SAN FRANCISCO - Last week, I sat down with our own Ahmed Fareed to discuss the Giants offseason. You can listen to our podcast here, and it's still fresh, because since we talked the Giants have done … nothing.
Nobody has done anything, really. The Braves made a splash Monday morning by adding Josh Donaldson and Brian McCann, but for the most part it's been a quiet start to the offseason, even in terms of juicy rumors. But there are still concepts to discuss. Here are some questions we didn't get to - or get to at length - on the podcast, courtesy of Twitter:
"With Zaidi, will there be more trades with the Dodgers and the A's?" - @gogiants99
A couple of hours before Farhan Zaidi was named president of baseball operations, A's GM David Forst stood around with some local reporters and talked passionately about why his good friend would be a smart choice for the Giants. Forst was asked this very same trade question, and he smiled and pointed out that he's never been opposed to trading with the Giants. Whether coincidence or something Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans actually believed in, the Giants haven't made a real trade with the A's since the Darren Lewis swap in 1990. Zaidi is very close to Forst and Billy Beane, so I expect this to change at some point, and possibly some point soon. If the right deal is there, neither side will shy away.
As for the Dodgers? That's a bit more complicated since the teams are heated rivals in the same division, but it's certainly a lot more likely than it was a month ago. During Zaidi's time in Los Angeles, the Dodgers and A's -- his previous team -- made four deals, including a big Rich Hill/Josh Reddick trade. One of the first big moves Andrew Friedman and Zaidi made was to deal Matt Kemp to the Padres. The Giants and Dodgers have made one trade in the past 33 years, but Zaidi may be just the man to change that.
"Panik for Sonny Gray?" - @giants28mvp
Ahh, the old "who says no?" A lot of people have connected Panik, a New York native, to the Yankees. They need infield depth and Brian Cashman has basically put up a billboard that says I'M TRADING SONNY GRAY. But according to a league source, Cashman has set a high price for Gray, who had a terrible overall season but really just needs to get out of Yankee Stadium. Gray had a 3.17 ERA on the road and I still think the Giants should try to reunite him with Curt Young, but it'll take a different package than Panik, who is coming off the worst season of his career.
"Details on the scoreboard!!" - @KevinCrossman
The Giants held Topgolf at their park a couple of weekends ago, and the public event revealed that the scoreboard is already under construction. There's not much to say except that it's going to be state-of-the-art and HUGE. If you look at that picture, imagine the new scoreboard taking up all that space under construction, plus the Dignity Health and Charles Schwab signs on the side. One person also told me that the team might move that clock up a bit to make more space. It's long overdue, and the Giants are excited about the possibilities. (Alright, alright, now you can make your "why do you need a bigger scoreboard when you don't score runs?" jokes …)
"How's Mac doing? Has the concussion symptoms gone away? I see him as a breakout candidate this season if so." - @dan_man_25
As reported here, Mac Williamson was cleared of his concussion in September and will have a normal offseason. He's an interesting case, because he's out of options and he may have a legitimate shot to fight for a starting job next spring. We'll see what Zaidi does with the roster over the coming months, but it's unlikely that the Giants will get two full-time free agent starters for the corners, so Williamson may still be in the mix. His breakout looked real for a few weeks, and Zaidi comes from a place where Justin Turner became an All-Star with similar swing changes, so perhaps he'll be intrigued by Williamson. It was a small sample size, though, so he'll need another big spring.
"Any word on moving the bullpens?" - @jharris0710
On a related note … go back to that photo of the scoreboard and look underneath the construction. The Giants aren't ditching their kale garden or moving in the fences in Triples Alley. They remain committed to having the bullpens down the lines, although I still think that we're one ACL injury away from the organization having to seriously discuss a change.