Farhan Zaidi discusses Giants' early moves that didn't work out


DENVER -- Do you remember Justin Ruggiano getting 60 at-bats for the 2017 Giants? Or Chris Marrero getting a shot as the left fielder that April? What about Ruben Tejada and Grant Green the year before? Or Alejandro De Aza and Marlon Byrd the year before that? 

Every year, every front office has a long list of moves that didn't work out. It's part of the job. But when it's your first year in charge there's going to be a bit more scrutiny, so it certainly stood out Monday when Yangervis Solarte and Pat Venditte were let go just three days after Gerardo Parra.

Throw in Connor Joe and Michael Reed, and the fact that Erik Kratz struggled and is now on the injured list, and Farhan Zaidi certainly has not seen much production from the players -- primarily veterans -- he brought in before the season began. Asked about that earlier this week, Zaidi nodded. 

"That's a totally fair question," he said. "You bring guys in because you hope they're contributors, and we've taken some chances. I think we've looked to take chances where we weren't investing a lot in terms of giving up long-term assets or future assets. We've gotten looks at a few guys and we haven't gotten the type of production that we were looking for. 

"I think it's fair that as a front office and for me, personally, I haven't done the job of identifying guys who could help us in that spot. That's a totally fair critique."

To be fair to the organization, the Giants didn't exactly lose a lot here. Parra and Solarte had non-guaranteed $1.75 million deals and Venditte’s was $585,000. Joe and Reed were minimum salary players in their short stints. 

The real loss would be playing time for others, but even then it's not much of a loss. The Giants aren't exactly brimming with prospects banging down the door, so Zaidi sought to fill the edges of the roster with dependable veterans and buy time until guys like Mike Gerber and Mac Williamson got hot. 

The hope was that Parra could provide a solid fourth outfielder and Solarte could add pop off the bench and platoon with Joe Panik at second. The Giants also hoped that one of Reed or Joe would break out. None of that happened. The latest cuts on the position player side, Parra and Solarte, were hitting .198 and .205, respectively. 

"As a player, it's a game of production," manager Bruce Bochy said. "You've got to get results. That's the difficult part of this game. Sure, you'd like to have your 25 guys and run with them, but when you're not where you want to be, changes are made."

Bochy said repeatedly that Parra and Solarte were both "great guys" who brought a lot to the clubhouse. Parra already has caught on with the Nationals and the Giants expect Solarte to also soon find a job elsewhere. But with a 15-20 record at the time of Tuesday's roster churn, the Giants couldn't afford to value chemistry above hits and runs. 

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Zaidi was ready to turn the page to a new set of players, looking for hitters who could match the kind of production the Giants have gotten from guys like Nick Vincent and Trevor Gott, who were the pitching versions of a Parra or Solarte. They got an early jolt from Kevin Pillar and Tyler Austin is intriguing, but there’s a need for more. 

"When I kind of evaluate my own performance with these guys, we haven't hit as much as we would like," Zaidi said. "We've gotten some guys who have done a nice job for us in the 'pen, but on the offensive side we haven't quite hit on that guy who could be a key piece for us."

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