by Landon Kim (’25) | February 3, 2023
If any San Francisco Giants fan were to sum up the offseason in one word, it would be frustrating. There were two main goals coming into the offseason, as stated by General Manager Farhan Zaidi: spend a lot of money and land a top-end free agent. Ultimately and unfortunately, only one of those goals was achieved. So how did the Giants end up striking out on virtually all the big fish on the market? They simply were unlucky.
As soon as the season ended, everyone knew who they were going after: Aaron Judge. It made perfect sense. He is from Northern California, grew up rooting for the Giants, and came off of a historic MVP campaign.
Unfortunately, he decided to return to his team, the New York Yankees, for a record $360 million over nine years. The Giants offered him almost exactly the same amount of money, took him on a tour of the city, and even went shopping for houses near the area. So what happened then? It turns out Judge never wanted to sign with the Giants, he only used their offer to leverage in his negotiations with the Yankees.
Such a disheartening blow did not mean that all hope was lost for the Giants. There were many exceptional players still on the free agency market. In fact, just a few weeks later, it was announced unofficially that the Giants had signed Carlos Correa to a 13-year, $350 million contract. The former World Series champion, All Star, and Rookie of the Year was a massive addition to a ballclub stuck in purgatory. But unfortunate luck struck the Giants again. On the day Correa was to be announced officially as the newest member of the San Francisco Giants, it was revealed that he failed his mandatory physical. Eight years ago, he fractured his ankle and had a metal plate inserted. The physicians and doctors operating the physical found this concerning, especially due to the length of the deal.
The deal fell through, and Correa later signed on a much shorter contract with the Twins. But after the contract, all the stars in free agency were gone. The Giants had come up short on getting their face of the franchise. Fans were angry and analysts stated that the Giants had lost the offseason; many were demanding that Zaidi should be fired.
It seemed as if things in San Francisco were going haywire, but that was not the case. Contrary to popular belief, the Giants significantly improved their ball club by spending money on lesser-known players. Players such as Mitch Hangier, Michael Conforto, Taylor Rogers, Luke Jackson, Ross Stripling, and Sean Manea all signed with the Giants on team-friendly deals that can reap massive rewards for the team in 2023.
Despite the Giants being unable to sign any superstars this offseason, they improved their team. Fans may be disappointed and demoralized, but have yet to realize how well the Giants could perform next year. Don’t be surprised if you see the San Francisco Giants back in the playoffs.
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