But there are still interesting rumors and concepts to discuss, and earlier this week I went through a few of them in Part I of this Twitter Mailbag. Here are a few more questions to keep things churning while we all wait for somebody to do something ...
Thanks to all the people who reached out with questions. If you have your own, you can ask me on Twitter here, and if you want some expanded discussion on the offseason, Ahmed Fareed and I went over a few things on the latest episode of the Giants Insider Podcast.
“Are @SFGiants actually a whole year away from a potential rebuild? Appears Zaidi won’t hire a GM and probably (will) go with a different manager in 2020 and start rebuild. Thoughts?” @chris_pace707
It likely is too late at this point for Farhan Zaidi to hire his preferred GM candidate, but Jeremy Shelley, Yeshayah Goldfarb and others are more than capable of handling those responsibilities for a year.
I do think the Giants are a year away from Zaidi picking his own manager, but that doesn’t mean that’s the official start of the rebuild. This ownership group will never sign off on a full rebuild. Zaidi’s task is to revamp the roster, day by day, and make incremental gains.
My guess is he’ll try to shed some salary, find a couple of Chris Taylor-Max Muncy hidden gem types, and upgrade as much of the back end of the 40-man as he can.
In a year perhaps the Giants will be in a better position to make big moves. This will never be the type of “we’re starting over” situation you’ve seen in Philadelphia, Houston, etc.
“Farhan Zaidi reportedly twice tried to trade for Bryce Harper when he was part of the Dodgers front office, and their proposals were rejected by the Nationals. How does his hiring affect the Giants trying to pursue Harper in free agency?” — @mrarmchair
I liked this question because it provided a rare, fresh angle on the Bryce Harper discussion. But I don’t think that history changes the current math at all.
The Dodgers reportedly claimed Harper before the waiver deadline in August, and according to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, they offered Yasiel Puig in a deal. But there’s a big difference between then and now. Late in the summer, the Dodgers would have only owed Harper $3-4 million for the remainder of the season.
At this point, a new team will pay Harper $300-400 million. I don’t think anything has happened over the past few weeks to change what the Giants were thinking when they hired Zaidi, which was that Harper was a longshot.
“What do you think Buster told Zaidi? Think he supported keeping MadBum?” — @j0yz
I’ve never seen Buster Posey checking his fantasy football scores, so the first conversation was probably different than the one Zaidi had with Brandon Crawford.
Posey and Madison Bumgarner are very close and I’m sure they’d like to stay together, but I’d imagine Posey told Zaidi to do whatever it takes to get the Giants back to contention. He’s desperate to win again — he was ready to play through hip pain all September if the Giants were even sniffing a playoff spot.
Posey also really isn’t one to sugarcoat things, so he likely gave Zaidi a very honest assessment of the pitching staff and may have helped him decide if any of the young starters or veteran relievers are sell-high candidates.
“Do you think MadBum is getting traded?” — @trevavilla
On the day Zaidi was hired, I thought yes. But a few weeks later, I do think it’ll be difficult for the Giants to get the kind of package that would make them trade a franchise pillar. My best guess at this point is that the Giants hold Bumgarner through the first half and evaluate before the trade deadline.
[RELATED: How Zaidi will increase Giants depth]
Their best shot at a big return is Bumgarner having a strong first half and a contender thinking he’s the piece that will put them over the top in October. I know a lot of stories recently have downplayed that success, but I still think it will sway some other front offices. Yes, 2014 was a long time ago, but his 2016 Wild Card performance isn’t that far in the rearview mirror.
“What’s the goal for Steven Duggar? Expectations, mostly with the bat? Is it better than Crawford’s was? Could the gap power get even better?” — @StevenRissotto
Last spring, I wrote about how Duggar could be the next Crawford: A glove-first player who eventually worked his way up the lineup and turned into a pretty good hitter.
The Giants still believe that potential is there, in large part because of the way Duggar made adjustments once he was called up. Crawford did the same over time.
Will Duggar ever hit 21 homers, as Crawford did in 2015? I’m not sure he’s that type of player, but Crawford also had a pair of double-digit triples seasons and piles up the doubles when he’s going right. I think Duggar will be that kind of hitter, and if he plays every day next season, I expect him to cruise into third quite often.
“THE GIANTS SHOULD TRADE FOR PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT!” — A lot of people.
I’ve gotten a lot of Paul Goldschmidt questions, and I do understand the desire to add a player who hits approximately 17 homers against Giants pitching each season. But there are a lot of issues here.
The Giants have a well-paid first baseman and they’re not in a situation where they should be trading prospects for a one-year rental. Most importantly, can you imagine Diamondbacks ownership signing off on trading the franchise’s most important player to a division rival?