The Giants’ postseason hopes are over. With that, the attention now turns to the future.
How will the team handle the offseason? Will they finally make a major move in free agency or in a trade?
Andrew Baggarly joined Murph & Mac on Wednesday after the playoff-eliminating loss on Tuesday night, and floated a hypothetical Kyle Harrison trade he originally outlined in a piece in The Athletic:
The Giants could be a match with the Cincinnati Reds, who have more breakthrough rookie position players than they know what to do with. (Harrison for Matt McLain, who says no?) The St. Louis Cardinals might be desperate enough for pitching that they would consider moving Jordan Walker or Lars Nootbaar. The New York Mets are in the same position with Pete Alonso that the Boston Red Sox were in with Mookie Betts four years ago — at a contract impasse with a superstar who has one year of arbitration before free agency — and while the Giants would be right to question the wisdom of a trade-and-sign deal for someone who would be a 39-year-old first baseman at the end of a 10-year contract, they’re also a sufficiently motivated and power-starved franchise that hasn’t had a 30-homer season in two decades (Barry Bonds, 2004) and has been turned aside again and again in an effort to lure someone capable of clearing that bar with ease (Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, etc.).
Baggarly was asked about the trade hypothetical, and referenced the growing sense within the organization that they need to make a major move or moves.
That was coupled with the reality of the market.
“There’s not that many everyday position players out there,” Baggarly said.
He said a trade may be the only way for the Giants to make a major shift.
They may just have too much heavy lifting to do without making a trade, where they bring a little balance to the force and they feel good about the amount of young pitching they have in their system.
There may be some matches out there for a team that’s got a lot of position players and is maybe looking for pitching. The Reds are certainly one of those teams. The Cardinals are absolutely one of those teams. It may be difficult because you have a team like the Seattle Mariners, who are in a similar position to the Giants, looking to make similar deals…
But I think the Giants are realizing they may need to be a little more aggressive and have a little bit of a different risk-averse calculation this offseason than they have in the past.
Baggarly threw out two potential names that could add some slugging to the lineup.
The first is a free agent with local ties.
“One name to keep an eye on: Rhys Hoskins,” Baggarly said. “He’s a guy who missed all of the season, he was hurt. But he’s a guy with thump, he’s been a pretty good player in this league. He’s also from Sacramento.”
The second is massive name that would require a similarly large trade:’massive name that would require a similarly large trade:
There’s another name out there: Pete Alonso. He’s a guy who would be a one-year rental, essentially. I don’t think you’d want to trade for him unless you could sign him long term, but he and the Mets have been at a contract impasse and he’s got one more of arbitration before he’d be a free agent. Obviously, he’d be very expensive, so I don’t know if that’s a perfect match, either. But yeah, there aren’t that many solutions for the Giants on the position player front.
From Baggarly’s perspective, the Giants will possibly have to make a major trade. They have a glut of pitching prospects in their system, and may seek to find a marriage with another organization chock full of position players. Harrison for McLain? Possibly.
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