Clash of opinions on MLB free agents, featuring Evan Longoria and Farhan Zaidi

San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria follows the flight of his triple to drive in two runs off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Chad Bettis in the sixth seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

This isn’t a 49ers article, but I thought you’d find it interesting anyway. New Giants President of Baseball Operation Farhan Zaidi and current Giants third baseman Evan Longoria recently discussed free agency at media day, and presented drastically opposing viewpoints.

If you want to read the article, click here.

This article has 42 Comments

  1. I can’t believe the Giants still have a chance at Harper. At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, I hope they build that wall (in the outfield). That may persuade Harper to come here.
    Owners are colluding against the players? Old news.
    Farhan has signed some low level players. He needs to sign some big talent. Harper would be nice.
    Maybe Farhan should poach a player from the Japanese National Team.

      1. with the contracts on the books, I don’t believe much can be done……. unless someone wants to take them on (namely Cueto, Shark and Longoria… and presumably nobody has really made much an inquiry).

        – I do believe they “owe” MadBum” for his bargain contract over the years and will do right by him, at least I hope so.

      2. Nope, they do not need to rebuild, they need to reload. Keep the good players, but add bats in the outfield. They should offer Brandon Belt and a player to be named later (Pitcher?) for Khris Davis of the A’s.
        I would go one more year, then if they do not win, tear it down. They will not get as much as they want, for Mad Bomb, so they should keep him and try once more, before making wholesale changes.
        I think Farhan was brought in, to tear it down. Maybe he needs to make a multi player deal with multiple teams.

        1. I think some one said that if the Giants score 3 or more runs, the team does well. Too bad the outfield was a dead zone for RBIs.
          If Farhan can use his moneyball analytics, and find the right players, the Giants can score more runs.

      3. I think the decision to tear down or rebuild should be entirely based on the state of the farm system. The Astros provided a blueprint on how to do a tear down. When Jeff Luhnow took over the Astros, the major league team was well below average but what was worse was they had the worst farm system in baseball.
        Luhnow rebuilt the farm system and then used the talent in the farm system and smart analytics to sign free agents and make trades. The Astros are built for long term success but the team went through 2-3 years of the worst baseball I’ve seen in a long time to get to the point they are now. A MLB team must be committed for the long term if they do a tear down. Fans will be mad. The media will crucify the team. If ownership is smart enough to see the long term goal then a tear down might be the most logical strategy. I see the Giants farm system is ranked in the bottom 5 in MLB so a tear down might be the right strategy.

        1. Yep. Nice context. The Giants should have traded Posey and Bumgarner for prospects two years ago.

      4. Hard to do Grant when you have players such as Longoria, Belt and couple of their pitchers that are on long term contracts. A lot of $$ to dump, I don’t see the Giant as contenders for two to three more years, when the contracts end and their farm system becomes respectable. Giants are pretty boring team and I hope they can get Harper to add a little excitement.

        1. The Giants probably will have to pay some team to take Longoria, the way the Red Sox are paying the Giants to take Sandoval.

          Harper isn’t the answer.

          1. Harper is not the answer but the Giants got to do something, he can bring in ticket sales and fans will buy his Jersey etc. This is one bad team and I can see fans going to the Chase Center instead of Giant Games, because of the Warriors dominance and a new arena

            I think they will give Longoria another season, maybe two, and if he sucks they will eat the contract.

            1. Harper is the answer. He provides that big bat in the outfield.
              He would be a big feather in the cap of Farhan.
              He would help with the attendance, and it would show that they are at least trying to win.
              However, he probably will not come here.

            2. Harper is part of the answer, they need at least two good outfielders and two starting Pitchers and a infield that sounds good on paper, but they are usually hurt or under performs.

              1. Well, I want Farhan to trade Belt and a player to be designated later for Khris Davis for that second bat.
                Didn’t you hear? Farhan acquired an ambidextrous pitcher. Imagine the competitive advantage, even with switch hitters.

  2. Longoria says that players who are “playing at a very competitive level” should get paid. No kidding. That’s what Zaidi said as well. Teams over paying for past performance? Those days seem to be over.

      1. Seeing how ripped he is along with viewing his highlights, tempts me to take him with the team’s 1st pick (after a tradeback).

    1. From Peterson’s LinkedIn page…

      “I help teams identify and evaluate contextual analytics by measuring training volumes, (accelerations, decelerations, change of direction speeds, biomechanical and physiological load quantifications), in real time, to improve performance outcomes and reduce soft tissue injuries of athletes.”

      Analytics. Measuring. OMG. Smells like data!

        1. I found this to be a really interesting presentation. The idea of having a set of measurements taken/analytics computed prior to the start of the season when a player is presumably fresh and uninjured and then conducting the same “study” on players during the season to see the “state of the athlete” (for example, how fatigued they might be) is very interesting. This might allow for preemptive measures (as simple as giving or forcing a player to rest) to be taken to help keep players on the gridiron.

          Also for players coming back from an injury, a post injury study compared with a pre-injury study can provide good information regarding how ready a player is to play (i.e. are they still favoring the injured part; has another body part become fatigued due to compensating for the injured body part, etc.). This might help reduce the amount of reinjury.

  3. Free Agents from the past have been helpful during their 3 WS championships.

    But they allowed the team to get old with their core players.
    Longoria’ signing turned out to be a mistake. And that happens in the advent of free agency.

    I like Farhan a lot. I believe that he can help us in two important areas.
    1. Sign the players that (here we go) “fit.”
    2. Build our dilapidated Farm System.
    Our FS rivaled the dodgers FS at one time, but are now running circles around us in that department.

    If we sign another player like Longoria who only gave us 37 games and never provided the on field help we needed. The Giants will fall further down the rabbit hole.
    The Farhan signing may have come just in nic of time.

  4. Harper is 26 yo and not on his way down. I don’t believe that the owners are colluding but I do believe they are forcing a strike in 2021. If players aren’t becoming free agents until their value is dropping then they will strike to gain free agency sooner and they will win. Unlike football they can wait out the owners their careers are quite a bit longer.

    1. Old Coach, I respectfully disagree. Forcing a strike is colluding. Harper should have been signed months ago.
      Maybe the best way to solve the problem, is to write up incentive laden contracts, so players get a base amount, but productive players get handsomely rewarded for that season.

    2. I do not think the owners are necessarily forcing a strike or colluding in any way. The more likely reality is team owners are trying to avoid albatross contracts that could handcuff their franchise for the next several years and do not guarantee a run at the World Series or even a playoff berth. Another reason is the attendance at games has been falling, which is eating even more into profits. Another reason is that it is usually better to build a strong farm system that can be used to fill vacated roster spot or as part of a trade for a team that is trying to get to the playoffs and even the World Series. Buying big does not guarantee either.

      1. Attendance is lagging because some teams have huge investments, Giants included, that force the smaller market teams to just be cannon fodder.
        Maybe there needs to be a cap, so the smaller market teams have a chance. Maybe there needs to be more revenue sharing, so the smaller market teams can afford to spend enough money to win.
        The length of contracts may also need to be mitigated.
        Going on strike will hurt the players, but it will also hurt baseball. Greedy clueless owners need to wise up and think about what is best for the sport, or they will be cutting their own throats.

        1. – That claim gets trounced by the simple fact that some of the teams who experienced attendance lows were contenders for the playoffs. The Cleveland Indians were one of those teams.
          – I agree, but I also think they need a cap in order to curb the contracts as well. The top two free agents believe they are worth $300+ million, and no athlete is worth that.
          -I agree on this as well.
          -The players are also fairly greedy. One example is Craig Kimbrel because he is asking for a six year deal that pays him over $100 million.

          1. I will concede that the players are also greedy. Both sides need to realize, if they kill the golden goose, their goose will be cooked. Both need to make concessions for the good of the game.

  5. I would agree Grant, However the G’s have offered Harper a lucrative short term deal, meaning they appear to be engaged in win now strategy. They have the young Stanford outfielder and some multi-tool players recently signed, but they said they want another outfielder to pair with Harper.

    If I’m the G’s I move Joey Bart to the pro’s (making them even younger) at mid season and move Posey to 1st.

    1. But Posey doesn’t want to move to first.

      Bart isn’t experienced enough to handle the pitching staff. There’s a lot more to catching than just batting.

    2. That is why I want Farhan to trade Brandon Belt and a player to named later, for Khris Davis from the A’s. Then Posey could be moved to first, to save his body.

  6. I don’t see “win now” and strip down for winning later as a completely mutually exclusive strategy.

    I see no problem with trying to sign moderately to even expensive talented free agents in the early 30’s range on short term contracts (2-3 years?). The Giants can make the effort to contend but then flip these players (and probably eat a little money) for prospects if they’re not (likely) contending. Turn cash into prospects while trying to make an effort to contend.

    1. They signed Gerardo Parra today. I like that signing. He’s 31.

      I believe the Giants will trade all the big names they can before the trade deadline.

      1. I think the strategy is to in addition to signing talented players that they can possibly trade in the near future….they will sign lots of reclamation projects. Most won’t pan out. Some will be serviceable and maybe one or two of them will turn into something of value. Imagine if in 2012 the Giants were not in contention and they traded Voglesong and his 2.7 ERA (in 2011) . Or trading a guy like Petit in 2013 after his performance in 2012 or even later (he’s criminally undervalued IMO).

          1. How much of the Giant’s lack of talent int he farm system is due to player talent in the system and how much of it is their ability to develop talent?

    1. And this….

      “Before Simmons arrived to Mississippi State, he was charged with simple assault that immediately got him suspended before he took a snap as a college football player. Simmons was seen on camera punching a woman while she was on the ground. That assault charge barred him from the 2019 NFL Combine due to a rule created in 2016 that prevents violent offenders from attending the scouting event.”

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