“We’re going to be open to anything and see what the market yields,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle about the team’s offseason plans. It isn’t markedly different from the strategy Zaidi employed during his first year in charge of the Giants’ front office, as Zaidi didn’t fully commit to either contending or rebuilding while adding some unheralded players (i.e. Mike Yastrzemski, Donovan Solano) who ended up being solid contributors to the roster.
“We’re still in a mode where we want to compete next year. We want to play meaningful baseball as deep into the season as we can, which was our stated goal in 2019,” Zaidi said. “But we want to do it in a way that creates flexibility for us and keeps us an organization moving in a positive, healthy direction. We’re going to be balancing those things as we go through the offseason.”
Looking ahead to 2020, Zaidi was a bit more firm about some specific items on the Giants’ winter shopping list. Zaidi plans to see a left-handed hitting infielder with multi-position capability, backup catching, and extra pitching, though he again stressed that “flexibility” will factor into the team’s decisions.
For instance, both Buster Posey and the Giants consider the longtime face of the franchise still capable of being an everyday catcher, despite Posey’s down year in 2019 that was perhaps influenced by lingering after-effects from his 2018 hip surgery. As such, Zaidi has options for what the team expects or needs from its secondary catcher role. “Is it maybe a 60-game guy who plays other positions or is it more of a true backup? I think there’s different ways we could attack it because we expect Buster to be even healthier and better a year further from the surgery,” Zaidi said. A reunion with Stephen Vogt isn’t out of the question, as Zaidi described the free agent backstop as “a great fit for our roster,” and expected to be in contact with Vogt and his representatives in due course.
The Giants have already made one pitching addition, claiming Tyler Anderson off waivers from the Rockies to add the southpaw to a rotation mix that includes two proven veterans (Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija) and a lot of unproven younger arms. To that end, “we’d certainly be open to adding more veterans and more innings,” Zaidi said.
A veteran left-handed hitting infielder would provide balance for both third baseman Evan Longoria and second baseman Mauricio Dubon, who both hit from the right side. Though Dubon made a solid accounting of himself in his rookie season, adding a veteran complement to second base could also be helpful if Dubon runs into a sophomore slump. Brock Holt, Eric Sogard, Brad Miller, and switch-hitting Asdrubal Cabrera could all be fits in free agency, and San Francisco will surely be on the lookout for any lefty-swinging utility bats on the trade front.