As it stands right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres appear to be so far in front of their NL West foes that the next half-decade is going to consist of these two teams ramming their proverbial heads into one another. However, Farhan Zaidi and the San Francisco Giants are not to be discounted either.
After winning 107 games in 2021, which still stands out as one of the most improbably dominant seasons in league history, the Giants regressed to the middle of the pack and finished an even 81-81. Many of the feel-good stories from the 2021 team were unable to sustain their success.
San Francisco is planning a huge offseason spending spree, with top free agent and Sacramento-born superstar Aaron Judge (who grew up a Giants fan) at the very top of their list. Zaidi feels very bold about what he’s going to do this offseason, warning San Diego and Los Angeles of his intentions.
Zaidi said that “no one is out of our capability” from a financial point of view, implying that the Giants will be in on most of the big names floating out there on the market. The Padres have made some big signings in the last few years, but they will have some serious intra-division competition in 2022.
The San Diego Padres need to worry about the Giants.
While the Padres likely won’t allocate a ton of money to free agency, as extending internal stars like Juan Soto and Josh Hader will probably be very high on A.J. Preller’s priority list, this front office knows that the division around him is going to be very aggressive.
Even if the Giants don’t end up with Judge, you can bet that Zaidi iwilladd one of the big-name offensive players out there on the open market. Bringin back stud left-handed starter Carlos Rodon may also be in the cards as SF tries to bounce back from last year’s disappointment.
The Padres need to plan for the offseason with the expectation that the fight for the division is going to be a three-horse race. Heck, even the Diamondbacks and Rockies at the bottom of the division aren’t going to be pushovers if all of their hyped young players continue to mash.
In a sport without a salary cap, teams in Los Angeles and San Francisco are always going to have money they can throw around when they want to chase some of the big names. Zaidi isn’t just posturing. He’s telling Preller that his squad in northern California is going to be on the rise. A Yu Darvish extension might not be enough.