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The San Francisco Giants furthered their already substantial offseason work late Friday night by reportedly agreeing to terms with Gold Glove third baseman Matt Chapman on a three-year, $54 million free-agent contract. The latest splash by team president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi raises the matter of whether the Giants have done enough to yield contention in 2024 and, if not, what else needs to be done. 

First, let's examine what those additions mean to the Giants. Chapman, who's going into his age-31 season, is an above-average hitter by positional standards and figures to remain as much, at least for the near term. There's some long-term collapse potential in Chapman's offensive profile, but he should remain a solid batsman for at least 2024. What really distinguishes Chapman, though, is his glovework at third base. He's long been among the best defenders in baseball at the position, and that remained the case in 2023. He's a particularly good fit for a Giants defense that was one of the worst in baseball last season (26th in MLB as measured by Defensive Efficiency) and a Giants pitching staff that had the highest ground ball rate in baseball by a wide margin. 

Elsewhere this offseason, center fielder Jung Ho Lee, signed out of Korea, should give the Giants some sorely needed patience and on-base skills at the top of the lineup (the Giants in 2023 ranked 24th in MLB with an OBP of just .312). Slugging DH Jorge Soler, also signed as a free agent, adds pop to a Giants offense that ranked near the bottom of the league in slugging and had particular difficulties against left-handed pitching. Tom Murphy as a bat-first backup catcher is also a nice fit. 

There's also power-throwing right-hander Jordan Hicks. Armed with one of the fastest fastballs in all the land, Hicks has wipeout potential out of the bullpen, and some early-season adjustments in St. Louis last year yielded strong results. The Giants, though, are planning to use him in the rotation. Hicks tried this previously with the Cardinals in 2022, and it went quite poorly across eight starts that year. Maybe such a pledge is what it took to lure Hicks to San Fran, or maybe it's an indicator of how desperate the Giants are to find help behind frontline ace Logan Webb

Therein lies the Giants' big concern as they try to achieve contention in the upcoming season. Run prevention wasn't the problem in 2023, but the relative inability of Giants starters to pitch deeply into games was a major concern. It's also not something the addition of Hicks figures to help. The Giants this offseason also lost Sean Manaea, Jacob Junis, and Alex Wood to the market, and they were varying degrees of useful across 26 combined starts last year. As well, right-hander Tristan Beck – expected to be a key member of the rotation in 2024 – has an uncertain timetable as he'll soon undergo surgery to address an aneurysm in his upper arm

All of this means that the Giants, if they truly want to contend in the upcoming season, should not be done with their winter work – and winter spending. Current buzz still strongly links them to reigning NL Cy Young winner and free agent Blake Snell. As well, bedrock starter Jordan Montgomery is still available, and he'd also be an ideal fit for the Giants. One can argue that, in light of the current rotation depth concerns, adding either of those arms would be the most important move of the offseason for the Giants. 

As for the current outlook, they're probably in a playable spot. Barring the unimaginable, no one's toppling the juggernaut Dodgers in the NL West, but the Giants should be able to be part of the fray for the second and third wild-card spots. Last season, the Giants finished 79-83, but if you look at their run differential and performance at an even deeper underlying level they were really more of a 76- or 77-win type of team. That baseline plus their recent personnel additions put the Giants in the middle of a gaggle of likely third-wild-card-spot contenders that includes teams like the Padres, Mets, and whoever the NL Central runner-up winds up being (consider the Phillies and Diamondbacks to be on a slightly higher tier for the first and second wild-card berths).

The Giants have improved their lot with their winter work thus far, but a capstone in the form of a Snell or Montgomery signing is very much needed in order to nudge them ahead of those aforementioned peers. Yes, it's March, but there are still wins to be bought on the free-agent market – very important wins for teams in the Giants' position. It would be unfair to call Zaidi's offseason to date any kind of half-measure, but it's not unfair to call it unfinished.