The San Francisco Giants had a fantastic 2021 season, but their run came to an end in the NLDS.
The organization is now in the midst of a pivotal offseason.
Several key players from the 2021 team are free agents, and another already announced his retirement.
The Giants have a lot of work to do.
If San Francisco wants to return as a contender in 2022, it would make sense for the club to target these three free agents.
Let’s take a look.
3. Yan Gomes
Buster Posey recently shocked the baseball world by announcing his retirement.
The Giants legend called it quits after 12 iconic seasons.
Buster Posey officially announced his retirement today.
What a career! 👏
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 4, 2021
As a result, San Francisco now has a void to fill behind the plate.
The organization has a highly-touted catching prospect in Joey Bart, but many folks feel that he isn’t MLB-ready yet.
If that’s the case, the Giants would be wise to explore their options in free agency.
Yan Gomes is arguably the top catcher available on the free-agent market this offseason.
He posted a .723 OPS and 98 OPS+ in 2021, both of which are very solid offensive stats for a catcher.
He’s also very solid behind the dish, as he averages a defensive bWAR of about 1.0 per season.
At 34, he might be interested in signing a one-year deal, which could be exactly what the Giants need to bridge the gap between Posey and Bart.
2. Rich Hill
The Giants’ starting rotation is going to get ravaged this offseason.
San Francisco can try to re-sign some of those free-agent hurlers, but it seems like a guarantee that the staff will have a different look next season.
Given that, the Giants will likely have to explore the free-agent market (outside of the guys we just talked about) in order to fill in the rotation.
Rich Hill is a guy that would likely only serve as a one-year solution, but he’d presumably come at a very low price.
Despite his age (41), the southpaw is still getting the job done.
He pitched to a 3.86 ERA over 32 outings in 2021, and he has a 3.15 ERA since the start of the 2014 season.
1. Gausman (Re-Sign)
If the Giants can only re-sign one of their free-agent starters, it should be Gausman.
The righty was San Francisco’s best starting pitcher in 2021, and if he were to return, he’d slide in alongside Webb to create a fantastic one-two punch.
Gausman finished the 2021 season with a 2.81 ERA, 3.00 FIP, and 1.04 WHIP, and he fanned 227 batters in 192.0 innings.
Kevin Gausman finishes his night with his 10th K. pic.twitter.com/ffbHb7g1te
— MLB (@MLB) June 6, 2021
He also racked up an impressive WAR of 5.4, which stands as the best mark of his career by far.
The 30-year-old seems to be entering the best years of his career.
The market for Gausman will likely be very competitive this offseason, but the Giants should do everything in their power to make sure that he returns to San Francisco in 2022 and beyond.NEXT: Buster Posey Caps Iconic Career With 5th Silver Slugger Award