Given the number of free agents who remain unsigned, there’s a good chance the Giants’ roster will undergo some more changes before Opening Day on March 28. Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell, Matt Chapman and Jorge Soler have been among San Francisco’s rumored targets throughout the offseason, so there’s still time for the club to make another splash as it attempts to rebound from back-to-back subpar seasons.
The final shape of the Giants’ 26-man roster remains subject to change, but here’s an early look at how the group appears to be coming together as pitchers and catchers prepare to report to Spring Training on Wednesday.
Catcher (2): Patrick Bailey, Tom Murphy
Possibilities: Blake Sabol, Joey Bart
The catching tandem seems to be fairly set now that the Giants have brought in Murphy to serve as Bailey’s backup, though Sabol or Bart could still factor into the mix in the event of an injury or some other unforeseen circumstance. Bart will be out of options this spring, so he could be a prime trade candidate if he doesn’t end up breaking camp with the big league club.
First baseman (1): LaMonte Wade Jr.
Wade didn’t disappoint after succeeding Brandon Belt as the Giants’ primary first baseman last year, using his elite eye to finish eighth in the National League with a .373 on-base percentage. He also ranked third on the team with 17 home runs and will be counted on to be a key source of left-handed pop in 2024.
Second baseman (1): Thairo Estrada
Despite missing a month with a left hand fracture, Estrada led all Giants position players with 3.9 fWAR in 2023, when he set career highs in hits (134), doubles (26) and stolen bases (23) and matched his personal best in homers (14).
Shortstop (1): Marco Luciano
With Brandon Crawford no longer under contract, the Giants are expected to give the 22-year-old Luciano a chance to seize the everyday shortstop job, though he’ll have to dispel some concerns about his glove and durability this spring.
Third baseman (1): J.D. Davis
Davis was a borderline All-Star in the first half of 2023, but his production dipped after he suffered an ankle injury in June, so the Giants will be hoping for more consistency out of the 30-year-old infielder this year.
Outfielders (5): Jung Hoo Lee, Michael Conforto, Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater, Luis Matos
Possibilities: Heliot Ramos, Wade Meckler, TJ Hopkins
Lee, who signed a six-year, $113 million deal in December, could experience some growing pains as he makes the transition from the KBO to the Majors, but his elite contact skills could make him a dynamic presence atop the Giants’ lineup for years to come. His presence in center field should also help shore up the club’s outfield defense, which has been a glaring issue in recent years.
Designated hitter (1): Wilmer Flores
Flores has been perhaps the Giants’ steadiest offensive performer over the last four seasons and clubbed a team-high 23 homers last year. He should get plenty of at-bats at DH now that Joc Pederson is gone, but he could also fill in at the corner infield spots if needed.
Utility (1): Tyler Fitzgerald
Possibilities: Casey Schmitt, Brett Wisely
Fitzgerald’s ability to play both center field and shortstop should make him an intriguing option for a club that was sorely lacking in speed and athleticism last year, though Schmitt and Wisely should also get a chance to compete for roster spots this spring.
Starting rotation (5): Logan Webb, Jordan Hicks, Kyle Harrison, Keaton Winn, Tristan Beck
With Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray expected to open the season on the injured list, the Giants will be leaning heavily on a converted reliever (Hicks) and three relatively unproven arms (Harrison, Winn and Beck) to cover a ton of innings early in the season and provide stability behind Webb.
Bullpen (8): Camilo Doval, Tyler Rogers, Taylor Rogers, Luke Jackson, Ryan Walker, Sean Hjelle, Ethan Small, Erik Miller
Taylor Rogers is the only established lefty reliever on the 40-man roster, so the Giants will need Small and/or Miller to take a step forward and show that they can be depended on in big spots as well.