Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has a history when it comes to MLB free agency: He isn't one for giant contracts.
Go back to his time as Dodgers general manager and Zaidi wasn't even sniffing a $100 million contract. Entering his second season running the Giants front office, and with a general manager in place, what is his mindset this time around in free agency?
"We certainly have financial flexibility," Zaidi told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on the "TK Show." "We've made some moves to ensure that. There's different ways to spend that money. We can take on contracts from other teams with some young talent attached to it, which I think probably fits the mold of where we are. We can be active in the free agent market to the extent that there are matches that make sense to us."
Those comments don't place a ton of confidence in the Giants pursuing a top free agent like pitcher Gerrit Cole or third baseman Anthony Rendon. San Francisco's top needs this offseason are shoring up the bullpen, adding a powerful outfielder and finding platoon bats around the infield. It sounds like those will come in short-term contracts.
Having financial flexibility certainly doesn't mean open pockets that extend to the floor. Zaidi noted the Giants have flexibility going into the 2020 season, but he has to look much further down the line.
Prior to Zaidi's arrival in San Francisco, the Giants locked up declining players like Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt to long-term contracts. That certainly is beginning to backfire.
"We need to be careful given our recent history about creating too many long-term commitments that can get us back in the jam that we very recently put ourselves in," Zaidi explained.
Then again, these quotes are from the same guy who offered Bryce Harper a 12-year, $310 million contract last offseason. Was that a one-time thing?
Maybe, maybe not.
"I think that demonstrates if things line up and make sense from a baseball standpoint and an organizational standpoint, that we'll have organizational support to do it," Zaidi said.
It's clear Zaidi knows the Giants still are in a rebuilding phase with a farm system on the rise. They found talent last year and will continue to do so this year, just don't expect them to break the bank.