Farhan Zaidi could make the Giants contenders if ownership allows it
Wednesday’s Say Hey takes a quick look at how Farhan Zaidi might impact the Hot Stove season Thus far, the bulk of Hot Stove action has–predictably–come from front office acquisitions, with the most recent move being Farhan Zaidi’s switch from Dodgers’ GM to President of Baseball Operations for the Giants. With this switch, Zaidi gains autonomy in the form of greater control over roster creation, while the Giants hope to have acquired the answer to their recent woes, including finishing an MLB worst 5-21 in September. Crucial to the Giants’ success moving forward is building a strong farm system to supplement a largely over-30 roster. In the past couple of drafts, the team has done well in selecting outfielder Heliot Ramos and catcher Joey Bart, but overall, the system remains light on pitching and stuck in the bottom third of rankings. Zaidi promises to bring an updated analytical approach to the more traditional scouting-oriented Giants front office. Despite missing the playoffs the past two seasons, the Giants have nonetheless maintained a desire to remain competitive rather than begin a rebuild. Of course, the immediate success Zaidi will have with the Giants seems largely dependent on the moves he can make this offseason. With Clayton Kershaw now off the market, it seems unlikely that any big-name pitchers will be moved, but there is ample opportunity to improve the offense if the Giants are willing to spend. However, if MLB ownership remains dedicated to tactics bordering on collusion, it could be another slow off-season in which San Francisco is unable to re-home some of its veteran players with contracts deemed far too costly for billionaires to pay. But before we’re able to gauge the collective approach to free agency this season, it seems likely we’ll have to wait for both the Dodgers and Giants to fill their GM vacancies and settle on managers. It’s probably a fairly safe bet that LA will bring back Dave Roberts and find an internal GM. Baltimore, on the other hand, will likely find its answers externally, as it would be wise for the team to find a manager entirely opposite to the geriatric Buck Showalter. Hopefully we won’t be subjected to a “hurry up and wait” situation once all teams have their front offices and managerial staffs in place for next season. Deadspin’s Neil deMause discusses the pros and cons of MLB expansion. Grant Brisbree explains why every team, even the bad ones, should try to sign Harper and Machado. Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman asserts that due to the current roster construction, he has “no regrets” on passing on Chris Sale in 2016. Dustin Nosler dives into the impact losing hitting coach Turner Ward might have on the Dodgers’ offense. Adam Sobsey wrote an excellent introduction to Toronto’s new manager, Charlie Montoyo. MLB released the Today’s Game Era HOF ballot, which includes Harold Baines, Joe Carter, and George Steinbrenner. GQ Magazine released a list of the best baseball hats to wear with a suit, in case you want to look like an idiot. Sports Illustrated provides an excerpt of The Story of Baseball in 100 Photographs.