SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Giants waited for an interview with Farhan Zaidi, they made several roster moves, clearing out spots on the 40-man roster. These moves were procedural, but they also left Zaidi with more of a clean slate, which is exactly what he likes.
Zaidi's biggest strength as general manager of the Dodgers may have been his ability to build 40-man roster depth, particularly when it comes to position players. That has been a weakness for the Giants, who could not withstand injuries the last two seasons.
On Wednesday, his first day in charge, Zaidi talked about casting a wide net for players and noted that "no move is too small to not be worth a certain level of effort and detail."
When the Giants made those moves in October, they were not particularly noteworthy. They were clearing out utility infielders, mostly, guys not fit for an everyday role if someone got hurt. One look at the Dodgers' 40-man shows the differences. In the outfield alone, the Dodgers had Joc Pederson, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Enrique Hernandez, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo as options.
Verdugo, who couldn't find time in Los Angeles, would be the Giants' top prospect. If he were a Giant, he may have been in the Opening Day lineup. Toles, as a Giant, might be the everyday left fielder and leadoff hitter.
With the Dodgers, they were depth pieces, and this is exactly what Zaidi hopes to build in San Francisco: A 40-man roster deep enough to withstand injuries.
"A baseball front office, one of its primary goals, should be to create a 40-man roster where taking any player off gives you heartburn," he said on this week's Giants Insider Podcast. "When you have soft spots on the 40-man roster that probably means that you're leaving value on the table somewhere.
"Arriving here, there's actually quite a bit of room on the 40-man roster and I think one of our goals is going to be to create and add depth to the organization by just maximizing that and to make sure that everybody that's on that 40-man has a chance to be a contributor for us in 2019."