won a World Series since 2014 and cannot settle for mediocrity again. They must find a way to win.
Categories: Sports, Uncategorized
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