It’s been 20 days since the San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals to win their third World Series Championship in five years and its time for the team from the Bay to start working towards another championship next season. Instead of taking a year off from the playoffs like they did after their previous two championships, I’d like to see the Giants get even stronger and win another title to strengthen the idea that this current team is indeed a dynasty.
The Giants can’t expect to ride Madison Bumgarner for a whole season like they did in the playoffs. He is the definite ace of the team and has a strong chance at beating out Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw for the National League Cy Young next year. But the Giants need more behind him in the pitching rotation. They will get veteran Matt Cain back, providing one of the best 1-2 starter combinations in the MLB, but after him the rest of the rotation is questionable. I look for the Giants to add more depth to their pitching staff this offseason, as out of Tim Hudson, Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong, their 3-4-5 starters down the stretch, only Hudson is signed for 2015.
The Giants’ offense can look anemic at times and the team continued to get clutch hits when they needed it in the playoffs, but that’s difficult to continue for an entire season. We can expect a lot from right fielder Hunter Pence, catcher Buster Posey and hopefully a healthy Angel Pagan, the Giants’ starting center fielder. However, the Giants will need more consistency from the rest of the starters.
Here are some of my thoughts and suggestions for what needs to happen this offseason for the Giants to get back to the Fall Classic:
Sign Pablo Sandoval, even if he won’t give a hometown discount
The Panda has been a clutch performer for the Giants in every postseason he has been a part of. He was the World Series MVP in 2012. He is a career .344 hitter in the playoffs and had 26 hits in the 2014 playoffs, a new playoff record. He provides solid defense and can be expected to hit over .275 with at least 15 homeruns and 75 RBI. There are currently five teams interested in Sandoval including the Boston Red Sox, but the Giants need to bring him back to the Bay, as there aren’t many other third basemen available this winter.
Sign a left fielder who can hit and play defense without breaking the bank
The Giants won the World Series with a platoon of Travis Ishikawa and Juan Perez in left field. Ishikawa had only played a handful of games in the outfield before the playoffs and Perez isn’t a good enough hitter to be a starter. It has been rumored that the Giants are interested in Torii Hunter, but Colby Rasmus or Nick Markakis would fit well too. I’d like to see the Giants make a smart, safe move for a veteran for a position that hasn’t been filled for the last few years.
Sign some cheap starting pitchers
Dave Righetti is an excellent pitching coach who can get a lot out of nothing. He helped to turn Vogelsong from a bust to an All-Star. There’s a lot of starting pitchers out there who just need some work and they will do well in the large AT&T Park. If Vogelsong and Peavy leave, the Giants will need someone to pitch after Bumgarner and Cain. Plus nobody knows what to expect from Tim Lincecum.
The Giants have a core in place; they just need a few more pieces to get back to the playoffs and hopefully the World Series. I trust general manager Brian Sabean to make the right decisions, as he normally does, but if he wants any advice, I’ll be willing to give it.
Come back next week for more of staff writer Edward Moss’ take on Bay Area sports.