Grading Zaidi, Putila and the San Francisco Giants front office at the season’s midway point

Nov 9, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi answers questions from the media during the MLB GM Meetings at The Conrad Las Vegas. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi answers questions from the media during the MLB GM Meetings at The Conrad Las Vegas. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sean Manaea. Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
Sean Manaea. Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports /

Free agency

This is the area where Zaidi and Putila set out to make their mark during the offseason. They have not to date been successful.

The Giants front office signed, re-signed or extended eight players in free negotiations. The problem is that six of those eight have produced negative value for Zaidi and Putila.

Take Sean Manaea … please.

Manaea is a left-hander teams fall in love with for his potential; he did, after all, throw a no-hitter. His track record, however, argues against the two-year, $25 million contract given him by Zaidi and Putila.

With the Giants, Manaea has flopped both as a starter and reliever. He’s sitting on a 5.68 ERA in 18 appearances, six of them starts, covering 52 innings. That works out to a -1.3 WAA.

Ross Stripling used to be a Dodgers product who found his way to San Francisco after the Blue Jays gave up on him. In 10 appearances, five of them starts, Stripling has gone the way of Manaea: He’s 0-2 with a 6.88 ERA and -0.9 WAA.

Five seasons ago, you’d have predicted Manaea and Stripling would both be All-Stars. Now they’re both undermining the same team.

And so it has gone for Zaidi-Putila signees. Whether it’s Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger, Taylor Rogers or Roberto Perez, the on-field results turn up negative.

The sole exception has been outfield returnee Joc Pederson, who opted to stay home when offered $19.7 million to do so. In his second season with the Giants, Pederson is hitting .260 with eight homers and producing a +0.3 WAA. But that doesn’t begin to balance out the harm done by the others.

Zaidi and Putila let a full dozen members of the Giants cast of 2022 walk away over the winter (some were pushed out) and those results have been more positive. The departures include Gary Sanchez, Darin Ruf, Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt.