Although they’re coming off three straight sub-.500 campaigns, the Giants haven’t made any aggressive offseason moves to improve their chances in 2020. Their biggest additions have been a pair of potential bounce-back starting pitchers in Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly. Both players, including Smyly on Thursday, joined the club on relatively low-risk one-year contracts.
With Gausman and Smyly in tow, what’s next for president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, general manager Scott Harris and the Giants? Well, they’re not finished constructing their roster yet, Harris told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle as a guest on the Giants Splash podcast.
As of now, San Francisco’s “actively working on a few different upgrades,” Harris revealed. Specifically, the Giants are “working really hard to add to our rotation” and “working hard to add some power and balance to our offense, both in the infield and in the outfield.”
Even after picking up their two new starters, questions abound in the Giants’ staff. Neither of those hurlers is a shoo-in to perform at a high level this year, nor is Tommy John surgery returnee Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija or anyone else in their rotation mix. Moreover, the Giants lost their longtime top starter, Madison Bumgarner, to the division-rival Diamondbacks in free agency, though Harris indicated San Francisco did at least attempt to re-sign the franchise icon. With Bumgarner among those off an ever-shrinking free-agent board, there’s little to nothing in the way of strong starters left on the open market.
Trades, whether they improve the Giants’ rotation or other areas, are still in play. Harris told Schulman they’re “talking to every team at least weekly now” about deals. Perhaps something will come together to better the Giants’ offense, which ranked 28th in runs and wRC+ last year and hasn’t gotten any significant help since then. They’re hoping for better things from well-compensated veterans such as Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria. When Schulman asked (without naming anyone in specific) if any of the Giants’ expensive vet hitters are part of trade talks with other teams, Harris said “not right now,” adding that the club wants “a healthy mix” of older and younger contributors.
While the Giants want to win as many games as possible in 2020 and could still make more moves in the coming weeks to increase their odds, they won’t do anything to disrupt their long-term chances. Harris’ hope is that the team will “strike the right balance” of contending now and in the future.