Three reasons why Giants will be an attractive MLB free agent destination originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Regardless of outside perception, the Giants will actually be a hot destination for MLB free agents this winter.
San Francisco is heading into one of the greatest offseasons in franchise history and appears poised to make a splash or two to retool a lackluster roster and reinvigorate a frustrated fan base.
From president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi to CEO Larry Baer and owner Greg Johnson, the Giants are not an organization like the New York Mets, which flaunts its deep pockets and willingness to spend whatever it takes in free agency. even if they are comfortable with it, he may be teetering above the edge of the competitive balance tax while commanding one of the highest payrolls in the league next season.
With free agency set to begin on Monday, here are three reasons why the Giants will be an attractive destination for even the biggest names.
They want to win and are willing to spend money
The frustration of Giants fans over the past two seasons has been heard loud and clear.
The on-field product, while competitive at times, fell far short of the championship expectations that Orange and Black fans have become accustomed to. However, not once in the past decade-plus has the organization attempted to rebuild it. In fact, they are committed to winning, even if it sometimes doesn’t seem like it.
However, according to Johnson, they need to be “somewhat balanced.”
To their credit, the Giants have been walking their talk in recent years. Since 2018, they have been willing to take on Giancarlo Stanton’s disastrous $250 million contract with the Miami Marlins and have offered $300 million deals to Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa.
Winning three World Series championships recently has put them in a corner, so to speak. In the right sense. They have a reputation and legacy as an organization to uphold and will bring a competitive product to the field every season.
Yes, there is legitimate criticism, but there is no denying that the Giants want to remain successful in the years to come.
Speaking of those three championships, the Giants were able to win the Commissioner’s Trophy in 2010, 2012 and 2014 thanks to their homegrown core of Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Matt Cain and others.
It would be completely silly to compare the Giants’ current crop of homegrown prospects to this dynastic core, but an exciting core is forming. The farm system and player development are important factors for free agents.
The Giants have a Gold Glove-caliber franchise catcher behind the plate in Patrick Bailey. That and the pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park could be a dream combination for free-agent pitchers. Not to mention the exciting duo of Logan Webb and Kyle Harrison at the top of the starting lineup with a handful of potential major league cornerstones including Thairo Estrada, Marco Luciano, Tyler Fitzgerald, Casey Schmitt and Luis Matos, and more looming in the upper echelons of the Farm systems.
As disappointing as the 2023 season was for the Giants on paper, it was a monumental year for player development. This winter appears to be the first offseason in a long time, and the organization has something to lean on regarding its future.
A fan base was hungry for a star
The Giants are still looking for a superstar to build their roster around.
They made a mistake last offseason and while in hindsight that was a good result in the long run, it doesn’t take away the pain you feel as a fan.
However, it’s worth noting that Correa actually chose to sign with the Giants. He chose the organization and chose to play baseball in the city of San Francisco and was excited about making a life for himself in the Bay Area. A superstar chose the Giants and for about a week he was embraced by the fan base. Don’t let revisionist history erase this.
And there will be another…someday.
Whoever this player is, he will be instantly loved and embraced by one of the most passionate fan bases in all of baseball. A Harper, Judge, Correa or Shohei Ohtani don’t sign with San Francisco to join a superteam full of other superstars. The Giants will her Team.
It is valuable to help build a new organization. As long as the foundation is there – which is the case with the Giants – free agents don’t always need that obvious household name on the roster to be convinced to join a team.
If you sign with the Giants, you’ll be that guy. The city is yours.