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Farhan Zaidi, you are truly testing the resolve of your fan base



PHOTO: © Mark J. Rebilas | 2023 Nov 8

It’s February 2 — do you know where your Giants buzz is?

Yes, the 49ers are in the Super Bowl, and yes, I’m as excited as all of you, and yes, our show will be in Las Vegas next week and yes, if Christian McCaffrey makes opening kickoff I am cautiously optimistic, but I am using this valuable slice of KNBR cyberspace during the SB 58 bye week to say:

Man, Farhan Zaidi. You truly are testing the resolve of your fan base.

The latest news came over the past 10 days, when Northern California’s own born-and-bred slugger Rhys Hoskins agreed to a wholly manageable two-year, $34 million deal to add thump … to the Milwaukee Brewers.

And then Thursday, the news came that Golden State born-and-bred Corbin Burnes, the St. Mary’s kid who won the NL Cy Young in 2021, led the NL in strikeouts in 2022 and struck out another 200 in 2023 for good measure, had been acquired . . . by the Baltimore Orioles.

Hoskins and Burnes were precisely the types of players who could specifically help the 2024 Giants. The 2024 Giants lack pop. And the 2024 Giants need a dominant arm besides Logan Webb to attack Dodgers’ bats, because Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Shohei Blankin’ Ohtani are due up.

And yet … hello, darkness, my old friend . . . 

I already heard from the loyalists defending the lack of activity, saying the Orioles traded too much — two top-100 prospects and a comp pick — for a pitcher who will be a free agent next year.

To which I say: what are we doing here?

Are the Giants trying to win?

Are the Giants trying to beat the Dodgers, not to mention the NL champ Diamondbacks, and Machado-and-Tatis Padres? 

There needs to be a new strain of bold action from this Giants front office, as I was just saying to my good friend Cooper Hummel. A viable way of life is to use your prospects to procure something of value. There is nothing wrong with this course of action, and while in an ideal world the Giants would trade something of value for a younger, more controllable everyday player, the idea of landing Burnes for a 2024 run and getting him used to the pitcher-friendly ballpark in the same area where he went to college is a rather plausible scenario in which you sign him to a longer-term deal.

At the least, you are telling your fans you want to win, and are trying to win, and are trying to get Ohtani to pop out to end the inning.

I heard the argument that Hoskins would be “redundant” to Wilmer Flores, which I found amusing. There is nothing redundant about adding threat to a lineup without threat. The DH, while repugnant, means there is room for Flores *and* Hoskins in your lineup. 

But no. Farhan passed. 

I write all this not because it pleases me. I write all this because, like so many Giants fans out there, we are dying for some action, even a little love reaction. Instead, we’re dancing in the dark of what may be an empty Oracle Park. 

Here is my codicil paragraph, sports fans: there are still two weeks before teams report, and there is still time for Farhan to sign Matt Chapman, who would provide desperately needed fire and leadership, not to mention defense. It will likely have to be an overpay, because Scott Boras. Chapman, though a career .240 hitter, would at least fill a 3 or 4 hole in a lineup that looks distressingly like last year’s lineup, save for new leadoff man Jung Hoo Lee. 

When Farhan held his mostly-depressing end-of-year chat in the Giants dugout, he cited the outstanding TV series “The Bear” and its motivational lesson: “Every second counts.”

Lotta seconds flying by this Hot Stove League, y’all. Just sayin’. 

Now, back to your regularly scheduled 49ers Fever.