Saying it’s been a disappointing offseason for the San Francisco Giants would be a massive understatement. Some would even call the Giants’ free agency in 2023 a disaster. The team infamously came up short in its pursuit of reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge, who ended up re-signing with the New York Yankees. Shortly afterwards, shortstop Carlos Correa spurned the organization and their initial 13-year, $350 million agreement, to remain with the Minnesota Twins in the offseason’s wackiest spectacle. Finally, the starting rotation took a hit after two-time All-Star Carlos Rodon signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Yankees.
The Giants have watched basically all of the top-name free agents sign elsewhere, including divisional opponents who they’ll play multiple times next season. But it wasn’t all bad for the franchise, who signed outfielders Mitch Haniger and Michael Conforto, starting pitchers Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling, and relief pitcher Taylor Rogers. This is still a good baseball team, and they’ll be more than competitive in the NL next season.
“We lost out on some of the bigger free-agent names, but you have guys like Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger in the outfield,” Giants Joc Pederson said recently. “Two All-Stars that can really change the dynamic of your offense and defense. Added some starting pitching depth which really hurt us last year, which is going to take over some of the innings the bullpen had to take on, so they’re more fresh for their situation. Just added a ton of really good depth that, over the course of 162 [games], you need that. It’s going to be exciting.”
The Giants did make some solid moves for next season, but one place they could certainly improve is in the catching department. Joey Bart and Blake Sabol are the only catchers on the 40-man roster with any type of experience, with veteran Austin Wynns being designated for assignment after the Conforto signing. A great move bolster the catching corps would be signing veteran catcher Gary Sanchez.
One last offseason move: sign C Gary Sanchez
Gary Sanchez can play both catcher and designated hitter, and would probably make more sense on the San Francisco Giants than anywhere else. The ex-Minnesota Twin right-hander would provide raw power at the plate and a strong arm behind the dish. Although he’s admittedly below-average defensively and allows quite a few wild pitches and passed balls, he’s hit 154 home runs in his eight-year career and been selected to the All-Star game on two separate occasions.
The 30-year-old would be a solid fit as a No. 2 catcher and part-time designated hitter on the Giants next season, especially matched up against certain pitchers, and would be a great fit in the Bay Area in 2023.
The Athletic gave the Giants the second-worst offseason rating in the NL West at a C-, but the team did address some important needs: “They added a ton of potential thump with Mitch Haniger and Michael Conforto, their rotation is deep if not spectacular and they addressed their bullpen by cloning their Rogers brother. It should be a modestly competitive team. But it’s not a team that will firm up the Giants’ sagging standing in the Bay Area sports marketplace.”
Only time will tell how the Giants free agency signings work out, but inking free agent Gary Sanchez would be a strong way to close out a disappointing offseason and send a positive message to the clubhouse that the squad plans to compete, even without Judge, Correa or Rodon, in 2023.