MLB Free Agency

Three reasons Giants will be attractive MLB free-agent destination

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Despite what the outside perception might be, the Giants, in fact, will be a desirable destination for MLB free agents this winter.

San Francisco is entering one of the biggest offseasons in franchise history and appears poised to make a splash or two in an effort to re-tool a lackluster roster and reinvigorate a frustrated fan base.

From president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi to CEO Larry Baer and owner Greg Johnson, the Giants are not an organization like the New York Mets that will outwardly flex their deep pockets and willingness to spend whatever it takes in free agency, even if they are comfortable possibly teetering over the edge of the competitive balance tax while boasting one of the league's top payrolls next season.

With free agency set to begin Monday, here are three reasons why the Giants will be an attractive destination even for the biggest of names.

Wanting to win and willing to spend

Giants fans' frustrations over the past two seasons have been heard loud and clear.

The product on the field, while it was competitive at times, fell far short of the championship expectations fans of the Orange and Black have grown accustomed to. However, not once has the organization looked to rebuild over the last decade-plus. They are, in fact, committed to winning even if it might not seem like it at times.

They do have to "somewhat break even," however, per Johnson.

The Giants, to their credit, have put their money where their mouth is in recent years. Since 2018, they've been willing to take on $250-plus million of Giancarlo Stanton's disastrous Miami Marlins contract and have offered $300-plus million deals to Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa.

Winning three World Series championships recently has sort of backed them into a corner. In a good way. They have a reputation and a legacy as an organization to maintain and will put a competitive product on the field every single season.

Yes, there are fair criticisms to be made, but there's no denying the Giants want to maintain success for years to come.

Cornerstone youngsters

Speaking of those three championships, the Giants were able to hoist the Commissioner's Trophy in 2010, 2012 and 2014 because of their homegrown core of Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Matt Cain and others.

It would be flat-out silly to compare the Giants' current group of homegrown youngsters to that dynastic core, but there is an exciting core forming. The farm system and player development are important factors for free agents.

The Giants have a franchise, Gold Glove-caliber catcher behind the plate in Patrick Bailey. That and the pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park could be a dream combination for free-agent pitchers. Not to mention the exciting duo of Logan Webb and Kyle Harrison atop the starting rotation with a handful of potential cornerstone players in Thairo Estrada, Marco Luciano, Tyler Fitzgerald, Casey Schmitt and Luis Matos at the major league level with more knocking on the door in the upper levels of the farm system.

As underwhelming as the 2023 season was on paper for the Giants, it was a monumental year for player development. This winter feels like the first offseason in a long time the organization has a leg to stand on in regards to its future.

A fan base starved for a star

The Giants still are searching for a superstar they can construct their roster around.

They had one slip through their fingers last offseason and while, in hindsight, that was a good outcome long-term, it doesn't take away the sting that you, the fan, feel.

However, it's worth pointing out that Correa did, in fact, choose to sign with the Giants. He chose the organization and chose to play baseball in the city of San Francisco and was excited about building a life in the Bay Area. A superstar chose the Giants and for about a week, the fan base embraced him to the fullest. Don't let revisionist history erase that.

And there will be another ... eventually.

Whoever that player will be, immediately will be beloved and embraced by one of the most passionate fanbases in all of baseball. A Harper, Judge, Correa, or Shohei Ohtani are not signing with San Francisco to join a superteam laden with other superstars. The Giants will become their team.

There is value in helping build something with a new organization. As long as the foundation is there -- which for the Giants it is -- free agents don't always need that obvious household name on the roster in order to be convinced to join a team.

If you sign with the Giants, you become the guy. The city is yours.

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