OK, so Plan A’s out the door for the San Francisco Giants. The team intended to use their economic surplus this offseason to woo Aaron Judge away from the Yankees, then planned to pivot to Carlos Correa and the shortstop market if they struck out. Or maybe they’d sign both? After all, that’s what Carlos Baerga said.
Instead, they did strike out on Judge, then let Carlos Rodón out of their clutches, then signed Correa … before letting him out of their sight so he could defect to the Mets, following a “devastating injury precursor” that no one else seems to care about. Well done, all around.
Alright, so … what about Plan B? Want to be a Weigh Station for someone else’s problem? What if it’s only a one-year problem?
In much the same way everyone inserted the New York Knicks in their Russell Westbrook trade discussions the past several years, the Giants have a metric ton of room in their budget and very little to fill it with. The shortstop well has dried up. Rodón is Ro-Gone. Mitch Haniger is basically all alone at their Winter Free Agent Welcome, asking Ross Stripling if he’s seen any cool sea lions lately.
Next offseason, the Giants can go treasure hunting again, with the ability to pay Rafael Devers and Shohei Ohtani whatever they want. This offseason, they’ve been left holding the bag, with no one to replace Evan Longoria at third alongside Brandon Crawford at short. Maybe, if the Yankees attach some appealing prospects, they’ll finally be the ones to bite on Josh Donaldson’s potential bounce back.
Yankees need to beg San Francisco Giants to trade for Josh Donaldson
Remember, the Yankees believed in his batted-ball data just one year ago! One year isn’t that long! His defense is still special!
Come on, Giants! What else is that cash doing?!
If Donaldson is no longer a 30-homer threat, he can at least be a respectable gap-to-gap hitter in any climate — San Francisco’s cavernous ballpark might be nice for those purposes. Would it be worth attaching Trey Sweeney and Luis Gil to get his $25 million luxury tax number off the books?
As silly as this all sounds, what team is more motivated than the Giants to help pull this off right now? The Yankees’ farm system is still fertile. San Fran’s season feels like more of a wash than ever. There’s a positional vacancy. There’s nothing tying Donaldson to whatever new team he lands on beyond 2023, when all of this will actually matter anyway.
Nobody wants to help the Yankees out. This isn’t new. But New York knows all about whiffing on Correa, who clearly wanted to find his way to the big city — only they whiffed a year ago when they agreed to take on Donaldson’s cash.
The Giants, still reeling from being the latest spurned team in his wake, could help facilitate some weirdness if they want to pivot their focus to 2024. Don’t count on it, but … it makes more sense than you’d think.