2019 MLB season: Rating the NL West general managers

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 01: President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi looks on before a MLB game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 1, 2019 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 01: President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi looks on before a MLB game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 1, 2019 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)
(Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images) /

2019 MLB Season: The NL West’s best GM

Farhan Zaidi, San Francisco Giants

More than half of major league general managers operated in 2019 with one or more inherited contracts, deals signed by their predecessors that had not yet expired or been renewed.

But only one GM – Mike Elias of the downtrodden Baltimore organization — operated under the burden of more inherited contracts that produced negative value than did Zaidi in his first season running the Giants. For the record, he had a dozen of those bad inherited deals (Elias coped with 17).

So Zaidi has a lot of work to do restocking the Giants roster.

Despite a frenetic effort, Zaidi didn’t make up a lot of ground in that direction during the 2019 MLB season.

It certainly wasn’t for lack of effort. Zaidi brought in a striking 19 players via trade, purchase or waiver deal with other teams, a few of whom – Kevin PillarScooter Gennett, Kyle Barraclough – are recognized names. It also includes Mike Yastrzemski, acquired from the Orioles in March. Yet the net contribution of all those 19 to the Giants’ cause was -1.9 WAA.

He tried equally hard in the free-agent market. Zaidi signed or re-signed 14 hands on the open market, although in fairness to Zaidi most were envisioned from the start as complementary pieces at most. Yet again the net impact was damaging, in this case amounting to -3.0 WAA.

Particularly once it became clear that the season was going nowhere, Zaidi’s Giants focused on incorporating young pitching talent into their rotational patterns. Rookies Tyler Beede, Logan Webb, Cooper Menez, and Shaun Anderson made a combined 49 starts. But it was all learning curve: the Giants rookie class ran up a collective -2.8 WAA.

Short-term acquisitions: -1.9

Short-term trade losses: +3.8

Short-term free agent signings: -3.0

Short-term free agent losses: -0.2

Short-term rookie production: -2.8

Short-term total: -4.1