The San Francisco Giants are heading into the 2017-2018 offseason under a lot of scrutiny. The former 2010, 2012, and 2014 World Series Champions finished with a record of 64-98. The second-worst record in the Majors in 2017 behind the Detroit Tigers who also finished with a record of 64-98 because of a worse run differential.
These are some crucial positions the Giants need to fill this 2017 offseason.
An Outfield Bat
The Giants finished 29th out of 30 in RBIs and 30th out of 30 in home runs compared to the rest of the league. So an absolute necessity will be a power bat, specifically a power bat in left field.
Last year, the Giants had 14 different guys fill in the left field slot in their lineup. Calling up some prospects such as Austin Slater, Ryder Jones, and Orlando Calixte. They even played a few infielders in left such as Brandon Belt, Eduardo Nunez, Kelby Tomlinson, and Aaron Hill.
The best option they have for left field right now is Jarrett Parker who hit .247 with 23 RBIs and four homers in the 51 games. For a team that is expected to make a playoff run every year, this won’t cut it for their everyday left fielder.
The obvious choice for the San Francisco Giants would to go out and trade for Giancarlo Stanton who is one of the best power hitters in the game.
Since the new Marlin’s ownership is looking to rebuild and dump some salary money, Stanton is on the trading block. But that’s easier said than done, the 2017 MVP candidate isn’t going to be traded for cheap.
The Giants would probably have to give up a starter such as Jeff Samardzija or Matt Moore while giving up their top prospects and having to eat up the 295 million dollars that Stanton is still promised in his behemoth of a contract. Also if they trade for Stanton, it will be hard to resign their ace Madison Bumgarner in 2018. Stanton would add to a long list of other long contracts like Brandon Crawford, Mark Melancon, and Johnny Cueto’s lengthy contracts
Another option would be former Diamondback and Tiger J.D. Martinez who is a free agent this offseason. Martinez would most likely be in the $100-$200 million dollar range which the Giants can afford.
Another cheaper free agent option is the Royal veteran Lorzeno Cain. There have also been rumors of the Giants trading for Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Fix the Bullpen
Just ask any Giants fan or any fan of a team in the NL West, and they will tell you about the struggles of their bullpen the past two seasons. In the 2016-2017 offseason, it seemed like the Giants had just locked up the closer spot with the signing of veteran pitcher Mark Melancon for $60 million of 4 years.
The signing of Melancon did not work out as well as they hoped. Melancon had some injuries, and by the end of the season was replaced by Sam Dyson who the Giants had picked up off waivers from the Texas Rangers.
The Giants could wait a season to sign Zach Britton of the Orioles, or they could even go and trade for him. But a player like Britton could help solidify a spot in the postseason.
Sam Dyson was just as unreliable as Melancon and didn’t help much. If the Giants do not get at least one more piece to put in the bullpen, they will have to rely heavily on a comeback season from both Melancon and Dyson.
Third Base Spot
At the beginning of the season, it seemed like the Giants had the third base position locked up with former all-star Eduardo Nunez. With the Giants struggles and Nunez at the end of his contract, the Giants traded him away to Boston for next to nothing.
The Giants then resigned an old town favorite, Pablo Sandoval, to a minor-league contract. But Sandoval is a shell of what he used to be. He is still a mediocre hitter at best and poor defender and baserunner.
The Giants best option at 3rd base at the moment is their top prospect 22-year-old Christian Arroyo. Arroyo hit just .192 with 14 RBIs and three home runs in the 34 games in 2017. But Arroyo was injured for two months with a broken hand, so Arroyo could help the lineup and in the field with a full slate of games.
Overall the Giants are desperate for outfield power, a solid bullpen arm (especially for the postseason), and possibly another 3rd baseman on a short contract until Arroyo is fully matured.
Kevin Hurley is a sophomore journalism student at Paradise Valley Community College writing MLB articles for The Sunrise Sports.