Here it is late December and the World Champion San Francisco Giants are unable to attract the players they need while other teams in the division--notably the Dodgers and Padres--are trading like crazy, and at least on paper, improving immensely.
The Dodgers are putting together a formidable rotation of starting pitching, while the Padres are adding lots of power. But the Giants, who need starting pitching, power and two key position players, are seeing their championship team losing important pieces without gaining any. The Padres are in the midst of installing an entirely new and very impressive outfield. The Giants can't seem to find a left fielder. Or someone to play third base.
The Giants have lost two keys to their 2014 success: Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse. While the Dodgers add pitching, the Giants don't have a starting rotation. They signed reliever Romo, who was shaky for a period in 2014.
Sure, there's still time and other ways to get good players. But it does seem mysterious. In the competition for big name free agents (including Sandoval) their money offers were close if not the same. And their reputation for a close-knit clubhouse, an exceptional organization, and great fans, presumably would have been an attraction. The mystery is why it wasn't.
It may be that San Francisco doesn't draw nationally. The ratings for the 2014 World Series were pretty bad until the seventh game.
Last year the Giants had a great first half, then barely made it into the playoffs. The competition within the division is likely to be greater this year. Nobody knows of course whether all those new Dodgers and Padres will jell into a team, or when. But the Giants will likely need to find some players somewhere just to remain competitive in 2015.
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