After missing out on their top pitching target this winter, the Giants knew that they had to act fast in order to shore up their rotation. When Diamondbacks acted completely sub rosa and shocked the world by landing Zack Greinke, the Giants quickly pivoted to Jeff Samardzija, giving him a five-year, $90MM deal. Even though the deal carries an average annual value of $18MM, Giants GM Bobby Evans tells MLB Trade Rumors that there’s still potentially enough in the coffers to make another impact signing at a similar level.
“There’s flexibility, yes,” Evans told MLBTR. “I think [last year] we didn’t go as far on multi-year deals and we did shorter term deals. It does give you some flexibility this time around.”
Right now, Evans is looking to allocate some of those funds towards the left field position. The Giants GM indicated that he has talked with reps for Dexter Fowler and Gerardo Parra this week, but, he also went on to say that he has been in touch with “almost everyone on the outfield market.” The idea of flexibility goes beyond payroll for Evans as the Giants refuse to lock in on a limited group of left field candidates.
While left field is a priority for Evans, the bullpen is admittedly “on the back burner.” The Giants were long connected to veteran reliever Joakim Soria, but Evans explained that he was not especially desperate to sign him because of his confidence in the current ’pen and the minor league depth backing it up. Without taking anything away from Soria, who signed for $25MM over three seasons, Evans explained that it was “too early” in the offseason for the Giants to allocate money towards relievers. In other words, Evans & Co. have bigger fish to fry before they get to fortifying the late innings.
As it turns out, that big fish could be a Carp. Evans confirmed that the club is having internal discussions about Japanese star Kenta Maeda, who was formally posted on Tuesday. Factoring in the expected $20MM posting fee that it will take to have an audience with the right-hander, the total outlay for him could be $80MM or more. Suffice it to say, a flirtation with Maeda while also adequately filling the left field vacancy could really test the limits of the Giants’ budget.