Club 14: San Francisco Giants
No team was more active in the trade market during the off-season this year than the San Francisco Giants. After an injury-filled disappointing 2017 season, the Giants made some big moves to improve their team and try to make another run for the playoffs. But the question is: did they do enough?
|Baltimore||Chicago AL||Houston||Atlanta||Chicago NL||Arizona|
|New York AL||Detroit||Oakland||New York NL||Milwaukee||Los Angeles|
|Tampa Bay||Kansas City||Seattle||Philadelphia||Pittsburgh||San Diego|
|Toronto||Minnesota||Texas||Washington||St. Louis||San Francisco|
2017 Record: 64-98, last in the National League West
Acquisitions: 3B Evan Longoria (trade – TB), OF Andrew McCutchen (trade – PIT), CF Austin Jackson (free agent), SP Derek Holland (minors – ST invite), RP Tony Watson (free agent)
Departures: SP Matt Cain (retired), 1B Mike Morse (free agent), SP Matt Moore (trade – TEX), CF Denard Span (trade – TB), SS Christian Arroyo (trade – TB), P Kyle Crick (trade – PIT)
RF Andrew McCutchen
2B Joe Panik
C Buster Posey
3B Evan Longoria
1B Brandon Belt
LF Hunter Pence
SS Brandon Crawford
CF Austin Jackson
SP Madison Bumgarner
SP Johnny Cueto
SP Jeff Samardzija
SP Ty Blach
SP Chris Stratton
The Giants are currently holding a battle for their 4th and 5th starter roles. Ty Blach and Chris Stratton were the presumptive leaders for those roles, however their spring struggles have opened the door for veteran Derek Holland and rookie Tyler Beede to grab one of those starter spots.
The Giants recognized during the off-season that their offense needed major improvements. They went out and acquired five-time All-Star Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for P Kyle Crick and a couple of prospects, and three-time All-Star Evan Longoria from Tampa Bay for CF Denard Span and a couple of prospects. They acquired big names, but they didn’t really acquire big numbers, as McCutchen hasn’t been an All-Star since 2015 and Longoria’s last All-Star appearance was way back in 2010. Still, both players are big improvements over what they had in 2017, as their right fielders combined to hit just .255/.306/.344, and their third basemen were much worse, an MLB worst .216/.268/.300. Most of their right field numbers belonged to Hunter Pence, who moves to LF (another statistical improvement as their left fielders hit just .246/.299/.367).
Their pitching staff was riddled with injuries, as starters Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto missed significant time last year, as did closer Mark Melancon. All three guys are back and ready for 2018, and the Giants will need all three to be on top of their games if they even want to have a chance to be a playoff team. The Giants will also need young starters Ty Blach and Chris Stratton to take the next step, as the team’s success will rely on their pitching staff. If they don’t grow and improve in 2018, the Giants could be looking at another last place season in the NL West. Some experts are projecting the Giants as a possible Wild Card team, but I don’t see it. They don’t have enough starting pitching, and I don’t think their offense is going to be as good as the names suggest they should be.