The Giants are at one of their occasional low ebbs, and since they haven’t had many of them in the last quarter-century, they might seem a bit confused as to how to proceed this offseason, even though they've had 2 1/2 seasons of freefall to figure the ins and outs.
So, here we are, facing another winter of their discontent, with lots of things to do and not a wide window in which to do them. Here, then, is their immediate future.
Hire the ops person already
Deliberation is fine if you’re on the Supreme Court. Here, it looks like you’re meeting junkies. Hire the baseball operations person and get going. The season isn’t going to delay itself for your benefit.
Oh, and the secrecy didn’t actually help you that much. The Giants always have been a chatty organization, and to suddenly get all Patriot-y doesn’t work in this town. You gotta be what you gotta be.
Don't get free agent stupid, except ...
That was the plan in kicking the rebuild down the road last year, and that clearly didn’t work. But waiting for the farm system to deliver replacements in bulk, one signing wouldn’t hurt, which is why they might consider ...
Time-sharing Bryce Harper
We also made this one of the A’s action items, and this would be a defensive signing to keep the A’s from having what they want while they have the advantage, but maybe the Giants doing a deal with the Angels or Mariners in which Harper plays only the home games for each team would keep the A’s out of the loop and even help one of their more modest competitors.
Look, the A’s aren’t leaving and they can’t be ignored, so stepping on their feet out of spite isn’t a bad play right now.
Figure out the Posey issue
Buster Posey needs more physical monitoring than he wants, and Bruce Bochy always had been solicitous of his catcher's physical condition. Posey started at first base 30 times in 2017, his last healthy year, and 37 in 2015. So if the issue is using Posey as the best catcher or upgrading from Nick Hundley, choose B. There aren’t any sub-30 free agent catchers, but you only need to fill in a gap until Joey Bart is ready -- which is no earlier than 2020.
Oh, and as hilarious as this would be to Brian Sabean, getting Jarrod Saltalamacchia probably is contraindicated.
Be in on everything and everyone
The Giants have suffered from AT&T Park being a hard place to attract hitters, and if the outfield dimensions can’t be changed and moving home plate 15 feet is out of the question (and really, why should it be out of the question?), wearing out cell phones and waving money is how you change the narrative. And as far as money goes, maybe fewer donations to dodgy political groups would save some cash that can be applied to the Verizon bill.
Oh, and don’t treat sunk costs as shackles. If buyouts must happen, then so be it.
Figure out where the market is going, not where it is
Everyone is hot for relievers, and the Giants need them, but bullpenning already is being criticized for absurd game-time lengths in the postseason (average game time, 3:52) and increasing the chances that managers’ moves go bad, so I’m guessing it might end up as a fad rather than an enduring truth.
In short, if you must load up on relievers to fill a need, don’t make bullpenning the staple of your pitching strategy. The Giants probably will have a new manager in a year anyway, and by then, something else will come along. Get there first.
Speaking of which, treat Bochy properly
He's earned nothing but the respect and honor of the organization, so if this is the last year of the manager's tenure, it should be done with his approval and with appreciation for services rendered. None of that corporate got-a-job-to-do-no-time-for-ceremony soullessness here.
Oh, and a statue of Bochy and Brian Sabean would be nice -- next to the one of Hank Greenwald that better be in the works.
Oh yeah, invest in booze
And, finally, don't talk about rings
For purposes of future-looking, those World Series championships happened forever ago. Teams focused on yesterday don’t like the look of tomorrow, and the Giants already have been that team long enough.