Not that long ago, the Giants were a team that couldn’t be counted out in the postseason. Despite their World Series chances consistently being overlooked, the Giants managed to win three championships over a span of just five seasons.
But now, with their last championship three years in the rearview window, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic told Murph & Mac on Tuesday morning that the Giants have lost their reputation as a contending team and that could keep them from achieving their offseason goals.
“They weren’t able to do that with Stanton, but they have to be able to convince their fans that they’re going to be ready to win, people who are renewing their season tickets,” Baggarly said. “They really don’t have the credibility right now and they’ve got to get it back.”
It’s a seemingly obvious problem that doesn’t have an obvious solution. The Giants are coming off their worst season in over 30 years, losing 98 games with the second fewest number of home runs. Consequently, San Francisco isn’t the prized landing spot for free agents like it was when the Giants were reaching the World Series every other year.
“Kind of the sad part of it is that his agent was saying that his experience playing in the World Baseball Classic with guys like Posey and Crawford, and hearing them talk about, ‘all we do is win the World Series every year.’ Baggarly said. “That really pushed him to, I think the word he used was to have that arrogance and be in that situation. The sad thing is, that arrogance is three years stale for the Giants. They got to get back to that point. They’ve got to convince free agents that they’re able to win.’
Nothing made this reality more evident for the Giants than their hunt for Giancarlo Stanton. After months of heavily pursuing the slugging outfielder and coming to terms with the Marlins, Stanton chose to uphold his no-trade clause and went on to agree to a trade to the New York Yankees, one of the four LCS teams in last year’s postseason.
“Giancarlo is looking to win right now and he had teams stepping up,” Baggarly said. “I thought he put it best when he said, ‘there are teams where I’d be the missing piece to get them over the hump to be contending.’ Whereas these four teams, the four LCS teams–Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, and Cubs–he would be a piece that is already ready to win 90-plus games. That’s a situation he was looking for.”
To listen to the full interview check out the podcast below, and start 3:27 for Baggarly on Giants.