The Hot Stove is in full effect as the MLB Winter Meetings are underway at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi caught up with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Laura Britt at the meetings on Monday, and explained what the trade market might look like for San Francisco as it retools for a playoff run in 2024.
“When you talk about trades, especially given our needs, our needs to be more athletic up the middle of the field. Sometimes that doesn’t come in the same form as a free-agent signing; a star player who’s been to multiple All-Star games comes in,” Zaidi told Britt in a interview for the latest “Giants Talk” podcast. “A lot of times, it’s a player who’s done really well at the upper levels of the minor leagues, who’s maybe blocked in their current organization, but who we think has a chance to be a strong everyday player at the big-league level.”
Zaidi detailed how this strategy has been successful for the Giants during his stint with his team, citing a handful of players who were similarly acquired and became significant contributors.
“We’ve had some success in that pool of players, with guys like LaMonte Wade [Jr.], and Thairo Estrada, and Mike Yastrzemski,” Zaidi said. “So, we’ll be looking to see if we can match up with teams in that area as well.”
When asked if the Giants have any players whom Zaidi would deem untouchable in trade talks, the executive shared that the organization hopes to build around its pitching staff loaded with young talent for the foreseeable future.
“The old untouchable question, it’s always a tough one to answer,” Zaidi said. “Unless you think you have players who are so valuable, you literally wouldn’t trade them for anyone else in baseball, it’s hard to really put that moniker.
“But certainly, our young pitchers, in particular, is a group we want to build around. Our young pitchers and Patrick Bailey, who we think is the best defensive catcher in baseball. That’s really the foundation we’re looking to build forward from.”
The Giants reportedly are committed to making significant investments to bolster their roster after missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons. How those moves will come to fruition remains to be seen, but the Winter Meetings offer the perfect setting to negotiate a deal, should there be mutual interest between the Giants and another team.
All eyes will remain on the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes until the reigning AL MVP announces his destination, but that doesn’t mean San Francisco won’t facilitate some less-heralded transactions while their brain trust is in Nashville.