SAN FRANCISCO — The plan all along was for the Giants’ front office to be patient, and over the past couple of weeks, Farhan Zaidi and Co. have scooped up two veteran left-handed starters — Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz — at prices that were much lower than each sought early on.
The Giants still need bats, though, primarily in the outfield, and that’s another area where Zaidi believes patience could pay off. He remains confident that he’ll add a couple of veterans to the outfield, and on Wednesday he said it’s possible the Giants could jump back in at the higher ends given the glacial pace of free agent talks.
“As the market evolves, there might be guys that you had kind of questioned or doubted the feasibility of at one point that you now circled back around on,” Zaidi said. “It’s our job and responsibility to keep tabs on all parts of the market, and we’re continuing to do that.
"Yeah, I do think things can change and your target list evolves over the course of the offseason.”
Before you order that No. 34 jersey, it’s important to note that the market hasn’t necessarily evolved for everyone to the point that the Giants would be back in. Bryce Harper had $300 million sitting on the table at the end of the year and there’s been no indication that his price has dropped below that mark.
There are conflicting reports about Manny Machado, but even the $175 million offer from the White Sox that was shot down by his agent would represent the biggest deal in Giants franchise history. This is not a front office eager to spend anywhere near that amount of money given all the future commitments already on the spreadsheet.
But there are plenty of other big fish still in the pond.
A.J. Pollock agreed to a deal with the Dodgers on Thursday. But Marwin Gonzales, who would be a perfect fit for the Giants, still hasn't. Josh Harrison, Adam Jones and Carlos Gonzalez are among the dozens of veteran hitters still out there. Perhaps a Mike Moustakas could be shoehorned onto the roster at the right price?
At a lower level, there are plenty of guys like Derek Dietrich and Robbie Grossman out there who could provide some level of help. Quite a few veteran catchers are on the market still.
Zaidi pointed out that movement on free agents will lead to further movement in the trade market, but for now much of this all seems to be hung up by two players. Until Harper and Machado sign, a lot of others could be left waiting, even with report day getting perilously close.
“I think every team feels that way a little bit, that there’s some pretty big dominoes that haven’t fallen,” Zaidi said. “What kind of trickle effect does that have on, not just other free agents, but also trades that maybe teams are sitting on … A lot has been made about it being a slower offseason than offseasons in the past.
"That said, we are continuing to make calls to agents and other teams. I think it’s fair to say that there are still some teams and maybe some free agents out there that are waiting for some other domino to fall.”
Zaidi has made three moves, but the Giants have guaranteed less than $10 million to free agents this offseason. Just about any option should be feasible as Zaidi looks to add hitters who can surround Steven Duggar in center, and for the second time in nine days, he sounded confident about the look of his Opening Day outfield.
“As long as we feel that there are good options out there — whether that be via trade or free agency — the actual pulling of the trigger becomes a little bit less relevant,” he said. “I think as long as you feel like you have some good leads, which I think we do, you don’t want to get in a situation of urgency or even panic. We’re continuing to have those conversations.
"Like we talked about at the Winter Meetings, we had a goal of adding one or two starting pitchers, and we feel good about getting to that point. The outfield side has been a little slower, but we’ve had just as many conversations on that front.”