The Major League Baseball (MLB) trade deadline is looming, and San Francisco Giants fans are eagerly awaiting news. The end of July marks the date when no more MLB trades will be able to happen so the pressure is on for the biggest names in the sporting world. CEO Larry Baer of the San Francisco Giants recently shed some light on his master plan for the coming month of trades.
At the start of the season, the San Francisco Giants had a strong roster of seasoned players. The team included the likes of Alex Wood, Kevin Gausman, and Anthony DeSclafani, all of whom were on one-year deals at the team. On the other hand, some well-known players—including Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Buster Posey—were all entering their final confirmed seasons. With a new MLB trade deadline coming up, these highly sought-after players could be looking elsewhere and finding better deals with new home teams.
Fortunately enough, the San Francisco Giants have enjoyed a sweeping run this year. However, that puts Larry Baer and his front office staff in a difficult position. Figuring out which players to add to an already successful team can be a difficult feat. Throughout June, the team has stayed strong, holding on to first place. With that in mind, whatever changes the staff choose to make to the team must add real value to the existing line-up.
Larry Baer recently joined the weekly Giants Talk Podcast to discuss options and hint at the team’s master plan this July. The question of how much freedom president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and general manager Scott Harris would have within the trade window. According to Baer, the two esteemed professionals have won the power to make big decisions when it comes to the San Francisco Giants’ team.
“There’s no question that there’s so much credibility that Farhan, Scott and the group have earned that there’s going to be a big openness with myself and the board and Greg [Johnson] and everyone to do what’s right by the club and their recommendations,” Larry Baer said on the podcast. “We’ve gotten this question over the years a lot. The currency at trade deadlines is twofold—it’s potentially dollars to bring somebody on with added payroll, and then the currency is the minor league prospects.”
With potentially game-changing decisions just around the corner, Larry Baer explained that the front office staff are set to be mindful of the team’s great prospects. While getting the balance right can be difficult, he shared that he had complete confidence in the staff to put their best foot forward ahead of the deadline.
“I know that the group wants to be protective of both currencies, you could argue the latter is even more [important],” continued Larry Baer. “We’re protective of our great prospects. I’m very confident that whatever recommendations [we have] are going to be very mindful of both of those.”
Since Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris took the reins at the San Francisco Giants, the dynamic duo have held back from making major changes to the team. Instead, the pair have been hard at work hunting down undervalued players and utilizing them to their best advantage. It hardly takes an expert to see that this stable strategy has paid off. However, it may be time for the San Francisco Giants to branch out and find new blood.
Back when Farhan Zaidi came into the picture in 2018, there was a lot of pressure for him to take on Bryce Harper. Of course, there was a twist when the well-known right fielder moved over to the Philadelphia Phillies instead. It was a blow, but one that the fans and team handled well. After that, the San Francisco Giants have mainly offered out one-year deals as well as minor trades. Since the move has worked well in recent months, it would be no surprise if the team continued to adopt this conservative strategy over the next few weeks.
One of the savviest moves that Farhan Zaidi has made over the last four years has to be acquiring Zack Cozart and Will Wilson. The latter was chalked to be put straight into the player pool and, given his recent successes, looks as though he may be one of the rising stars for the San Francisco Giants. If history has taught the staff anything, it’s that putting faith in these types of players could make a huge difference to the team’s stability.
Of course, over last winter, all of the Major League Baseball teams held back their spending. That could mean that some deadline sellers will now be eager to make a trade and less likely to hold out for the best possible asking price. This trend could prove extremely beneficial if the San Francisco Giants choose to take advantage of it, especially since the San Francisco Giants staff have remained protective over their prospects.
“Clubs value their minor league prospects, the best prospects, probably even higher than ever before,” explained Larry Baer on the podcast. “So we’re going to be mindful of that as well.”
Ahead of the deadline, there are countless decisions to be made and there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding these moves. As many of the players have proved that they are worth their weight in gold, there’s a good chance that the San Francisco Giants will honor their hard work and hold onto them in the season to come. Of course, Larry Baer was quick to reassure fans that the staff will consider all angles when trading this year.
“Everything will get factored in,” he explained. “I think the number one factor is going to be how are we best set up to win this year? Because we’re in a position to do that.”
About Larry Baer
Hailing from San Francisco, Larry Baer is one of the sporting world’s leading names. The now-famous professional graduated from UC Berkeley and Harvard Business School and soon started working in the media industry for Westinghouse Broadcasting and CBS, Inc. However, he is best known professionally for his illustrious career in Major League Baseball.
Baer became the Executive Vice President of the San Francisco Giants in 1992. In collaboration with the late Peter Magowan, he assembled a new ownership of the group, allowing the Giants to remain in San Francisco. Flash forward to 2012 and Baer became the CEO of the team, a position in which he saw great triumph. Under his helm, the Giants won their third World Series Championship in the same year he started in that position.
Bae takes on multiple roles within the Giants, also heading up the business development departments. Since he joined the business, the Giants organization has constructed Oracle Park. Hailed by fans as one of the ‘best ballparks ever built’, the stadium earned Sports Business Journal’s Sports Facility of the Year title in 2018.
Over his long career, Baer has held a variety of posts in Major League Baseball Boards such as his positions Chairing the Strategic Planning Committee, the Business and Media Board, and the International Committee. He now lives in San Francisco with his wife, Pam.
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