SAN DIEGO -- The Giants will meet with Madison Bumgarner's representatives this week, but there isn't a lot of optimism within the organization that the longtime ace will be back at Oracle Park next season. Regardless of what Bumgarner decides, the Giants expect to soon add to their rotation, possibly even doing so before the end of the Winter Meetings.
The Giants didn't make a significant move at the Winter Meetings last year, but president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he expects that to change this year, noting that there's additional payroll flexibility and that the free-agent market is moving at a much faster pace.
"I would expect us to add at least one starting pitcher here. And by here I don't mean necessarily in San Diego, but there's a good chance we do that," Zaidi said. "We're having multiple conversations on that front. Pitching is a big priority here for us, as it is for a lot of teams. That's been a major focus for us leading up to this and we expect it to be busy this week."
The Giants came to the Manchester Grand Hyatt with a rotation containing question marks, even if you put Bumgarner's situation to the side. Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto are the veterans, but both also could be trade chips, either this winter or next July. Tyler Beede showed flashes of brilliance last season but is still relatively unproven. Logan Webb is highly thought of but will be under an innings limit in 2020. Shaun Anderson and Andrew Suarez were moved to the bullpen in the second half and Dereck Rodriguez bounced back and forth.
The market is flush with veteran pitchers, and Zaidi could try to replicate what he did last year, signing multiple options to one-year deals. The Giants didn't get much out of Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz, both of whom signed in January, but were able to deal both left-handers. The Pomeranz deal brought back Mauricio Dubon.
The lower tier this season includes Wade Miley, Tanner Roark, Julio Teheran, Dallas Keuchel and others. Lefties like Miley, Gio Gonzalez or Alex Wood might be particularly attractive given how right-handed the current rotation is.
Any of those players would come at a price point significantly lower than Bumgarner's. The longtime Giants star is expected to earn in excess of $100 million over the course of his new deal, but the Giants have not yet backed away from the table.
"We're one of the suitors," Zaidi told NBC Sports Bay Area. "We're just going to put our best foot forward and see what happens, but he's earned this opportunity to be a free agent and, as we expected, there's no shortage of interest in a guy with his pedigree."