If the San Francisco Giants hope to contend for a National League West title anytime soon, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has his work cut out trying to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
In an attempt to play catch up with the teams that finished with the top two records in the National League in 2020, there's some who think that the Giants could be active on the free-agent market this offseason, and not just in terms of adding secondary pieces.
On the latest episode of "Big Time Baseball," RADIO.COM MLB Insider Jon Heyman predicted that the Giants will sign Trevor Bauer to a five-year/$150 million contract. Beyond simply making the prediction, Heyman went on to say that he's heard "that whisper" in regards to the Giants potentially being a landing spot for the polarizing righty.
Monday, Bauer was revealed as one of three National League Cy Young Award finalists, after going 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA and 2.88 FIP for the Cincinnati Reds in 2020. Even when you factor in that he had an underwhelming 2019 campaign, FanGraphs says that Bauer has been the sixth-best pitcher in the sport since the start of the 2018 season.
In our piece looking at potential landing spots for the 29-year-old, we mentioned teams perceived as being in win-now mode, a bill that the Giants don't necessarily fit. That said, the team went 29-31 in Gabe Kapler's first season as manager, turning in a much better campaign that most expected. The Giants organization has some exciting young talents - such as catcher Joey Bart - but is pretty thin on starting rotation depth. Bauer would at least give them a legitimate arm at the top of the rotation.
Over the weekend, the Giants made the surprising decision to extend a one-year/$18.9 million qualifying offer to righty Kevin Gausman, a pitcher that many across the league have long believed could be a special arm if he figured things out. In 12 games - 10 starts in 2020 - Gausman posted a 3.62 ERA and 3.09 FIP. He's likely to accept the qualifying offer, meaning he and Bauer could be atop of the rotation in 2021 if Heyman's prediction comes to fruition.
Though in the past he's suggested that he only wanted to sign one-year deals, it would be hard to fathom Bauer passing up a five or six-year offer this winter. Then again, Bauer taking a one-year deal would hardly the most shocking thing that's transpired in 2020, so who knows.