It’ll come as little consolation to Giants fans, but the team did have an offer on the table for top remaining free agent outfielder Brandon Nimmo before he wound up re-signing with the Mets for eight years and $162MM, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. As Puma notes, it appears that once owner Steve Cohen got personally involved, Nimmo’s return to the Mets materialized quickly. It’s not known what terms the Giants were offering Nimmo.
It’s the second-straight outfielder the Giants have missed out on, having aggressively pursued Aaron Judge before he ultimately return to New York on a nine-year, $360MM deal. They have added Mitch Haniger on a three-year, $43.5MM deal but from the outset of the off-season they’ve been strongly linked with the top free agents. They could still sign one, and they’re one of the teams (along with the Twins and Cubs, per the New York Post’s Jon Heyman) that are heavily rumored to be in on Carlos Correa.
The outfield has been an area of focus for president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi this winter. Haniger’s addition bolsters their group, but Zaidi’s wanted two outfield signings. Now that they’ve missed out on the clear top two options available, it’ll be interesting to see whether they look for another outfielder, or go with a mix of Haniger, Austin Slater and Mike Yastrzemski and divert their resources to other options like Correa, or a starting pitcher.
If they do continue with their plans to add another outfielder, Andrew Benintendi is probably the top free agent available now. MLBTR predicted a four-year, $54MM deal for him, and given the Giants’ payroll space they could conceivably go after someone like that while still having space to pursue a long-term deal with Correa. They could also look to the trade market, and approach the Pirates about a deal to bring Bryan Reynolds back to the team that drafted him in 2016. While Reynolds is only due to make $6.75MM in 2023, he’s under club control for three more seasons and Pittsburgh looks to have a sky high asking price for him.
The Giants have a projected payroll of about $139MM as things stand, but they also have in the region of $60MM+ coming off the books at the end of next season. Given their payroll has stretched north of $200MM in recent seasons, they do have plenty of room to make a number of additions over the next season or two.
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