MLB Offseason Preview: San Francisco Giantsby Jamie Gatlin November 27, 2021 1 comment
The San Francisco Giants were one of baseball’s biggest surprises in 2021. After five straight losing seasons, the Giants won a franchise record 107 games. Despite falling short of a World Series berth, the team had an unforgettable run. As they prepare for the 2022 campaign, the Giants will again be relying on young stars and veteran pieces.
Looking towards next season, San Francisco is in a different place than a year ago. They are no longer rebuilding, and have entered the offseason with plenty of money to spend. As they look to build on last year’s success, they have already been aggressive in free agency in what is expected to be a busy offseason.
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With the offseason in full swing, the Giants have wasted no time bringing back key pieces. The defending National League West champs have already re-signed Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani. With Logan Webb in the fold, they have a formidable rotation in a division that will be highly competitive. The three pitchers combined for 34 wins last year, and should be reinforced with talent already in the system. While the team has taken care of their rotation, the biggest need is offense.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 21, 2020
Although the 2022 season is still months away, the Giants can already count on a big boost in a healthy Brandon Belt. He was missed in the playoffs, and has hit 38 home runs in the last two seasons (one abbreviated because of the pandemic). Adding a potent bat alongside him will be key, and San Francisco has already been tied to several free agents, including Marcus Semien. Regardless of how they reshape their roster, they will be looking to prove that 2021 was no fluke.
Keys to the Giants Offseason
One thing the Giants may be missing is a power bat. They already have some options on the roster, such as Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt, but Kris Bryant is still unsigned. San Francisco will also be handing over the primary catching duties to Joey Bart after franchise icon Buster Posey retired in November. In a division full of talent, it will be hard for them to replicate last season’s success without a few new faces.
While the Giants’ pitching shined last season, injuries are inevitable. They will need a backup catcher, and you can never have enough pitching. Veterans’ one-year deals will draw San Francisco’s interest, as they had success with reclamation projections of late. The franchise also has options already in the system such as Sammy Long and Tyler Beede. Unlike last offseason, San Francisco is a popular destination, as a championship could be on the horizon.
Chris Taylor, 31, Utility
The former Dodger has been one of the most popular names early in free agency. Taylor is coming off a career year where he belted 20 home runs and made his first All-Star team. He also brings versatility, as he spent time at five different positions last year. Taylor excelled in the playoffs as the Giants had a firsthand look. While the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Miami Marlins have also shown interest, Taylor would be an impact bat that the Giants could also use across the diamond.
Kevin Gausman, 30, Starting Pitcher
In 2021, Gausman had a stellar campaign. The former first-round pick continued to excel in the NL, posting a 2.81 ERA in his second year with the Giants. The Louisiana State product led the majors in games started with 33, winning 14. Thanks to his stellar season, he is one of the top free agents this offseason, and has no shortage of suitors. Gausman will get a lucrative deal, but he has thrived with the Giants. A return to San Francisco would be a great fit for both sides as San Francisco looks to end their championship drought.
Kris Bryant, 29, Outfielder
The final free agent target is a familiar name. In 51 games for the Giants last year, Bryant hit seven home runs. The former first-round pick proved to be a perfect fit, as 20 of his 49 hits went for extra bases. As San Francisco made its playoff push, Bryant was a dangerous bat in the middle of the order. While the former NL MVP underwhelmed in the field, he did hit .471 in five playoff games.
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