A guide to what a Giants rebuild would look like


Luis Lopez

Luis Lopez, Editor In Chief

2018 wasn’t at all what the Giants were hoping for. The team was never able to stay consistently above .500 and barely showed any capability of going on a successful run. Now going into the offseason, the Giants have already proclaimed there will be some major “shake-ups” throughout the organization. However, since the championship in 2010, they’ve never been a very “shake-up” oriented team, never selling, only adding.

The Giants front office tries to avoid trading major league talent whenever possible and always prioritizes their homegrown stars when discussing trades. It’s the reason they haven’t even thought about moving star pitcher Madison Bumgarner to this point, most other teams in the Giants’ situation would have likely shipped him for prospects by now, especially with such a team friendly contract, which is currently only giving him around $12 million a year until 2020.

Coming off another losing season that saw them finish in fourth place in the NL West, is now the time to finally make some major changes?

San Francisco has already dismissed general manager Bobby Evans of his duties, and with only one year left on head coach Bruce Bochy’s contract, and no talk of an extension, the Giants sound like they want to see what they can do under new leadership, and with major front office changes come major on-field changes.

As for this offseason, the Giants will be put in a tough position. One option is to go after a big name free agent, like third baseman Manny Machado or outfielder Bryce Harper, and hope that they can contend in 2019. The other option would be to just stand pat and continue to stay under the Competitive Balance Tax, something they’ve made a priority so far. With the way things are currently constructed for San Francisco, the second option may be the way to go.

The Giants are already tied to plenty of contracts for players like shortstop Brandon Crawford, first baseman Brandon Belt, third baseman Evan Longoria, and catcher Buster Posey. Those combined with heavy contracts from pitchers Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto, and Mark Melancon add up to about $125 million per year in contracts until 2020.

Keep in mind that the Giants won’t even be able to use Cueto next year because of his Tommy John surgery back in August.

That’s $125 million a year that’s going towards a group that hasn’t shown any real signs of improvement going into next season.

Brian Sabean and his staff need to find a way to unload some of that salary.

The Giants aren’t likely to trade Posey, but if they want to do a true “shake-up,” other players might be on the move. However, finding teams who would be willing to take on a good amount of those contracts will be hard to find, and if those players perform together as they did in 2018, better days may not be in sight for the Giants.

What its time for San Francisco to do is just wait.

The front office isn’t likely to find any takers for their current heavy contract players without the Giants having to still pay most of their salary, at this point the Giants best shot is to simply get what they can with the money they’re spending.

What can they get exactly?

Since a fire sale this offseason just isn’t an option, the Giants will have to see a few more versions of the 2018 team.

Not horrible but certainly not the best, and they’ll have to hope that those “not horrible” teams will result in good drafting.

This actually works for team president Larry Baer because it means still keeping players from the World Series runs on the roster, which in turn will still attract fans to AT&T Park, something that’s always played a role in terms of the on-field product the front office puts out.

However, not exactly every player can stay.

Part of this long, painful version of a rebuild means that the Giants need good prospects fast, and the best way to do that is with a Bumgarner trade.

Any team that is willing to give up their best prospects this offseason will get two years of Bumgarner for around $24 million, which would be an absolute steal for any team who thinks they’re on the brink of championship contention.

The Giants currently only have two players that are ranked in MLB’s top 100 prospects in catcher Joey Bart, ranked 23rd overall, and outfielder Heliot Ramos, ranked 74th overall.

That number won’t cut it a few years, regardless of how good they perform.

A Bumgarner trade would bring back at least two more top 100 prospects, and if all pans out with good drafts in addition to players brought back in a potential trade, that has the chance to put together a formidable team that can start up as soon as 2022.

It all comes down to if San Francisco is willing to truly “shake-up” the organization as they’ve been saying.

If the Giants are willing to actually make some major changes, a successful, but long rebuild could prove to one day pan out.