Up to this point, Farhan Zaidi was saying that the San Francisco Giants would be aggressive at the trade deadline. The Google dictionary defines aggressive as “assertive, bold, and energetic.” At least that’s the meaning most applicable to what we’re talking about. Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language defines it as “Tending to aggress; making the first attack.” Both of these definitions sound like taking some initiative.
But did the Giants meet our expectations? Not in the least. They were no better off after 3 PM on Tuesday than before. Talking about their needs is one thing, but meeting them is another.
Defining “Aggressive” for the Giants
The day the Angels decided not to trade Shohei Ohtani wasn’t a bad day. Tuesday was a bad day.
What the Giants Did
The San Francisco Giants are finalizing a trade to acquire outfielder A.J. Pollock and utilityman Mark Mathias from the Seattle Mariners, sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2023
The Giants ended up trading for two players from the Seattle Mariners: AJ Pollock and Mark Mathias. Pollock has been hitting an absolutely disastrous .173/.225/.323 with a .547 OPS. Mathias is a bit better, with statistics of .231/.355/.269 and a .624 OPS, but still disastrous when compared with what the Giants needed.
Reportedly, they made a push for Justin Verlander, but as usual, another team got him. The Houston Astros have him safely stacked away as they seek to win their second title in a row.
The Giants’ Failures Are Getting Kind of Old
Holiday stories are extremely weird as it is. But how about The Giants’ Christmas Gift From Their Front Office? It’s a true story, it took place in 2022, and it ends with a virtually empty package. The Grinch stole the program completely.
It’s probably just boring, depressing rumination to again go over the loss of Aaron Judge, Carlos Correa, and others. But Zaidi had said it would be a big offseason. They were supposed to be aggressive. And it just didn’t happen. You can go back even further and think about the 2022 trade deadline. The Giants couldn’t make it happen that year either.
But seriously, I thought for sure they’d do it this time. Surely they would realize it was time to make a full-on push. But our deadline hopes are dashed. The rotation remains as it was before. Bullpen days will have to be bullpen days unless someone can get called up and stick around. And the offense likely won’t be any better for the additions of Pollock and Mathias.
And Pollock isn’t even here to start every day. According to MSN, he was brought on to add bench depth. The MSN article also reports that the front office decided the prospect costs were “too steep” to make a big move. When, oh when, will the Giants push for it? It wasn’t even an Ohtani issue anymore. This reservedness is getting tiresome. And we were told that they would be aggressive.
Giants’ Future in 2023
So, can the Giants still make the playoffs? It’s helpful to keep in mind that they have a propensity to surprise everybody. That was certainly the case in 2021, and it happened under difficult circumstances this year. They may still be able to get hot and make a good run.
But this poor management thing has got to end. You can’t run a team solely by trying to improve bad players (although bad players can sometimes be improved, particularly when coaching is good). The Giants have to be a team that goes after top-level talent. And until they do that, we are just not justified in calling them aggressive.
Main photo credits:
D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports