The Giants have been one of the most successful teams this decade.
Winning World Series championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014 made the Giants the preeminent franchise in Major League Baseball. But times are different in 2019.
The Giants haven't made the playoffs since 2016, when their road ended with a loss to the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series. The championship core, while still intact, has aged and likely will be sold off either at the trade deadline or in the offseason. Manager Bruce Bochy announced before the season that he would be retiring at the end of the 2019 campaign.
The Giants sit at 17-23 through 40 games. They are 8 1/2 games back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. Their offense has been punchless and their rotation has been getting beaten around like a pinata at a kid's birthday party.
It's time for the Giants to rebuild, but that doesn't make it easy for Bochy.
“This is not the way I wanted to go out," Bochy told Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.
“I have a deep appreciation for what these players have done, and I feel indebted to them, because they’ve accomplished so much this decade with the championships. But these last couple of years has been difficult. Losing is not easy, trust me, especially when you’re used to getting to the postseason.’’
Chances are high that Madison Bumgarner will be traded in the coming months to try and restock the Giants' farm system. Relievers Will Smith, Tony Watson and Sam Dyson also are likely to be moved.
While Bochy had hoped to have one more year of winning with the Giants, he understands rebuilding is what's best for the franchise, even if he won't be around to reap the benefits. He does, however, want to bring one thing back to Oracle Park before he hangs up his uniform.
“I’m good with whatever the plan is,’’ Bochy said, “but the tough part is knowing this is my last year. If you’re in a rebuilding situation, that can be a fun challenge if you’re there for the rebuild. But I’m not going to be here.
“So, what would make me feel better would be to get the winning culture back here in San Francisco. But it’s a little difficult where we are now.’’
Bumgarner has pitched better than his early-season stats would indicate, and he'll be in high demand in the coming months. The ace left-hander reportedly has a no-trade list of eight teams, which will give him more leverage in a potential trade.
As for the rest of the veterans on the club, it's unlikely that Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria or Jeff Samardzija will be traded this season due to the remaining length on their contracts.
It's not the way Bochy wanted to go out, but it's the reality of the Giants' situation as his Hall-of-Fame career comes to a close.