For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what would make sense.
On to the NL West, where the Dodgers will try to continue their tradition of losing in the playoffs, the Rockies start the farewell tour for Arenado, the Diamondbacks say goodbye to relevancy, the Giants start strapping dynamite to the walls to begin a rebuild, and the Padres ironically look to be competitive in 2019.
San Francisco Giants
Top FA Targets:
- J. Pollock, OF
The Giants OF situation is atrocious… and I’d safely say it is currently the worst in baseball. One easy fix would be to add one of the more underrated free agent OFs to the mix and put him in LF or RF (CF in San Fran requires someone like Billy Hamilton).
- Gio Gonzalez, SP
The current Giants rotation has Andrew Suarez, Chris Stratton, and Dereck Rodriguez all competing for the #4 and 5 spots… and that is before a potential Bumgarner trade and assuming Jeff Samardzija can stay healthy enough to contribute to his 6+ ERA. Gio would be relatively inexpensive and has familiarity with the Bay Area from his time in OAK.
- Ryan Madson, RP
New General Manager Farhan Zaidi brought Madson to LA at the deadline in 2018 when they needed help in the bullpen… now he can bring him to his new home in SF in 2019.
- Carson Smith, RP
Carson Smith is an underrated free agent option for rebuilding teams. He will come at a low cost and the team signing him would be able to keep him under team control again for the 2020 season thru arbitration.
- Adam Jones, OF
The Cali native would also be a good fit for a corner outfielder role in SF. His veteran leadership and status as a perennial fan favorite would mesh well with the young OFs coming up through the system.
Top 3 Trade Possibilities:
- Giants trade SP Madison Bumgarner to the Astros for prospects OF Yordan Alverez (#3) & SP JB Bukauskas (#8)
The Giants need to get the best return possible for MadBum before he hits free agency after the season and HOU has some good fits for the Giants roster. A young OF and SP prospect that can start to restock the farm system is about as ideal as it gets for SF. MadBum isn’t what he used to be, but you can still sell high on his name alone.
- Giants trade SS Brandon Crawford to the Phillies for OF Roman Quinn, SS JP Crawford, & prospect SP JoJo Romero (#5)
Brandon Crawford (3 years/$45.6M) would be a nice consolation prize for the Phillies if they miss out on Machado. He’s better defensively, much cheaper, and a shorter-term contract. The speedy Quinn would be a good fit for the cavernous CF in San Francisco, JP Crawford could use a change of scenery, and the Giants could add a much-needed arm to their farm system.
- Giants trade 3B Evan Longoria to the Mets for Yoenis Cespedes
Longoria has four years and ~$73.2M remaining on his contract (including 2023 buyout) and he is entering his age 33 season. In order to move a contract like that, you need to find another bad contract AND a team in a window to compete. The Mets have OF Yoenis Cespedes with 2 year and nearly $60M left on his contract… and he is likely to miss some time in 2019 while recovering from surgery. With a plethora of internal options, the Mets can move on from him and open up some annual budget space in 2019 and 2020. For the Giants at worst, they save about $14M long-term… best case, he returns and starts mashing again and they can move him for a prospect or two.
- Giants trade 1B Brandon Belt, RP Mark Melancon, and 2B Joe Panik to the Yankees for OF Jacoby Ellsbury, 1B Greg Bird, SP Sonny Gray, & prospect OF Estevan Florial
Brandon Belt (3 years/$51.6M) and Mark Melancon (2/$28M) are two of many contracts the Giants would like to rid themselves of as soon as possible. The Yankees could use an OBP-driven 1B, a fill in at 2B, and a RP to fill the void left by David Robertson. The combination of Belt, Melancon, and Panik are set to make roughly $35.7M in 2019. The Yankees can unload Jacoby Ellsbury (2/$47.2M) and Sonny Gray (1/~$8.5M) in the deal, who are set to make just under $30M combined in 2019. At a net cost of about $6M in 2019, the Yankees would be ecstatic to move two players that they have no interest in having on the roster and their top prospect OF that is blocked for years to come.