The Farhan Zaidi era has been largely defined by finding value that others have overlooked, rather than paying top dollar for marquee talent. After riding that formula to a 107-win season, will the formula change?
It will certainly be tempting. The entire rotation aside from Logan Webb is about to hit free agency, and a number of high-profile starting pitchers will also be hitting the open market, including the likes of Zach Grienke, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and Marcus Stroman to name a few.
Still, veteran Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly doesn’t believe the Giants will break the bank. He said you should expect more of the same from Farhan and Co.
“I don’t think they’re going to chase names,” Baggarly said on KNBR Wednesday. “That’s not really what they do. I think they’re going to chase people that they think are undervalued or people they can coach up or people they can really get a lot of production out of. Whether it’s someone coming off an injury, someone coming off a bad season, someone who’s got a big name or doesn’t have a big name.”
Really, why should they change their strategy? Using a rotation that consisted of Logan Webb, Kevin Gausman, Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani, the Giants had the second best ERA (3.24) and WHIP (1.15) of any team in baseball in 2021. Johnny Cueto, the only pitcher on a long term deal, actually had the worst numbers of the bunch (4.08 ERA, WHIP 1.36).
“So I don’t think you’re going to see them overpay for a big name that looks sexy in the boxscore. I think it’s going to be more of the same. Maybe names that don’t thrill you as much, but guys that have sort of the underlying qualities that they value, that they think can get hitters out. Whether it’s someone you recognize or not.”
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Listen to the full interview below.