Long-time Giants skipper Bruce Bochy left little doubt that he wants to return next season in a chat with John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. His current contract expires after the 2019 campaign.
Certainly, the results haven’t been there over the past two seasons — and, especially, in recent weeks. Even if the postseason long seemed a difficult objective after a disastrous 2017 effort, the club hung in the hunt for most of the current season. But the Giants are now closer to last place in the NL West than they are to third, reflecting a brutal stretch of play.
The writing was already on the wall when CEO Larry Baer expressed clear support for the team’s leadership. But it could be that the sudden downturn, along with other unhappy developments such as season-ending surgery for Buster Posey, has upped the uncertainty.
As Shea explains, it’s unclear at the moment whether the club remains committed to Bochy. Similarly, the club’s long-tenured front office leadership has yet to receive any public assurances. Both Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans will enter the offseason with a single season left on their deals, too.
For his part, though, Bochy says he’s still fully on board. “I still enjoy this as much as I did my first year,” he tells Shea. Of course, he also made clear that his drive is based upon the fact that he “want[s] to get back to the postseason.” Just how much of a priority contention will be in 2019 isn’t yet clear.
All things considered, the Giants face an immense amount of uncertainty. The options are limited with about $125MM in salary commitments already written in stone for each of the next two seasons — much of which is tied up in underperforming players.
Whether the uncertainty will lead to wholesale change, though, remains to be seen. Certainly, it’d be hard to lay the struggles of the past two seasons at Bochy’s feet. The roster wasn’t quite up to snuff on paper, even before injuries and declines intervened. Whether or not Bochy shares a significant portion of the blame, though, he could be caught up in a broader shift — if, that is, the club’s ownership decides it’s time to blow up a leadership combination that has brought so much success.
Giants fans, in particular, will certainly want to give Shea’s piece a full read, as he covers a lot of ground on the broader subject of the organization’s situation.