The San Francisco Giants woke up on Sunday with the best record in Major League Baseball, so why bother discussing next season?
That’s essentially part of what Giants general manager Scott Harris said recently in an expansive interview with The Athletic.
Perhaps the largest factor in San Francisco’s surprisingly good season is the exceptional play from its veterans, catcher Buster Posey and shortstop Brandon Crawford in particular. Naturally, one might wonder if Harris plans to bring those players back next season.
Here’s what Harris had to say when asked about the potential return of Posey, Crawford and/or first baseman Brandon Belt.
“Yeah, I think it’s too early. Not because they don’t deserve it. It’s too early just because we have so much on our plate. The NL West is very challenging, and it takes a ton of our bandwidth to compete every night. The draft is on the horizon, and it takes a ton of work for us to be prepared to make the best decisions in the draft and then the trade deadline comes right after that. So we’re not spending much time thinking about contractual stuff, which has a way of figuring itself out later in the year or right after the year. And the last thing we want to do is distract anyone from the task at hand, which is winning as many games as we can in 2021.”–Giants GM Scott HarrisThe Athletic/Andrew Baggarly
It’s not a shock that this was Harris’ answer. He’s essentially confirming conventional wisdom. With the team in the thick of the NL West pennant chase, it’s hardly time to make decisions on issues that pertain to the future.
But he’ll have a big choice on his hands at some point. Posey’s contract includes a club option for 2022 with a $3 million buy-out. Crawford and Belt will be unrestricted free agents at season’s end.
The idea in San Francisco, with new president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi, is to lean on analytics and build the team organically. But Posey, Crawford and also Belt to some extent are constant reminders of the team’s dynasty of the last decade. How much longer will they remain so?
As Harris intimated, how the rest of the season unfolds has much to do with it. Ideally for the Giants — and their aging veterans — they’ll win it all and hand Harris and Zaidi the toughest possible decision about the immediate future in San Francisco.
(Photo credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)