New Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi joined Tolbert & Lund on KNBR 680 Wednesday afternoon, fresh off his inaugural press conference at AT&T Park.
Zaidi comes with an impressive resume, helping lead the Dodgers to four consecutive NL West division titles as their general manager, after a successful stint as a member of the Oakland A’s front office. To replicate that success in San Francisco, Zaidi will have to get creative with a roster that is now two years removed from the postseason, and seems to be both aging and regressing.
Before the hiring of Zaidi, multiple reports linked the Giants with free agent Bryce Harper, who is likely to command a deal lasting at least 10-years, worth more than $300 million dollars. Zaidi was asked by John Lund if he would rule out breaking the bank on a player like Harper this offseason. Zaidi said no, but didn’t seem to think it was the best course of action.
“I don’t think you ever draw lines in the sand and say ‘hey we’re never going to do this type of contract, or make this kind of trade,'” Zaidi said. “Where we are in our competitive cycle, it’s hard to say one of those guys who is going to get the big crooked number is the missing piece for this roster right now. If you’re in a position as an organization where you feel like you’re just one piece away, sometimes making that big investment makes a lot more sense. But when you have a lot of holes or a lot of places where the roster could use improvement, it almost makes sense to cast a wider net, and bring in multiple pieces rather than push your chips in on that big money type player.”
The Giants made a number of splashy moves last offseason in an attempt to turn around a 98-loss team, by brining in both Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria. Neither lived up to expectations, and McCutchen was traded to the Yankees before the end of the season.
“It’s not just about headline moves and signing the big name free agents and making the trade for the veteran star that’s going to make waves and headlines,” Zaidi said. “It’s about really grinding and evaluating talent that maybe other teams didn’t have the same belief in and seeing those guys go out and perform and turn into longterm pieces. As we look at where we are competitively with the roster and some of the money that’s still on the payroll, being able to find some of those pieces, and having that flexibility is going to be really critical.”
Listen to the full interview below.