MLB: Assessing the NL West GMs at the midway point

Jul 8, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 8, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Anthony DeSclafani. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony DeSclafani. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

San Francisco Giants, Scott Harris +1.3

GM Harris is in his second season managing the Giants front office, taking over duties once held by his new boss, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, following the 2019 season. As with an increasing number of organizations – the Cardinals, Reds, Rangers and A’s just to cite a few – it’s impossible to know how much of the credit/blame goes to the GM and how much to the president.

The Giants are MLB’s surprise story of the first half of 2021, and Harris deserves at least a portion of the credit. He, or Zaidi if you prefer, infused two dozen new bodies into the Giants roster, the vast majority of them via the open market.

That always chancy area becomes the place to begin the mid-term assessment of Harris.

Since the end of the 2021 season, Harris has brought in no fewer than 17 free agents, the vast majority of them to bolster the pitching staff. Most of those mound additions were low-radar efforts such as the signing of Anthony DeSclafani, late of Cincinnati, on a one-year, make-it-or-break-it deal. DeSclafani (+1.8) has decidedly made it, with a 9-3 record in 17 starts.

Aaron Sanchez (+0.3) has provided spot help in the rotation, Jake McGee (-0.1) has filled the closer role, but most of the free agent pitching additions have played supplementary roles. Still, the sum totals of their contributions, setting DeSclafani aside, works out to an infinitesimally positive +0.1.

Most of the statistical success of the Giants is attributable to their significant core of talent Zaidi passed along to his chosen replacement.  The true rookie class is slim – just role-playing pitchers Camilo Doval (-0.5) and Conner Menez (-0.4).

The most significant personnel loss was Trevor Cahill (-0.9), who landed in Pittsburgh, where things did not go well.