Where do the Giants go from here? We’ll have to find out, but Farhan Zaidi is still thinking about winning this year.
San Francisco made four trades within the past 24 hours, shipping away four MLB veterans while acquiring eight players, including seven minor leaguers. You’d think those trades were indicators the Giants would be sellers and a precursor to bigger deals involving Carlos Rodón or Joc Pederson. Except Rodón and Joc are still on the team.
Zaidi, the President of Baseball Operations for the Giants, spoke to reporters before Tuesday night’s game at Oracle Park and shared his thoughts on Rodón and Juan Soto, who ended up with the San Diego Padres.
“We talked about being open on anything and everything,” Zaidi said. “It’s really how every organization approaches the deadline. The present really matters to us. For most of the season, we’ve been in a playoff spot and obviously had a bad couple of weeks. That’s kind of put us on the fringes of the race, but we know a hot two weeks can turn it around just like a bad two weeks to put us in this position.”
The Giants entered play Tuesday 4.5 games out of the third NL Wild Card spot, 6.5 games behind the Padres and 18 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. The fact San Francisco didn’t add any impact players at the deadline didn’t exactly signal the team is “going for it” this fall.
Rodón can opt out of his contract this year, meaning the Giants might only get 11 or 12 starts out of him before he tests out free agency this winter. He’s 29 and owns MLB’s lowest FIP (2.29) and highest strikeout rate (11.6), so he could command a nine-figure contract as a free agent. Perhaps the Giants will be the team to shell out that money to keep him around, but they’ll likely have some competition.
Speaking of competition, the National League West got a whole lot tougher, as the Padres have acquired the superstar Soto, along with star closer Josh Hader and sluggers Josh Bell and Brandon Drury. Zaidi confirmed that the Giants had discussions with the Washington Nationals about Soto, though it doesn’t sound like they ever got close on a deal.
“We had conversations about Juan Soto with the Nationals, like any team doing their due diligence did,” Zaidi said. “Obviously, the Nationals gravitated toward the package with the players they liked the best. He’s one of the best players in the big leagues and I think every team would love to have him.”
For now, Giants fans will have to cross their fingers that a big-name player will join the squad in free agency this offseason.