SAN FRANCISCO — The big names — Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Patrick Corbin etc. — take up most of the air in the room, but as the offseason hits a second month, there are still well over 100 others looking for a 2019 home.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports ranked them from No. 1 (Harper) to No. 197 (Colby Rasmus), which was a reminder of just how many options are out there as Farhan Zaidi looks to overhaul the roster.
Not all of the options are good, or even mediocre, but there are potentially some sleepers further down the list. When Zaidi protected prospects from the Rule 5 Draft, he left roster spots open, indicating he thinks he can find better solutions elsewhere.
Here are some free agents who could be more subtle additions later in the offseason:
Brian Dozier: Listed at No. 26 by Passan, Dozier won’t make sense if the Giants tender a contract to Joe Panik on Friday. But if the Giants end up looking elsewhere, the 31-year-old could be a buy-low candidate.
Dozier had a brutal 2018 season, but still hit 20 homers for a fifth consecutive year. Giants officials have always liked him, and Zaidi clearly does — the Dodgers traded for him late in the season.
Daniel Descalso: Zaidi values versatility, and Marwin Gonzalez — the best option on the market — may end up getting too big a deal. Descalso played first, second, third and left for the Diamondbacks in 2018, posting a .789 OPS with 13 homers.
Descalso went to St. Francis (Mountain View) and UC Davis, so this would also be a homecoming.
Clay Buchholz: The Giants and Zaidi’s Dodgers had a front row seat for Buchholz’s big return with the Diamondbacks. The 34-year-old had a 2.01 ERA, which is certainly unsustainable, but his 3.47 FIP wasn’t bad either.
The Giants are looking for starting depth, and while Buchholz has a long injury history, Zaidi and the Dodgers never shied away from injury-prone pitchers, knowing that 16 really good starts would be more useful than 30 from a lesser pitcher.
Derek Holland: Hey, we know him. Holland wants to come back to San Francisco, and the sides touched base early in the offseason. The Giants need starting depth, but Holland also has proven willing to move to the bullpen — where he piled up strikeouts — if needed.
A reunion would make the roster better right away, and the Giants could figure out Holland’s exact role when all the dust settles.
Matt Joyce: After hitting 25 homers for the A’s in 2017, Joyce dealt with injuries in 2018 and is now way off the radar; Passan had him at No. 119 on his big board.
At first glance, Joyce — a 34-year-old lefty-hitting outfielder — is a poor fit for AT&T Park. But the Giants were somehow even worse on the road last season and they need additions who can put it out of parks where you're supposed to go deep.
One thing Zaidi said on his first day has stuck with me: The defensive standard to play left field is very low, so expect the new president of baseball operations to seek additions who can add power in left, first and foremost.