The Giants fired their general manager, Bobby Evans, said goodbye to their manager Bruce Bochy and watched World Series heroes walk out the door every off-season.
Madison Bumgarner, the most decorated hero of the group is now an Arizona Diamondback for the next five seasons and Giants fans are in mourning over the loss.
We have seen Tim Lincecum not brought back, Matt Cain retire and many more wave to the crowds at 24 Willie Mays Plaza for a final time.
As we look into the future, and the team new president Farhan Zaidi and general manager Scott Harris are building, here is how they can return to dominance.
Opening Day 2020
The Giants are likely to include Logan Webb as part of their starting rotation. Of the young pitchers showcased in 2019, Webb showed the most promise. He will be entering his age 23 season in 2020.
Also in the mix for a starting job include:
Shaun Anderson (25)
Tyler Beede (27)
Conner Menez (25)
Dereck Rodriguez (28)
Andy Suarez (27)
Webb's age clearly has him as the front runner to be a piece the Giants can build a rotation with long term.
Mauricio Dubon will be entering his age 25 season. He has already showed potential at both second base and shortstop and there is talk of him possibly moving to center field. Dubon's athleticism and versatility should make him a valuable piece for the future.
Age is a huge crutch for the 2020 Giants lineup.
Jaylin Davis (25) Steven Duggar (26) Chris Shaw (26) Austin Slater (27) and Mike Yastrzemski (29) are the only players under 30 that have a chance at competing for an Opening Day Roster spot.
That is one of the reasons the team decided not to bring back Kevin Pillar. Giving guys like Davis, Duggar, Shaw, Slater and Yastrzemski at bats is critical to deciding who should stay beyond 2020.
June Draft 2020
The Giants own five picks in the first 100 selections in the June draft.
Their top pick will be 13th overall. They will also have the 43rd pick overall as well as two picks after the second round as compensation for losing Bumgarner and closer Will Smith. Along with their third round pick, that will give the Giants five of the top 100 amateur athletes in baseball added to their system.
The influx of young talent has been the key to the rebuild. At the trade deadline last year, the Giants traded veteran pitching for prospects like Dubon. They also added 2018 draft pick Tristan Beck.
So far this offseason, the Giants traded for Will Wilson, who was the 15th pick in the 2018 draft.
Zaidi's first draft in 2019 added the Giants three players to their top 30 prospects list, and the Wilson trade gives them four. That's also four players in the last three drafts taken in the top 17.In #SFGiants System— Candlestick Will (@CandlestickWill) December 17, 2019
17. Heliot Ramos (2)
96. Seth Corry (9)
2. Joey Bart (1)
45. Sean Hjelle (6)
80. Jake Wong (12)
106. Blake Rivera (20)
112. Tristan Beck (19)
10. Hunter Bishop (4)
15. Will Wilson (10)
51. Logan Wyatt (15)
87. Grant McCray (25)
Heliot Ramos, Joey Bart and Hunter Bishop are each expected to play big roles in the Giants future. The Giants also added Sean Hjelle in the second round of the 2018 draft as well as Seth Corry the year prior.
If Zaidi can net some elite talent again in June, the system will be the healthiest it's been in years.
Trade Deadline 2020
Veterans on the Move?
The Giants are unlikely to win games in 2020. The team is filled with veterans who are not going to be a part of the team's future beyond 2021.
Some of the veterans may even be traded before the off-season is over. Others will be sent elsewhere in July. Last year's trade deadline saw veteran pitchers Mark Melancon, Drew Pomeranz, Sam Dyson and Ray Black moved.
By the time the Giants hit August 1st, veterans like Jeff Samardzija, Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria, Johnny Cueto and Tony Watson could be playing in another uniform.
If any of those veterans show they can be both healthy and productive, the Giants may be adding more young talent to their organization.
September Call Ups 2020
Bart and Friends
Bart is the most likely prospect heading for Oracle Park in 2020. His call up is a matter of when in 2020 and not if. At the very minimum, he should be added by September.
It is also possible that Ramos and Hjelle could be given opportunity to show what they can do the final month of the season.
You never know what will happen over a six month baseball season, and there will always be surprises. Pitchers like Melvin Adon, Jake Wong or Gregory Santos could make big strides in 2020 and end up in San Francisco before the season ends. While all three are outside the Giants top 10 prospects list, they all rank in the top 20 and have showed potential throughout their time in the system.
More Money to Spend
Samardzija will be gone one way or another after the season ends. That's another $18 million they can spend elsewhere. Kevin Gausman, who was recently signed this year, is only on a one year deal as well. His $9 million contract will expire as well and if he's not traded at the deadline, he will be free to sign with anyone after the season. Another $15 million is being spent on Zack Cozart, acquired with Will Wilson, and Tony Watson.
That will be $42 million off the books at the end of the year.
If the Giants can move Longoria (owed $58.5 million through 2022) Cueto ($47 million through 2021) or Belt ($34.4 million through 2021) between now and the end of 2020, they will be well positioned to add elite talent in free agency.
Opening Day 2021
Influx of Young Talent?
Assuming Bart comes up in 2020, it is also likely we will see Ramos, Hjelle and others join him on the 2021 Opening Day Roster.
Without making assumptions on who the Giants add from other teams between now and the 2021 Opening Day, here is the likeliest Opening Day lineup with the current players in the organization.
2021 #SFGiants— Candlestick Will (@CandlestickWill) December 17, 2019
C Joey Bart
1B Buster Posey
2B Mauricio Dubon
SS Brandon Crawford
3B Evan Longoria
LF Mike Yastrzemski
CF Steven Duggar
RF Heliot Ramos
SP Johnny Cueto
Even if Belt is still with the Giants, it would be more likely he would be on the bench as Posey would move to first base.
This would also mean that only Cueto, Posey, Crawford and Longoria are left among the current group of veterans in the starting lineup.
Buster Posey - $22.178M
Johnny Cueto - $21M
Evan Longoria - $18.667M
Brandon Belt - $17.2M
Brandon Crawford - $15.2M
5 Players: $92 million in 2021.
While it is unlikely Posey or Crawford is traded before Opening Day 2021, it is very likely that some of these veterans will be gone.
In the meantime, it is exciting to think about 2021 as the likely first Opening Day starts for Bart and Ramos.
June Draft 2021
Trade Deadline 2021
Veterans on the Move Again?
In the meantime, Bart, Ramos and other prospects should be on the big club.
September Call-Ups 2021
Bishop and Friends?
One of those prospects is Hunter Bishop. Farhan Zaidi's first ever draft pick could rise quickly through the system.
Posey, who was the 5th pick in the 2008 draft, came up in September of 2009, and then came up for good in May of 2010. Only Tim Lincecum had a faster trajectory.
Bart, who has dealt with injuries, did not appear for the Giants last September, and may not come up before September this year.
It remains to be seen if Bishop will be in San Francisco less than three years after being drafted in June of 2019, but there is a good chance that he will be on the doorstep.
For an organization that built a dynasty with a mostly homegrown pitching staff and infield, having outfielders like Ramos and Bishop is exciting.
The Giants actually drafted quite a few bats in 2019, including first basemen Logan Wyatt and Garrett Frechette, center fielder Grant McCray, and shortstops Tyler Fitzgerald and Dilan Rosario.
It is unlikely that any of the other 2019 draftees will be playing at Oracle by September of 2021, but it seems clear that the Giants won't hesitate to move Bishop through the system.
The most exciting pitching prospect that may be brought up in September of 2021 is Seth Corry. Corry was a 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft. His 2019 season with the Augusta Green Jackets turned a lot of heads in the organization and around baseball. While Sean Hjelle remains the highest ranked prospect in the system, Corry might end up having more success at the big league level.
In 26 starts for the Green Jackets, Corry posted a 1.76 ERA over 122.2 innings pitched with 172 strikeouts and only 58 walks.
For comparison, Hjelle posted a 2.66 ERA over 40.2 innings pitched with 44 strikeouts and only 9 walks before being promoted.
1. Joey Bart: 2021
2. Heliot Ramos: 2021
4. Hunter Bishop: 2022
5. Logan Webb: In San Francisco
6. Sean Hjelle: 2021
7. Alexander Canario: 2022
8. Mauricio Dubon: In San Francisco
9. Seth Corry: 2022
10. Will Wilson: 2022
Heading into the 2022 season, the Giants 40 man roster should include nine of the current top 10 prospects in the organization.
Much could change, and many new prospects could be added, but it is important to know that the 25 man Opening Day roster in 2022 could be heavy with homegrown talent.
C Joey Bart
2B Will Wilson
SS Mauricio Dubon
LF Hunter Bishop
CF Heliot Ramos
RF Alex Canario
SP Sean Hjelle
SP Seth Corry
SP Logan Webb
With all primed to be ready by 2022 or sooner, the Giants off-season needs might not be as big. That being said, the Giants will have money to spend to search for top end talent.
One other factor to consider about the potential for a loaded 2022 roster is the same thing we saw in 2012.
The Giants were paying almost no money by baseball standards to their most important players. Cain, Bumgarner, Posey, Belt, Panik, Crawford and more were on deals they signed before being eligible for free agency.
This cost-effective strategy is a clear plan of Zaidi, Harris and the rest of the Giants brain trust. Assuming the baseball economics remain the same in 2022, that will be a critical part of the team's financial health.
The Rise of Marco Luciano?
The only prospect not predicted to be arriving to San Francisco by 2022 is Marco Luciano. Luciano is heading into his age 18 season in 2020. The idea of the Giants being able to bring up a teenager through their system quickly has most of the Giants fan base excited for the possibility.
Baseball does not see teenagers very often.
Mel Ott is the most famous teenager in Giants history, who started playing for the New York Giants at 17. Other Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Robin Yount, and Ken Griffey Jr. began their major league careers before they turned 20.
The Washington Nationals brought Bryce Harper up in 2012 and Juan Soto up in 2018. At the same time, some of the most exciting players in all of baseball right now are not allowed to drink legally in the U.S.
Ronald Acuna Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Ozzie Albies, Gleyber Torres, Cody Bellinger, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Mookie Betts and Mike Trout are just some of the elite talent who made their major league debut before their 22nd birthday.
Luciano has said his goal is to get to the big leagues in three years. That would have him in the bigs by 2022. That would be his age 20 season.
Marco Luciano Arizona Rookie League (2019)— Candlestick Will (@CandlestickWill) December 18, 2019
146 At Bats
28 Extra Base Hits
Mike Trout Arizona Rookie League (2009)
164 At Bats
15 Extra Base Hits
When Giants fans say they are excited about Luciano, there is a reason.
Luciano is Not Alone
Alex Canario was even better in the Arizona Rookie League, albeit a shorter stint.
In 10 games, he slashed .395/.435/.1000 for an OPS of 1.435. He had 11 extra base hits, including seven home runs.
Luis Toribio, who is the top third baseman in the system and the 11th ranked prospect overall, slashed .297/.436/.459 for an OPS of .895 over 51 games and 185 at bats.
17th round pick Connor Cannon led the team with 13 home runs over 35 games and 132 at bats. The 21 year old slashed .326/.399/.689 for an OPS of 1.088.
Luciano, Toribio, Cannon and others in the Arizona Rookie League are not expected to make the long journey through the system until at least 2023. Even if none of them are options in 2022, they could all be in Double or Triple A if they continue to make strides.
Free Agency 2022
The Giants should be big players in Free Agency heading into the 2022 season.
Possible additions include Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Noah Syndergaard.
With Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman in New York, it is possible and even likely that Syndergaard would be available as a free agent as well.
With Alex Bregman, George Springer and others to extend in Houston, Correa could be the odd man out with the Astros.
The Giants could go big with the signings of Correa and Syndergaard to add to an already impressive core group.
Opening Day 2022
C Joey Bart
1B Logan Wyatt
2B Mauricio Dubon
SS Marco Luciano
3B Carlos Correa*
LF Hunter Bishop
CF Heliot Ramos
RF Alex Canario
UT Will Wilson
IF Luis Toribio
SP Noah Syndergaard*
SP Sean Hjelle
SP Seth Corry
SP Logan Webb
SP Jake Wong
CL Melvin Adon
So much can change in the next three years. We have no idea who will be drafted in the next two seasons, which players will improve. Which prospects will get injured or fall off the projection charts. We don't know which free agents will sign extensions and which potential free agents will still be valuable in 2022.
The 2022 25 Man Roster was suppose to include Madison Bumgarner. Of all the Giants with World Series rings, he may have been the most likely to be a Giant in 2022.
With the way things can change in baseball, maybe Farhan makes a trade for Bumgarner in 2022. Maybe Farhan is no longer in the Giants organization.
One thing is clear: The current farm system is healthier now than it was before Farhan Zaidi arrived.
It will undoubtedly be even healthier in June.
If the Giants can continue to add depth and top end talent to their farm, there is no telling how good they can be in a few years.
By 2022, they could be a threat to everyone in the National League West and beyond.
By 2025, they could be planning another parade, if not before.