The San Francisco Giants had a fantastic 2021 season, but it didn’t end the way the club was hoping it would.
Now, the organization is entering a pivotal offseason.
Countless key players are set to hit free agency for San Francisco, and if the club wants to contend again in 2022, then there’s some work to be done.
Today, we’re going to be looking at a few players that the team should prioritize keeping.
Ultimately, the Giants are going to have to pick their battles financially, but it’s not unrealistic to think that these three players could all return.
3. Alex Wood
The Giants’ starting rotation is likely going to get ravaged in free agency.
The Giants probably won’t be able to retain all three, but they should certainly aim to keep as many as possible.
Re-signing Wood seems like a reasonable goal.
Of the three pitchers we just mentioned, Wood might come at the lowest price.
But that’s not meant to be a knock on him as a player.
The lefty just put together his best season in years, and there’s no telling if the Giants would have won the NL West without him.
Alex Wood, Elevated 93mph Fastball…and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/vm0zBl1zLY
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 12, 2021
He pitched to a 3.83 ERA, 3.48 FIP, and 1.18 WHIP over 26 starts.
He’ll be 31 next year, and he seemingly has a lot left in the tank.
2. Buster Posey
The Giants have a $22 million club option on Buster Posey for the 2022 season, and the team has already made it clear that it wants/intends to exercise that option.
The only question is: Will Posey return for another season?
He’s 34 years old and has spent 12 years at the MLB level taking a beating behind the dish.
But at the same time, he’s still an elite player.
There’s a difference between retiring on a good note and retiring too soon.
In Posey’s case, it might be too soon.
He just posted an outstanding slash line of .304/.390/.499 to go along with a 140 OPS+ and 140 wRC+.
He earned his seventh All-Star selection in 2021 and led San Francisco to a division title.
At the end of the day, however, it’s his decision.
Nobody but Posey is capable of deciding what’s best for him and his family.
1. Kevin Gausman
As mentioned, San Francisco figures to lose some key arms to free agency this offseason.
Gausman might be one of those arms, but the Giants would be wise to do everything in their power to bring him back.
Doing so would almost certainly require a large financial commitment.
For that reason, the Giants might have to structure their offseason approach around re-signing Gausman if they’re serious about bringing him back.
The 30-year-old pitched like an ace in 2021, registering a 2.81 ERA, 3.00 FIP, and 1.04 WHIP over 33 outings.
He fanned a whopping 227 batters in 192 innings and racked up a WAR of 5.3.
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) September 2, 2021
He’s seemingly getting better with age, and it’ll be exciting to see where he goes from here.