By 2012, the then youthful core of Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford all had at least one World Series title under their belt. Add in Hunter Pence, who joined the Giants via trade in 2012, and the Giants looked to have a young core in place that would lead to unprecedented success for years to come.
Though they would go on to win another title in 2014, it has become apparent that the Giants need to revaluate their roster after an atrocious 2017 and this suddenly aging core might make that difficult for them to do.
“I don’t think its going to be easy for the Giant to be bold and creative,” Dave Flemming said on Murph and Mac Thursday morning. “The Giants, for better or worse, are for the most part locked into this team and its going to be a real challenge for them to be as creative as they want to be.”
Now seasoned veterans in the big leagues, Posey, Crawford, Belt and Pence make up the highest paid non-pitchers on the Giants’ roster, the cheapest being Belt and the $68.8 million he is due. The Giants are stuck with these contracts taking up a large part of their payroll until 2022, with the exception of Pence who will hit free agency following next season.
Although they served the Giants well during their championship years, this core struggled through a severe drop in offensive production this season.
Despite showing consistent power numbers with 18 homers, Belt was batting a measly .241 with 104 strikeouts before a hit-by-pitch to the helmet put him on the disabled listed since early August. Likewise, Crawford has hit 14 home runs, but is batting only .246 after he finished last season with a .275 batting average.
Posey is the only putting up strong numbers this season, batting .315 with 12 home runs and a .853 OPS.
Yet, money does not become an issue when the product outweighs the cost. The Giants saw this core lead them to a trio of unbelievable championship runs and their track records indicate they all underperformed this season. If these veterans can turn it around next year, the Giants are seemingly in better shape than what they appear to be this season.
To listen to the full interview, check out the podcast below and skip to 3:43 for Flemming on the Giants.