San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi isn’t hiding his game plan for the offseason.
He is thinking big in free agency — starting with the biggest prize available, Aaron Judge. And he apparently is willing to open up the checkbook.
“I think everybody is dealing with that same trade-off between concentrating some sort of financial resources on one or two roster spots versus being able to hit up on multiple spots,” Zaidi told reporters Wednesday at the MLB general managers meeting in Las Vegas. “But I think from a financial standpoint, there’s nobody that would be sort of out of our capability to meet what we expect the contract demands will be. So then it will just be a question of whether there is mutual interest and how we put together the best possible team. It’s not going to be about any one player.”
The Giants have $105.1 million committed to their 2023 roster, according to the website Cot’s Baseball Contracts. That ranks them 19th in baseball in terms of upcoming spending.
USA Today reported that Judge isn’t the only player on the Giants’ wish list. Zaidi also could pursue one of the top-notch shortstops available — Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa or Trea Turner — as well as a top line pitcher, such as Jacob deGrom.
Judge turned down a seven-year contract extension offer worth $213.5 million from the New York Yankees before the season started. After setting the American League home run record with 62, Judge will be seeking a whopping contract, with the asking price predicted to be at least the $35.5 million a year the Los Angeles Angels pay Mike Trout.
The Giants undoubtedly hope that playing just a couple of hours from his hometown of Linden, Calif., will appeal to the 30-year-old outfielder and are working on a detailed sales pitch for him, USA Today reported.
“I think they will be very, very aggressive because they’ve got a proven market and the economic ability to attract a number of free agents,” said agent Scott Boras, who does not represent Judge, per USA Today.
The Giants could use Judge to put a power jolt into the team and fans in the seats. No Giants player has hit at least 30 home runs since Barry Bonds had 45 in 2004.
The team drew at least 3 million fans for nine straight seasons (2010-18), but only 2.48 million went through the turnstiles in 2022.
Free agents can begin signing with new teams Thursday at 5 p.m.
–Field Level Media
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