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SF Giants' 2024 season preview and predictions

 We've reached the finish line of spring training and it's time for the games to start mattering. The Giants are a much different team than the one we saw report to camp six weeks ago. Did they add enough over the winter and spring to catapult them into playoff contention? What are some keys to success this season? We'll get into all that and more in the 2024 season preview. A winter that started out a little slow and concerning for Giants' fans, really came into form in the spring and was capped beautifully by a Blake Snell signing just over a week before opening day. The Giants are indeed a much improved team from the one we saw in 2023, just how much better they become will rely a lot on three big things. Three Keys to 2024 1. Health Of course, you can say this about every team in baseball and in any sport. In order for them to reach their end-season goals, they'll have to have had stayed relatively healthy throughout the summer. But for the Giants I've highl
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Spring Training Notes: Giants add Chapman

 The move that everyone was predicting after the Giants made Bob Melvin their new manager finally went down over the weekend. A little later than anyone would have guessed, but Farhan Zaidi's patience paid off. Coming off the heels of adding Jorge Soler a couple weeks back, after camp had gotten underway, the Giants made another late addition to their starting lineup, bringing in 4-time gold-glover, Matt Chapman. The former A's and Blue Jays' third basemen will help solidify the infield defense and give Melvin another bat he can pencil into the middle of the order on a daily basis. The Giants did have some incumbent options at the position, but simply put, Chapman is better than any of those guys at this point. Plus, when you get a chance to get a projected $100+ million player at half price, it's a smart move to make. The knock on him will be that he's coming off a down year offensively, but some of of that can be attributed to a hand injury that slowed him down af

Are Giants done adding? Who's still out there?

 We're less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, yet there's still a lot that needs to settle among this free agent class before that happens. The question is, will the Giants be involved? After the Jordan Hicks signing became official last week, Farhan Zaidi held a state of the union interview and gave off indications that the team is likely done shopping at the top end of the market, at least for pitching. The Matt Chapman rumor that has surrounded this club all winter long won't go away until he signs somewhere, but any chance of pairing Logan Webb with Blake Snell atop the rotation seems to have ended.  The most important question this late in the winter is simple; are they a better team now than they were at the end of 2023? I don't think so, and even if they are, it's only marginally. Even if Jung Ho Lee pops off with a quick, seamless transition to Major League baseball and shores up center field and the top of the order.

Ray trade opens more avenues for Giants

 Over the last month, the Giants have handed out their largest free agent contract and also swung their biggest trade during the Farhan Zaidi era. Both are nice steps in the right direction but may take a little time to yield fruitful results.  As we stand, a week into the new year, I would say this team is pretty equal to the one that finished below .500 last year. I do think the Jung-Hoo Lee signing will wind up a good one at the end of the day. I know they had to go a little higher than his projected price tag heading into the offseason, but with the way the free agent market is inflating, we may look back in two years and realize the Giants got a bargain with this. Of course, Lee will have to pan out here for that to happen but it's a risk this team needed to take. It's true that the KBO is equivalent to the talent level of the mid-minor leagues in America, but Lee dominated there. He's a 25 year-old with high-end contact skills, good speed and good defense. Those shoul

Ohtani picks Dodgers, what's next for SF?

 The question at the forefront of the baseball world for the last couple months finally came to resolution over the weekend and it was a double gut punch for Giants fans. Shohei Ohtani will not become that superstar the Giants franchise has so desperately been in search of for the better part of the last decade. Instead of the Giants, Blue Jays, Cubs and Angels, Ohtani chose to sign a record breaking, 10-year deal worth $700 million with Dodgers. Which should have been a surprise to absolutely nobody. Now, being a Giants fan, I held out a glimmer of hope that Shohei may want to challenge himself. Come up to the Bay Area and try to bring the Giants back to where they were in the early 2010's. But at the end of the day, we know his number one priority was winning, and the Giants just have not done enough of it over the last couple seasons. Farhan and the front office is taking the flack for this miss, and rightfully so, but not for underbidding for Shohei. He probably offered as much

What makes sense for Giants at the deadline?

 We're officially two weeks away from the MLB trade deadline and Farhan Zaidi and company will have some tough decisions between now and then. The Giants have gotten back to their winning ways lately, sweeping the Pirates over the weekend after they won their last two heading into the all-star break. They're back over 10 games above .500 and at the moment definitely look like legit playoff contender. Now the only question surrounds how aggressive they plan to be during these next couple of weeks. One of the areas that needs the most help right now is the middle infield. They're hoping Thairo Estrada returns in a couple weeks, but even if he does return and bounces back to his early first half form, this team could still use some depth up the middle. Brandon Crawford has bounced back modestly after a horrendous first couple of months, but he's still barely hitting over .200 and is entering the second half of his age-36 season. Having someone who can help shoulder some of

Injuries not slowing down the Giants

We're mid-way through June and we've already seen about a season's worth of injuries run through the Giants' clubhouse. However, as the injuries keep popping up, the Giants keep on persevering. Just to give you an idea of how bad it's been healthy wise, the only positional guys who have not hit the injured list or have missed games in bulk this season have been LaMonte Wade Jr. and J.D. Davis. The latter, however, has now missed most of the last week with an ankle sprain. You never like to see players hit the IL, but the reality is, it's part of the game. You have to find a silver lining. That silver lining in the Giants' case this year is that it has prompted the rookies onto the roster, and they have been a driving force in the team's success since mid-May. Luis Matos is the latest top prospect to make his way onto the big league roster, and while he's only appeared in a handful of games thus far, he looks like he could wind up being the most impac