One thing was made clear during Farhan Zaidi and Gabe Kapler’s end of season press conference: They want to run it back with the same group in 2022.
That desire makes sense. The 2021 Giants had more wins than any other team in franchise history, and did so largely on the backs if cheap free agent signings and aging stars.
Keeping all of the biggest contributors could prove difficult, however. In addition to Buster Posey’s team option worth $22 million and Brandon Belt and Kris Bryant both hitting free agency, the Giants also have no long-term security in their rotation.
Other than Logan Webb who is under team control through 2025, Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood are all set to hit free agency. Johnny Cueto has a $22 million team option that is almost guaranteed not to get picked up.
Zaidi said the Giants have interest in retaining all of the members of their rotation, but knows that many, especially Gausman, are likely to command decent offers on the open market.
“We have a number of free agents in the rotation and we have interest in retaining all of those guys, but this is probably the segment of the free agent market that’s hardest to predict or pin down, because it’s a need that every team has and every team tries to address pretty aggressively,” Zaidi said.
“I imagine that whether it’s in conversations with our own guys with some other starting pitcher free agents that are out there, and evaluating our own system and evaluating players that may be out there who kind of spent this offseason in the upper levels with other teams, and guys we view as potential trade candidates. We’re going to pursue all those avenues.”
When it comes to free agent starting pitchers, there are a ton of veterans slated to hit the open market. Zack Grienke, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Marcus Stroman, Yusei Kikuchi, Corey Kluber and Noah Syndergaard are all currently out of contract. It hasn’t been the Giants’ style to go after known commodities when it comes to acquiring starting pitching, but if they can’t hang onto their current rotation, they’ll certainly have that option.
“It’s probably obvious looking at where our roster is going to be on paper, but that’s going to be the number priority for us.”