This is a really tough year to be a fan of the San Francisco Giants. As I type this they are 30-39 on the season and 16.5 games back of the first place Dodgers. They have no path to the playoffs in the near future. They have old and bloated contracts that will hinder them for the foreseeable future. Long story short – the Giants need to unload their bad contracts and re-stock their farm system. Their quickest path to success is to blow things up.
If you are following along with Fixing The Franchise: The Miami Marlins, you will notice that I have a much quicker path to success with that ball club. I am going to play by different and more realistic rules with this San Francisco Giant organization.
- I cannot tinker with trades. I can only offer up players, or identify players that I am interested in.
- Players have to be played at their primary position, unless there are injuries.
- I can make realistic position moves – if I can justify it in writing.
- I have to make this a realistic rebuild – meaning the Giants are not buyers this season, I am only able to trade talent for prospects.
- I am using the latest version of OSFM Rosters – which includes draft picks from 2019.
State of the Initial Roster
This team is bad. In my lineup, if I am looking for young talent to build around I see Steven Duggar, Mike Yastrzemski, Joe Panik and Tyler Austin – none of which are all that young. Every other starter is into their 30’s and does not match the timeline of my rebuild. I also have some hefty contracts with Posey, Longoria, Belt and Crawford.
The rotation looks much better. Dereck Rodriguez is talented and only 26, Shaun Anderson is a good player at just 24 years old. Trevor Gott and Reyes Moronta are also within the rebuild window as 26 year olds. I absolutely have to get rid of Jeff Samardzija with his $18M a year contract. Bumgarner is also an impending free agent, I need to flip him for prospects.
The contracts that I have are insane. I am locked into Johnny Cueto, Buster Posey, and Evan Longoria through 2022. I have Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford for a combined $27M through 2021. Jeff Samardzija and Mark Melancon are costing me $34M through 2020. If any of these players were in their prime, these numbers would be reasonable. As it stands, I am not fielding a competitive team with these players. I simply needs to unload these contracts to jump start my rebuild.
Getting Rid of Bad Contracts
Looking at my budget – I am locked into many aging former-stars for multiple years at 7 or 8 figure contracts. That is not going to work for my team. I want to just get these players off of my roster and set myself up for the future.
The first player that I want to unload is Johnny Cueto – he is 33 years old and owed $21.6M annually through the 2022 season.
|Johnny Cueto||33||79||B||Angels||Jeremiah Jackson||19||SS||61||B|
With the salary of Cueto considered – no teams were willing to take him on entirely for prospects. I was able to make a deal with the Angels – acquiring two of their pricey vets and a decent prospect. Jeremiah Jackson was a second round pick in the 2018 draft. With this trade I am able to save $7.2M this season.
My next move was to get rid of that Evan Longoria contract. He is owed between $13M-$20M annually through the 2022 season. I simply cannot pay a 33 year old that much, no matter how awesome he was in the past.
|Evan Longoria||33||78||C||Astros||Seth Beer||22||LF||59||B|
Not bad. I was able to acquire two prospects and a vet with an OK salary. I saved $8.6M on this season alone by moving on from Longoria.
The last of my 2022 monster contracts – Buster Posey. He has been the face of the franchise and the heart and soul of the team for almost a decade. Rookie of the Year, MVP, and three time World Series Champion. Baseball is a business, and I cannot be paying a 35 year old catcher $19.8M in 2022
I offered up Posey and there was not a single team that would take him on alone. To entice teams I pulled a move out of the Houston Texans playbook. Not long ago they attached a 2nd round pick to unload the Brock Osweiler contract. My version of this was to attach Tyler Beede to Posey in order to get a team to make an offer. It worked.
|Buster Posey||32||88||A||Twins||Royce Lewis||19||SS||65||A|
|Tyler Beede||25||66||B||Marwin Gonzalez||30||3B||79||C|
Oh my god. I somehow was offered the #1 overall pick from the 2018 draft. What a deal. Posey is out but I may have a new face of the franchise for years to come. Hopefully Royce Lewis lives up to his potential. I was so excited I forgot to see how much money this would save me.
The next big contract to move is Jeff Samardzija – $18M per year through 2020. There was not a lot of interest in the former Notre Dame Wide Receiver.
|Jeff Samardzija||34||81||B||Indians||Jason Kipnis||31||2B||81||C|
This move looks like a wash – but it saves me $10M. With Jason Kipnis at a much lower salary I may be able to immediately flip him for a few mid-level prospects.
Next to go was Mark Melancon – owed $15.5M through 2020. Much like Posey, he was too expensive to take alone. I decided to attach him to 26 year old RP Trevor Gott in hopes of getting a prospect back.
|Mark Melancon||34||88||B||Dodgers||Kody Hoese||21||3B||62||B|
|Trevor Gott||26||82||C||Matt Beaty||26||1B||63||B|
Whoa, a trade with the Dodgers. I was able to acquire their 1st round pick from the 2019 draft – Kody Hoese – a power hitting 3rd baseman. I also grabbed A.J. Pollock – who I will be immediately trading. This move saves me $3.4M.
OK, Pollock is owed $12M a year through 2023 – we need to dump him somewhere.
|A.J. Pollock||34||75||C||Phillies||Vince Velasquez||26||RP||74||B|
Nice. I grabbed a Major League level relief pitcher and saved $9.8M in the process. Not bad.
Brandon Belt is the next to go – he is owed $14.5 per year through 2021. Unsurprisingly, nobody wants to take on his contract without getting something in return. I attached Fernando Abad – and the Mets showed interest.
|Brandon Belt||30||83||B||Mets||Dominic Smith||23||LF||73||B|
|Fernando Abad||33||70||D||Juan Lagares||30||CF||75||C|
Not a bad return for Belt and a RP I would never use. Dominic Smith was the 11th pick of the 2013 draft. I also save $10.1M on this trade.
We have just a few bloated multi-year deals left to move, and this next one hurts. I have to move on from Brandon Crawford at shortstop. I love him as a player, but I can’t pay him $12.5M a year through 2021. Without attaching a prospect I did not get much interest. I decided to add on Andrew Suarez to see what interest I could draw up.
|Brandon Crawford||33||82||C||Athletics||Logan Davidson||21||SS||64||B|
|Andrew Suarez||26||68||B||Stephen Piscotty||28||RF||77||B|
This is an interesting trade. I save $6.5M with this move. I also snag Logan Davidson, the 29th pick of the 2019 draft out of Clemson. Stephen Piscotty is not a bad player to acquire either – it just depends on if I want to keep him through his contract, which goes through 2023.
My next move is to get rid of the newly added Marwin Gonzalez contract. He is 30 years old and I don’t need him around for the rebuild. Much to the dismay of Heliot Ramos – I attached his brother Henry Ramos to this deal.
|Marwin Gonzalez||30||77||C||Marlins||Magneuris Sierra||22||CF||63||B|
|Henry Ramos||26||57||C||Garrett Cooper||28||RF||73||C|
Magneuris Sierra was the key piece in the Marcell Ozuna trade to the Cardinals. I also save $10.1M in this deal.
Time to move Jason Kipnis next. I was kind enough to let him know I would trade him right away – he didn’t even come to San Francisco.
|Jason Kipnis||31||77||C||Braves||Shea Langerliers||21||C||65||B|
Another great move for the future of the Giants. I move Kipnis and his $8M this year – for 2019 9th overall pick Shea Langerliers.
I want to move Stephen Piscotty next. He has a long commitment and I am unsure if I want to go all in on Piscotty.
|Stephen Piscotty||28||75||C||Brewers||Brice Turang||19||B||63||B|
I grab another young shortstop prospect in Brice Turang. A 2018 first round pick for the Brewers. I save $6.3M this year with this move.
Matt Harvey and his $11M this year have to go. I don’t want his personality around on my squad. His interview with Dan Patrick still bothers me.
|Matt Harvey||30||77||C||Nationals||Jackson Rutledge||20||SP||57||B|
|Brandon A. Beachy||32||66||B||Adam Eaton||30||RF||76||C|
I pick up another 2019 first round pick in Jackson Rutledge and only had to attach a 32 year old minor leaguer to Harvey to get it done.
Bumgarner and Smith
OK – now it is time to move some big names. Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith do not benefit my ball club this year. They are free agents in 2020 – it is time to collect some prospects for them. I am going to attach both players in a trade to see what kind of big return I can get.
|Will Smith||39||90||A||Pirates||Cole Tucker||22||SS||77||B|
|Madison Bumgarner||29||85||B||Ke’Bryan Hayes||22||3B||67||A|
|Peter Maris||25||55||C||Josh Bell||26||1B||81||A|
Wow! The left side of my infield and Josh Bell! All three players are controllable for the foreseeable future. What a trade!
Adam Eaton does not fit into my future plans. Time to trade him before he steps on the field in a Giants uniform.
|Adam Eaton||30||72||C||Mariners||George Kirby||21||SP||65||B|
I needed to beef up my minor league pitching depth and this helped in a big way. George Kirby was the 20th pick in the 2019 draft. This takes another $4.6M off my salary.
I love Kevin Pillar – but a $5.8M 30 year old CF on a rebuilding team doesn’t do me any good.
|Kevin Pillar||30||79||C||Red Sox||Darwinzon Hernandez||23||SP||65||B|
This is another player that does not fit my franchise moving forward. Derek Holland is expensive and I would rather give the innings to a younger players.
|Derek Holland||32||71||C||Blue Jays||Ryan Noda||22||1B||45||B|
I save $6.5M with this move and pick up a decent 1B prospect with good potential.
Sam Dyson is a solid relief pitcher. Someone else can use him this year that has an eye on competing. I need to get a good prospect in return for him.
|Sam Dyson||30||76||C||Yankees||Trevor Stephan||22||SP||61||B|
I snag a solid pitching prospect and save $5M on the 2019 season.
Just like the other vets I acquired, I have no plan for Juan Lagares. I would rather give the playing time to a younger player.
|Juan Lagares||30||73||C||Yankees||Clarke Schmidt||22||SP||63||B|
I save $4.7M and snag another young pitcher with good potential for my farm system.
Joe Panik has been a solid player for the GIants for a few years. He is getting older though and does not fit the vision I have for the future of the ballclub. It is time to say goodbye to another World Series Champion.
|Joe Panik||28||75||B||Blue Jays||Alek Manoah||21||SP||64||B|
With this trade I save just about $4M and also grab the 11th overall pick from the 2019 MLB Draft.
Jonathan Lucroy was another player that was acquired as part of moving a larger contract. Just like the others, it is time to say goodbye before he puts on a uniform.
|Jonathan Lucroy||32||72||C||Padres||Miguel Diaz||24||RP||68||B|
Miguel Diaz is a solid player that I can add to my bullpen and will find his way to the 25 man roster in the immediate future.
Wade Miley is a decent arm with a good personality. While it would be nice to keep him around and fill out my rotation – I am all in on grabbing prospects.
|Wade Miley||32||73||C||Cardinals||Seth Elledge||22||CP||56||B|
I save almost $5M in this trade and snag a good prospect at just 22 year old.
Simply just another aging vet that I have no use for this season.
|Nick Vincent||32||80||C||Rangers||Tyler Phillips||21||SP||59||B|
I save about $3M with this move and grab another arm to continue to add to my minor league depth.
I love Tony Watson – I respect him enough to seek out a competitive club to send him to. He is 33 years old and I want him to have an opportunity to make it to the playoffs in 2019.
|Tony Watson||33||79||B||Brewers||Ethan Small||21||SP||61||B|
I grab another 2019 first round pick in Ethan Small, and save $3M in the process.
|Drew Pomeranz||30||74||C||Mariners||Joey Gerber||21||RP||62||B|
|Donovan Solano||31||70||C||Red Sox||Jarren Duran||22||RF||59||B|
|Garrett Cooper||28||71||C||White Sox||Luis Gonzalez||23||CF||59||B|
|Tyler Austin||27||69||A||Dodgers||Caleb Ferguson||22||RP||75||B|
This is a huge move. Tyler Austin does not fit the path of this franchise. He is just a bit too old to fit the timeframe I have set for our club. Caleb Ferguson can come in and get some innings right away.
The Giants had a pretty good staff to begin with. Considering all of my prospects, I absolutely must have the best coaches. I let go of Jose Alguacil and Ron Wotus. I picked up Landon Baldwin and Jay Makepeace to take their spots.
After all of the move that I made – I could hardly field a Major League team. There is an odd beauty to tanking and rebuilding, you have to perform just well enough to not get fired. I turned to Free Agency to help fill out my 25 man roster.
- After three seasons with the Padres, Carlos Asuaje found himself playing in Korea with the Lotte Giants in 2019. I called him up to be my everyday second baseman and brought him back to the United States.
- Chase Headley was a 2015 target for the San Francisco Giants when they lost Pablo Sandoval. I do not want to rush Ke’Bryan Hayes to the show, so this will buy me some time.
- James Shields, Bartolo Colon, and Jason Hammel fit the mold of players that used to be great that the Giants sign five years after their prime.
- I pick up a versatile player in Jose Reyes to play a utility role for this club.
- Santiago Casilla comes back to the Giants, along with Joaquin Benoit to fill out my bullpen.
- Alexander Palma was sitting in Free Agency for some reason. At just 22 years old and with A potential I had to grab him. He will start the year in the minor leagues.
Making Room For Free Agents
In MLB the Show 19, rosters are capped at 90 players. In order to make room for the free agents above – I had to release the following players:
I went from having a 2019 player salary total of $177M to now having player salaries coming in at $33M. I shaved $144M off of my total payroll for the 2019 season. I had $62M committed through the 2022 season, and now I have zero commitments in 2022. In fact, I only have $3M committed in the 2020 season. Those values will increase a bit – I have some contract extension possibilities that I need to take a look at.
Dereck Rodriguez is the ace of the staff. Following Rodriguez is a trio of vets in Shields, Hammel and Colon. I have the youngster Shaun Anderson as my #5 starter – I don’t want to put too much pressure on him during his rookie campaign. My bullpen is a grab bag of old and young talent. Reyes Moronta and Caleb Ferguson are in my long term plans – Vince Velasquez is currently auditioning for that as well. Casilla and Benoit are short term options to keep the team competitive.
|1||Carlos Asuaje||2B||Cole Tucker||SS|
|2||Pablo Sandoval||3B||Jose Reyes||2B|
|3||Josh Bell||1B||Josh Bell||1B|
|4||Dominic Smith||LF||Chase Headley||3B|
|5||Steven Duggar||CF||Aramis Garcia||C|
|6||Mike Yastrzemski||RF||Austin Slater||RF|
|7||Stephen Vogt||C||Dominic Smith||LF|
|8||Cole Tucker||SS||Steven Duggar||CF|
Outside of Josh Bell – there are not many exciting bats in this Giants lineup. Dominic Smith, Steven Duggar, and Cole Tucker are giving fans a glimpse of the future. We don’t project to score too many runs, so we can let the fans see what the young bucks can do. Outside of those four players, everyone else in the lineup is in a platoon role. We do not have the talent, so we need to play the odds and take on the best matchups this season.
The Giants are a completely different franchise as we head in to the 2019 season. We are no longer the aging over-priced team. We are a franchise with a ton of minor-league talent and a bright future. In the next post we will look at some contract extensions, top prospects lists, and opening day.