The San Francisco Giants have been a legitimate contender for the World Series since 2010, excluding just two years. In that span, they won three World Series' in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
With all of that success, the Giants have drawn great attendance and those attending fans expect to see winning baseball on an extremely consistent basis.
Last year, the Giants won just 64 games and lost 98, their worst season in some time. This can partially be blamed to star pitcher Madison Bumgarner missing considerable time due to an injury. The Giants great fielding shortstop Brandon Crawford was also hurt and didn’t hit particularly well.
Injuries were a piece of the Giants' horrific season, but it also just came down to underperforming. They have great players all around their team that just did not perform up to the standard they normally do and are expected to.
All of these facts combined created an interesting off-season for the Giants. They could look at their team and realize they are getting an older roster, coming off a bad season, and maybe go into a rebuild, or decide to continue to push for now with the pieces that they have.
Rebuilding was an option for the Giants and the path that many people following the team thought they would take. Sell their aging stars for young prospects and build towards the future. Especially with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies within their division both young and playing great.
However, with the fan base as reliable as they are right now and just a couple of pieces away from reaching the greatness they were so recently at, the Giants chose differently. This being the Giants’ front offices mindset, they decided to get some pieces this off-season and push for winning right now.
San Francisco has been one of the very few teams to make moves this off-season, as it has been a slow-moving one most likely because of the huge free agent class coming out next year.
The Giants had a few spots that needed help from last year going into this year if they were going to make a push. One big spot was third base, another was the outfield (one corner spot and center field), and then getting bullpen help is a need of most major league teams.
They took care of one of those empty spots when they traded for former Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, Evan Longoria. Sending to the Rays Denard Span, Christian Arroyo, and two other minor league pitchers.
Another big missing spot for the Giants was the outfield. With Hunter Pence being the only locked-in outfielder in either right field or left, the Giants were looking for two more outfielders to take a corner spot and center field.
When the news broke that Andrew McCutchen had been traded to the Giants from the Pittsburgh Pirates, this immediately solved half of that problem. McCutchen was a center fielder until last year with the Pirates, and will most likely take up a corner outfield role, opposite of Pence, whichever the Giants see as a better fit.
Acquiring Longoria and McCutchen will help the Giants back up their pitchers defensively with still one of the best fielding third baseman and ex-center fielder used to tracking down balls in big outfields, but it will also really help lengthen out an already solid lineup.
The Giants have been rumored to potentially getting Lorenzo Cain or Billy Hamilton to play the big, awkward centerfield at AT&T Park. Those two may be too expensive, but look for the Giants to get a center field piece and maybe some bullpen help.
Although one of the older rosters in the MLB, the Giants should be extremely competitive and a fun team to watch if they can stay healthy and everyone plays up to their capabilities.