Since taking over the Giants front office, Farhan Zaidi has executed a bevy of minor claims and signings while dealing away some veteran assets. But he has also explored massive free agent contracts, declined to strip the roster of veterans, and held back some trade chips from the summer market. The big-revenue team isn’t tanking and remains a threat to land any player it likes.
With that as the backdrop, the Giants appear to be playing an increasingly interesting role in the development of this year’s free agent market. There are some hints the team could even be involved quietly in the Gerrit Cole market, though it’s still unclear whether the Giants would really make a shocking run at the market’s biggest prize.
There’s no reason whatsoever the Giants should be ruled out of significant free agents, though. The club seems now to be a particular threat to land slugging corner outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, who would add some much-needed pop to the lineup. This connection was made recently and now is gaining some steam.
At least one rival executive is so convinced of the Giants’ interest as to presume that Castellanos will end up in San Francisco, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link). The club does indeed have “genuine” interest in Castellanos, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link), though the veteran beat reporter isn’t necessarily tabbing them the favorites.
This all makes sense on paper. In our top 50 free agent prediction post, we guessed the Giants would end up with a similar player in Marcell Ozuna, but both youthful performers have essentially similar market situations. Some teams may prefer the greater recent offensive output of Castellanos or the generally better-regarded glovework of Ozuna. It seems the Giants are smitten enough with Castellanos that he could be the priority, though there’s still time for the market to take any number of different paths.