This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"The Giants have done almost nothing this winter, bringing in an assortment of fourth- and fifth-tier free agents (Pat Venditte, Drew Pomeranz, Stephen Vogt, Rene Rivera, Gerardo Parra, Yangervis Solarte) who will do little to close the 20-game gap between them and the Dodgers. They haven’t consummated the expected trade of Madison Bumgarner, a franchise hero in the final year of a contract on which the Giants have made tens of millions of dollars in profit. They haven’t, despite taking meetings, signed Bryce Harper, a move that would be consistent with this team’s willingness to put its profits into the roster, but not be nearly enough to make them a contender. The Giants have laid out more than $700 million in major-league salaries and benefits in the four seasons since their last championship. You can’t paint them as unwilling to spend."