Giants mailbag: How involved will Brian Sabean be in front office decisions?

SAN FRANCISCO–Six teams have been eliminated and four clubs remain alive, but San Francisco Giants fans aren’t watching this year’s postseason with the same level of focus they did earlier in the decade.

The Giants suffered through the worst month in San Francisco-era history in September, winning five games in a 30-day stretch that left a fan base significantly concerned about the direction of the franchise.

Instead of selling playoff tickets, the Giants are trying to sell interest in next season and they’ll soon have a better idea of how to do that. In the coming weeks, San Francisco is expected to hire a new front office executive to set the blueprint for the future and they’ll start laying the groundwork for how to attack free agency and the trade market.

Before the hot stove heats up, we looked at your most pressing questions concerning the Giants’ offseason plans.

Question: How involved in baseball decisions does Larry Baer/owners want to be with new front office? Or how involved will Brian Sabean be? Does it turn off some big name candidates who want the “pres of ops” title and complete control? (From @Joey_G_615)

Crowley: This is an excellent, multi-layered question that contains issues the Giants have certainly considered over the last several weeks.

After firing general manager Bobby Evans, Baer said the new executive tasked with leading the baseball operations department will have complete authority and be held accountable for the club’s roster decisions. However, what remains unclear is what type of influence Baer and ownership will look to exert over the general direction of the Giants.

Some candidates may want the Giants to consider a full-scale rebuild, but Baer has not indicated whether the owners would jump on board with that strategy. Though a new executive will have money to spend and the freedom to make massive changes to the team’s personnel, it’s possible the Giants will only want to hire a candidate who doesn’t believe in taking a step backward to eventually create space to move forward.

Baer has said he doesn’t believe the Giants are geared for a rebuild and in a recent letter to fans, Baer said he expects the club to compete for a postseason berth every season. It doesn’t seem like that will suddenly change, which may limit the interest of certain candidates.

While Sabean will be heavily involved in the hiring and interview process, I don’t expect him to have a big role in the front office moving forward. He wasn’t involved in the day-to-day operations of the franchise from 2015-2017, and I don’t expect that to be the case once a new regime is installed.

Sabean sees himself as a Giant for life, but unless a new front office executive wants to use him as a sounding board, it’s difficult to envision him having much of a say in the daily minutia. Smart candidates will ask about Sabean’s role during the interview process and look for a way to take advantage of some of his skills, but his responsibilities will soon change.

Question: Is …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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