Grading Giants' offseason moves after erratic first half


Coming off a 107-win season, the Giants were criticized for moving through the offseason without making a big splash.

At the All-Star break, San Francisco sits in third place in the NL West with a 48-43 record, 12 1/2 games behind the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. That’s a far cry from the 57-32 record the team owned at the break last season.

With that being said, here are midseason grades for the Giants’ biggest moves (and non-moves):

Joc Pederson

The move: Signed to one-year, $6 million deal

San Francisco brought the former Palo Alto High School star back home to the Bay Area, and it's worked out brilliantly. Pederson was named an All-Star for the second time in his career after batting .252/.331/.517 with 17 home runs in 79 games over the first half of the year. 

Pederson leads the Giants in home runs and OPS (.848) at the break. He's provided the team's best single-game offensive performance of the season with a three-homer burst May 24 at Oracle Park, and he gifted the baseball world the season's best moment so far by hilariously explaining his fantasy football beef with Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham in great detail.

Just wait for the calendar to flip to "Joctober."

The grade: A

Anthony DeSclafani

The move: Re-signed to three-year, $36 million deal

Following a start against the Cincinnati Reds on June 26, DeSclafani was asked by reporter how he can improve his consistency on the mound. His response?

Not suck.”

That pretty much sums up the right-hander’s season. DeSclafani was placed on the injured list shortly after that start, and later ruled out for the season to undergo ankle surgery.

On Wednesday, it was announced that MLB changed its ruling on DeSclafani's June 26 start and all seven runs he allowed are now unearned. While it improved his ERA by over three points, it still sits at 6.65 after five starts and 19 innings.

The surprise emergence of DeSclafani last season -- 3.17 ERA over 31 starts -- was one of the biggest reasons for the Giants owning one of the NL's best starting rotations and winning the division title.

DeSclafani still has the next two seasons to get healthy and prove president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi right.

The grade: D

Alex Cobb

The move: Signed two-year, $20 million deal (team option for third season)

After spending the first 11 seasons of his career in the AL, Cobb joined the Giants in hopes to crack the postseason field for the first time since 2013.

His Giants tenure got off to an unlucky start, however. Through seven outings, Cobb had logged a 6.25 ERA but his FIP stood at 2.73, an indicator of poor defense behind him and unfortunate results off the bat. Opponents had registered a .411 batting average on balls in play (BAbip) over that span.

Cobb entered the All-Star break on an encouraging stretch. Over his last four starts -- 24 1/3 innings -- he's notched a 2.22 ERA and 15 strikeouts. That unlucky BAbip has also returned to earth (.247), a sign of good things to come on the mound for the right-hander over the second half of the season.

The grade: B

Carlos Rodón

The move: Signed two-year, $44 million deal (player option for 2023)

San Francisco's biggest move of the offseason came in mid-March, adding another ace to join Logan Webb at the top of the rotation.

At the break, Rodón ranks second in fWAR among pitchers (3.8) and leads the NL with a 2.14 FIP. He's allowed just four home runs in 105 innings -- good for a league-leading 0.4 HR/9 -- and has registered an 8-5 record, 2.66 ERA and 11.2 K/9.

Rodón really signed a one-year deal, as it's almost a guarantee he will decline the 2023 player option in search of a more expensive, long-term contract in the offseason. He has earned every penny coming his way.

The grade: A+

Alex Wood

The move: Re-signed to two-year, $25 million deal

Like DeSclafani, Wood was another pleasant surprise for the Giants last season by rediscovering the form he had as a young pitcher with the rival Dodgers and notching a 10-4 record and 3.83 ERA.

Wood's Giants encore hasn't gone as smoothly. There have been rough patches, like when he allowed 13 earned runs over three starts (12 IP) in late June. But he spun seven innings of scoreless ball July 10 to clinch the Giants' first back-to-back wins since mid-June and launch the team into a 7-2 stretch heading into the break.

The grade: B-

Misses in free agency 

The move: Not signing another impact bat

Buster Posey's retirement left San Francisco with a need to add another impact bat in Gabe Kapler's lineup. Marcus Semien was available, as was Starling Marte, Nick Castellanos and even Chris Taylor. Seiya Suzuki was set to make the journey to the big leagues from Japan, and Kris Bryant was open to a return to the Bay after the Giants traded for him at last year's deadline.

But the Giants didn't add any significant bat outside of Pederson, banking on veterans like Brandon Crawford to repeat his near-MVP campaign of 2021. That hasn't quite happened.

At the All-Star break, San Francisco ranks among the top-five NL teams in home runs (111), on-base percentage (.322) and OPS (.725), but the offense remains a need for Zaidi to address if the team opts be be buyers at the trade deadline.

The grade: D

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