Giants need starting pitching to make playoffs in 2021, so how will they pursue it?

In two offseasons as the San Francisco Giants’ president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi has prioritized a disciplined financial approach to roster building that was unfamiliar to an organization accustomed to fielding one of the highest payrolls in the major leagues.

Zaidi has yet to sign a player to a contract worth upward of $10 million and last winter, infielder Wilmer Flores became the first and only Giant to sign a multi-year contract during Zaidi’s time with the club, agreeing to a two-year, $6.25 million deal with a club option for the 2022 season.

That the Giants’ top baseball executive was able to construct a roster that came within one win of earning a playoff spot this season is a testament to his creativity and the organizational approach facilitated by manager Gabe Kapler to continuing development at the major league level.

Given the Giants’ desire to return to the postseason next year, it also seems as if the strategy of building a ball club on a bargain may need to change.

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A starting rotation that featured three free agents –Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly– must be completely rebuilt, and there’s no question that targeting starters is at the top of the franchise’s offseason agenda.

“To have enough pitching to get through a 162-games from a starting pitching standpoint, that’s probably going to be the biggest priority and challenge for us this offseason,” Zaidi said on KNBR on Wednesday.

The Giants are fine letting Samardzija explore new opportunities, but Zaidi has indicated several times in recent weeks the organization expects to engage Gausman and Smyly about the possibility of returning to San Francisco next season. When healthy, a pair of pitchers who were designated for assignment in 2019 and agreed to one-year contracts with the Giants were clearly the team’s best options in the rotation.

“We’re certainly going to have conversations about bringing (Gausman and Smyly) back, but with the seasons they had, we know they’re going to have plenty of suitors,” Zaidi said during his radio interview. “We’re certainly going to make it a priority but we know that they’re going to have a lot of opportunities as well.”

Until contracts belonging to Johnny Cueto, Buster Posey, Brandon …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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