Baseball’s winter meetings are long gone, but the San Francisco Giants’ inactivity there may haunt them for a long time to come.
The Giants left the meetings without adding any key pieces to a roster that had been severely depleted after the loss of Pablo Sandoval. They were shut out at every turn, including being rebuffed by Jon Lester after their highly-publicized pursuit of the lefty failed to convince him to come to San Francisco. The fact that he chose the Cubs, who haven’t won anything in more than a century, should be taken as an ominous sign by the three-time champions. The Giants simply aren’t seen as a premier destination for free agents and they’re suffering for it.
So where do the Giants go from here? The best remaining free agent third base options have been snatched up, they’ve lost Michael Morse along with Sandoval, and their rotation is riddled with question marks and holes. Meanwhile, the Dodgers, Padres, and Diamondbacks have all made moves to make themselves better and the NL West division race tighter.
The Giants will likely look to the trade market to fill their remaining open spots, but it remains to be seen whether or not they have the pieces other teams covet to make multiple deals happen. Andrew Susac is likely to draw interest but he’s a valuable piece, considering the health of Hector Sanchez and the desire to keep Buster Posey upright over the course of a season. There are a number of good pitching prospects in the lower levels of the minors but that might not be enough if teams want guys who are close to being major league ready. The Giants are in a tough spot.
The winter meetings disaster seemed to knock the Giants for a loop just a bit. Losing Sandoval had to come as a surprise, and it obviously stung losing their number one target to a perennial losing franchise after coming off of another World Series championship. They didn’t sign Chase Headley or Jed Lowrie, have taken themselves out of the running for Max Scherzer, and seem to be halfheartedly chasing James Shields. They’ve fallen way behind their division rivals and the rest of the National League elite, too.
Luckily there’s still time to make moves and fill the glaring holes on the roster; after all, it’s only December. But the Giants came up incredibly small at the winter meetings and haven’t yet recovered from it. If they hope to break their odd year malaise, they’d better move quickly and make some key additions to their club. Otherwise, third or fourth place in the division in 2015 becomes a realistic, and depressing, outcome.
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