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How Giants still can salvage offseason after missing out on top targets

How Giants still can salvage offseason after missing out on top targets

How Giants still can salvage offseason after missing out on top targets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Giants missed out on their top two offseason targets, but it's not the end of the world.

Yes, watching Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto slip through your fingers only to sign with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers must sting for president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and the front office. But there's no time for wound-licking.

The offseason, for the most part, is just getting started thanks to the logjam created by the two superstar free agents.

San Francisco signed Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee to a six-year, $113 million contract, and while that's a nice start, there still is much work left to do. Here's how the Giants still can salvage another frustrating offseason.

Sign Cody Bellinger

The fit isn't perfect, particularly because of how much he will cost and the Giants' crowded roster, but San Francisco needs to add a big bat and the pickings are slim.

Currently, the Giants' outfield consists of a Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger platoon in left field, Lee in center and Mike Yastrzemski in right. Bellinger split time between center field and first base for the Chicago Cubs last season, but does have plenty of experience playing the corners.

Between a crowded outfield and a slew of first base/DH candidates such as LaMonte Wade Jr., Wilmer Flores and J.D. Davis, signing Bellinger would require an additional move or two, but that shouldn't be an issue that prevents the Giants from making the splash.

Trade for Corbin Burnes

The Giants are in pursuit of a co-ace to pair alongside Logan Webb, and while reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell could make sense, Burnes is a better overall fit.

It has become increasingly likely the Brewers look to trade Burnes and shortstop Willy Adames this offseason and with the former Cy Young Award winner set to become a free agent after the 2024 season, a move for Burnes would cost the Giants less than a potential trade for Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease.

Snell is the lone ace-caliber pitcher remaining on the free-agent market and with a handful of teams, including the Giants, likely vying for his services, there's a chance San Francisco will need to pivot to the trade market.

Trade for Tommy Edman

The Giants are in a tricky spot where they need an insurance option behind rookie shortstop Marco Luciano, but not somebody who could prevent the top prospect from making the jump in his first full season.

While Adames or free agent Tim Anderson could make sense, both only play shortstop and likely will command significant playing time at the position.

That's why the ideal move is a trade for the St. Louis Cardinals' super-utility man. Edman played short, second base, center field and right field for the Cardinals in 2023 and his flexibility will allow the Giants to give Luciano an extended leash while having a backup plan in place should the rookie struggle out of the gate.

The Cardinals likely would target young starting pitching in a trade, which the Giants have an excess of. There certainly is a path to a deal.

Sign Shota Imanaga

The Giants dipped their toes into the international free-agent market by signing Lee and wanted to do so again for Yamamoto. However, there still is one Japanese star pitcher available and he's flown somewhat under the radar until now.

Imanaga was posted on Nov. 27, which means he has until Jan. 11 to sign with an MLB team and the Giants reportedly have interest. While the 30-year-old might not be the ace-caliber pitcher the Giants are targeting, he could serve as a strong middle-of-the-rotation arm.

With Webb, rookie Kyle Harrison and injured veteran Alex Cobb all locks for the rotation next season (when healthy), the Giants have a pair of question marks in Ross Stripling and Anthony DeSclafani. They could use not one, but two new arms this offseason and should let the depth fall where it may.

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