Photo credit: redbirdrants.com
By Morris Phillips
Sunday’s season finale against the Dodgers will be manager Bruce Bochy’s last game as a Giant. Will it also be Madison Bumgarner’s last game as well?
The Giants are guaranteed to be interested in resigning their staff ace especially after he regained his form and health in 2019. But he won’t be their only priority, and the Giants won’t be Bumgarner’s only suitor. The price will have to be right for the soon-to-be 31-year old pitcher to return.
The Giants could find themselves intrigued by bigger ticket items like Gerrit Cole and J.D. Martinez if the slugger opts out of his deal with the Red Sox. One thing’s obvious: the Giants have multiple needs and targets commiserate with where they are coming off a third, consecutive losing season and where they want to be, running with the Dodgers and attempting to end their streak of NL West titles, now sitting on seven.
“It’s not so much, ‘Hey, do you have the money for Player X or the money for Player Y?’ Or, ‘How much does ownership want to spend?’ It’s more how does Farhan and the staff want to bake the cake?” club president Larry Baer said in a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Giants have upgrades in Kevin Pillar, Mike Yasztremski and Alex Dickerson. Younger players Mauricio Dubon and Joey Bart could be ready for starting assignments at the major league level. But the organization is also hamstrung by the big contracts previously given to Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto. Who to keep, who, if any, can be moved, and who to trust as centerpieces going forward are among the questions GM Farhan Zaidi and his staff must answer.
Those won’t be easy answers to obtain. And once Zaidi hones in on the personnel decisions, will they also address the issues the current team has had winning at Oracle Park. Other than Pillar, most of the Giants’ offensive performers have fared far better on the road than at home.