The Giants entered the winter with terrific payroll flexibility, having reshuffled their deck since president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi took over in 2018.
Despite the opportunity, the Giants failed to land a superstar on the free agent market. Their top target, Aaron Judge, opted to return to the New York Yankees. Shortstop Carlos Correa agreed to a gargantuan deal to come to San Francisco, only to fail his physical.
The Giants, coming off an 81-81 season, are a month away from entering spring training with a reimagined roster. Brandon Crawford will play shortstop for the 13th straight year, but longtime veterans Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria have departed. The Giants made roster upgrades with the objectives of improving defensively and getting more athletic.
Here’s a breakdown of how San Francisco’s payroll situation stacks up as the offseason winds down.
What’s the Giants payroll for the upcoming season?
San Francisco’s total payroll, as of Jan. 23, is $173 million.
They’re paying Tommy La Stella $10.7 million to play for the Seattle Mariners and owe $1 million in deferred salary to Mark Melancon.
Otherwise, the Giants’ books are clean.
How much did the Giants spend this cycle?
The Giants committed $203.6 million to 16 players — six free agents and 10 who avoided arbitration. They re-signed Joc Pederson on the qualifying offer and added five new players. Their free agent haul includes five All-Stars and two World Series champions.
New faces include outfielders Mitch Haniger and Michael Conforto, starters Ross Stripling and Sean Manaea, and reliever Taylor Rogers and Luke Jackson.
That $203.6 million figure ranks eighth in the spending cycle. The Giants, Rangers, Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Padres, Cubs, and Twins are the only clubs to pass the $200 million mark in commitments this winter.
It would be much higher on the list, of course, had Carlos Correa’s check cashed. Minnesota, which landed Correa on a six-year, $200 million deal, vaulted into the sixth spot.
The Yankees, by landing Carlos Rodón and retaining Judge, top the spending cycle at $608.3 million.
Where does the Giants’ payroll rank?
The Giants’ $173 million payroll ranks ninth in MLB, right behind Atlanta and ahead of the Los Angeles Angels.
That puts the Giants as close to the league average ($140.6 million) as they are to the fifth-place Dodgers ($205.8 million).
The full Top 10 payrolls list is as follows.
- New York Mets
- New York Yankees
- San Diego Padres
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Texas Rangers
- Atlanta Braves
- San Francisco Giants
- Los Angeles Angels
How does that number compare to recent years?
SF’s $173 million payroll, if left unchanged, is the highest total since 2019. Roster moves to come will almost surely inflate the total as well.
Last year, San Francisco finished .500 with a $162.5 million payroll, per Spotrac. The season before, when SF won 107 games, it was $171.9 million.
Who has the biggest contract on the books?
Joc Pederson’s $19.65 million qualifying offer is the largest figure for 2023, representing 11.35% of SF’s payroll.
But that deal only lasts for one season. Mitch Haniger is making just $7 million in 2023, but his three-year, $43.5 million is the largest guaranteed contract currently in the organization. He has a player option for $15.5 million in 2025.
How close are the Giants to the luxury tax threshold?
Set at $233 million, the luxury tax threshold almost certainly won’t come into play for the Giants.
The Mets, Yankees, Padres and Phillies are the only clubs currently over the tax, with the Dodgers ducking just under.
What does SF’s payroll look like next winter?
The Giants again should have relative financial flexibility next winter, but how much room they have to play with will depend on whether select players pick up their options.
Michael Conforto, Ross Stripling and Sean Manaea each have sizable options for the 2024 seasons. If they exceed expectations this year, they could re-enter the free agent market in search of a long-term deal (or, of course, seek that with the Giants).
If every option gets picked up, the Giants will have $112.6 million in payroll for 2024 before paying arbitration or making additional moves. That number would be spread among nine veterans: Haniger, Conforto, Stripling, Manaea, Rogers, Jackson, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Cobb, and Wilmer Flores.