SAN FRANCISCO – Giants fans are hoping Wilmer Flores’ extension is just the tip of the iceberg.
Before a tense 3-2 victory over the Braves on Monday night at Oracle Park, the Giants announced a two-year contract extension for the versatile infielder Flores, with an option for 2025. In the dugout, about 90 minutes before first pitch, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi discussed why the Flores deal made sense for the franchise while also giving a preview of what to expect this offseason.
“The way this season has gone is not acceptable to any of us,” Zaidi said before Alex Cobb delivered seven scoreless innings to stifle Atlanta. “We view ourselves as a team that should be in the playoffs every year at this juncture. We’re going to be motivated to look for ways to improve.”
Rodón remains in the conversation for National League Cy Young despite the Giants’ down season. He ranks second in the NL with 212 strikeouts, just two behind leader Corbin Burnes. Rodón ranks eighth in the NL in ERA (2.93), but his 2.33 FIP leads the league.
Rodón is due $22.5 million in 2023 but can opt out. He’ll be 30 this offseason, and his next start will mark his 29th of the campaign to set a new career high. Rodón figures to get some multiyear offers upward of $100 million this offseason, so the Giants likely will have to open up the checkbook to keep him.
“I know he’s mentioned he’s happy here and would have interest in coming back,” Zaidi said. “We’ll just have to see whether there’s interest in engaging. He’s obviously got a contract structure where he’s got a decision to make, so that complicates the sequencing of the discussion. He’s certainly a guy that we’d love to see back.”
As for Pederson, he has proven to be a steal after signing a one-year, $6 million contract this past offseason. The 30-year-old leads the Giants in home runs (22) while posting a healthy .521 slugging percentage and .869 OPS. He has provided some much-needed stability in left field.
Zaidi said the Giants have approached Pederson’s representation about an extension.
“We’ve expressed interest,” Zaidi said. “There’s still some time ‘til the end of the season and free agency hits.”
Third baseman Evan Longoria was mic’d up for ESPN on Sunday and expressed his desire to return in 2023 on a $13 million club option. Zaidi was listening and liked what he heard from the 36-year-old.
“It was encouraging because I haven’t heard of him speaking of his desire to play next year in those relatively certain terms,” Zaidi said. “Now we know that.”
Perhaps the No. 1 item on Zaidi’s offseason checklist will be to recruit some star power to the Bay Area. Giants fans have been clamoring for a high-profile free-agent signing and are hoping the franchise can lure a marquee player like Aaron Judge.
Without mentioning Judge by name, Zaidi said he’s aware of the fanbase’s desire to inject more star power into the club.
“Isn’t it a little early to be asking that?” Zaidi said with a laugh. “Look, without talking about any specific players, I’ve used the word ‘transition’ a lot the last few years. That’s sort of been the state of our roster. We always felt like last offseason and this offseason would be big offseasons for us in terms of shaping the future of the club and what the roster looks like.”
So will the Giants be in a spending mood this winter?
“It’s going to be a big offseason for us,” Zaidi said. “We do have payroll room because we’re a big market and we have contracts that are ending this offseason. There’ll be a lot of good options for us.”