Courtesy of Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire
After years of always being the bridesmaid and never the bride when it comes to the free agent market, the Giants finally cashed in their chips they'd been saving for that rainy day, and inked All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa to a whopping 13-year, $350 million deal.
Let's check off the list of free agents that didn't make it to the altar aka Oracle Park dating back as far as I can remember and the team they ended up with:
Vladimir Guerrero-LA Angels, Carlos Lee-Astros, and in recent years, Shohei Ohtani-LA Angels, Bryce Harper-Phillies, Max Scherzer-Mets, Giancarlo Stanton-Yankees, and some guy named Aaron Judge-Yankees.
But Judge is so last week and making a big splash is Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi putting his stamp of approval on a deal that could reboot the franchise.
Now before we get too ahead of ourselves let's consider two deals that were bigger busts than Dolly Parton: Albert Pujols with the Angels, and Barry Zito's infamous seven year 126 million dollar deal with the Giants.
Beginning with Zito who was for the Giants to be the poster child for the franchise because Barry Bonds was at the end of his contract and his ongoing problems with the Balco steroid scandal were the only headlines the Giants were garnering, especially outside of the Bay Area where Bonds was public enemy no. 1.
Coinciding with Zito was Bruce Bochy, who was brought in as the new manager. For the first two seasons, Bochy seemed to be a bad hire and it appeared his best days were behind him when he was was skipper of the San Diego Padres where he took the friars to a World Series appearance in 1998. But in that 2007 season, aside from Bonds setting the home run record and the rookie campaign for a wiry flame-thrower named Tim Lincecum and the Giants hosting the All-Star Game, it was a forgettable year.
Instead of being the poster child of success, Zito was a train wreck. But at least his failures were consistent and he made 33 starts. In fact, Zito made at least 32 starts in 11 of his 15 years in the majors.
The Giants team might have been a disappointment on the field but from a business standpoint, was actually a success outside the lines. Whenever Zito took the mound and had one of his patented mediocre outings, the team sold more adult beverages.
In fact, I remember speaking to bartenders on the club level who were just slammed trying to keep up with demand. At least the Giants got one good ROI (return on investment) with his stellar pitching in the 2012 postseason when Zito's performance in a must win Game 5 of the NLCS helped vault the Orange and Black to the World Series.
Down the coast a few years later, Albert Pujols decided to "go where the money is" and accepted a 10-year $ 254 million deal with the LA Angels. Pujols was a legend in St. Louis with the Cardinals and from 2001-2011 he already had cemented his place in Cooperstown with a .328 average, hitting 445 home runs and had 1329 RBIs. their most revered player since Stan Musial. But money talks, and Pujols walked.
From 2012-2021 with the Halos he was injury prone and had mediocre stats: .256 with 222 homers and 783 runs batted in. Pujols hit major milestones though while donning the big "A" including his 3000th hit and 600th home run.
Not to sound like a Debbie Downer but the two big negatives to this deal are simply the actual length of it at thirteen years, which is longer than most careers in baseball, and of course the dollars. But as the saying goes, you've got to pay to play. Many longtime season ticket holders have grown tired of being behind the Dodgers and Padres when it comes to media interest and fans from other markets.
Realistically, if Correa who will be 41 years old when the deal ends in 2034 can average 140 plus games per season with a batting average at least .250 with 20-30 home runs and 80-100 RBI, it will be a success.
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Reliever Dominic Leone after the Giants 9-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS on October 9, 2021.
Third Baseman Kris Bryant sat down with the media before Sunday's game to discuss what it feels like to be traded to San Francisco.
Manager Bruce Bochy after the Giants 9-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 29, 2019. This was his final game as Giants manager.