Once again, the Giants find themselves in stark contrast to their archrival in the Los Angeles Dodgers.
L.A. spent big money in an effort to upgrade its team over the past year. The team’s new ownership group has plenty of money, and it has not been shy about spending it in an effort to dethrone the Giants.
San Francisco, on the other hand, has gone with the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
General manager Brian Sabean had a busy offseason. He brought back key free agents Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro and Jeremy Affeldt, and signed new deals with Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Sergio Romo, among others.
“I believe there’s a shortage of players in baseball,” Sabean said at the team’s media day Friday. “So if you get a group together that seems to click — or in our case, we feel like we have a lot of roster depth with some moveable parts that help the manager — we want to try to keep that intact.”
Manager Bruce Bochy had a hand in the negotiation process as well, speaking with Pagan and Scutaro throughout the process to gauge their mindsets and help persuade them to return.
He didn’t talk to everyone though.
“With Jeremy Affeldt, I’m better off not talking to him,” he said with a smile. “I’m kidding there, but great job by Brian getting these guys back.”
Bochy didn’t need to worry too much about the left-handed reliever anyway, as Affeldt said the decision to return to the place where he’s won two World Series rings was an easy one. He has already gotten to know the personalities on this team, and had little desire to start over somewhere else.
“I would have welcomed the challenge if it would have been presented to me,” he said of the idea of switching teams. “But it wasn’t. What was presented to me was Sabean asked me to stay on for another three years. He didn’t mess around.”
Affeldt said he received an offer from Sabean four hours into his drive home to Washington state following the victory parade. While he still allowed his agent to test the waters of free agency at baseball’s winter meetings, coming back to the Bay Area was never much in doubt.
He credited Sabean’s no-nonsense negotiating style to making the choice that much easier.
“With Sabean, it’s always been, ‘Look, I’m not going to sit there and nickel and dime you,’” he said. “‘Here’s the deal. Pretty sure you’re going to find it’s a good deal. Let’s put the same team out on the field and go have fun.’ Man, I don’t see why not. It’d be kind of dumb to not [return].”