SF Giants free agents: Contract predictions for Belt, Gausman, Bryant and more

At the end of a 107-win season that culminated with a NLDS loss to the Dodgers, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi spoke about his desire to maintain roster continuity and keep several of the team’s free agents in San Francisco.

Given the success the Giants had and the career years several of their free agents enjoyed, doing so will likely require major financial commitments.

As free agency kicks off, we looked at five Giants who are now free to sign with any team and took a look at the expectations for the types of contracts each player may command. Using free agency predictions from MLB Trade Rumors, ESPN and the median crowdsource projection from FanGraphs’ team of writers, here’s a look at some of the industry expectations for Kevin Gausman, Kris Bryant, Brandon Belt, Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood.

Our Giants beat reporter, Kerry Crowley, also provides his own predictions and analysis on each player’s potential to return to San Francisco.

Kevin Gausman

MLBTR: Six years, $138 million

FanGraphs: Four years, $76 million

ESPN: Five years, $105 million

Crowley: Four years, $84 million

The breakdown: Gausman is considered one of the top starters on the free agent market this winter and could easily command upward of $100 million. He’s an intriguing free agent case because he was exactly league average for the first seven seasons of his career before hitting his stride in San Francisco, where the Giants essentially told him to ditch his slider and throw his splitter more.

The guess here is the Giants would feel comfortable paying Gausman upward of $20 million per season, but not on a five-year deal. I could see the Giants going as high as four years at $95-100 million, but a slightly lower average annual value feels realistic.

Kris Bryant

MLBTR: Six years, $160 million

FanGraphs: Six years, $150 million

ESPN: Five years, $90 million

Crowley: Five years, $120 million

The breakdown: It’s somewhat difficult to envision Bryant returning to San Francisco because it seems as if agent Scott Boras is going to engineer a prolonged free agency process featuring a bidding war for his client’s services. The Giants absolutely have the money to pay Bryant as much as any other club, but they may determine it’s better to spread that money around to a variety of players, especially pitchers, as they patch up a lot of different holes on their roster.

Brandon Belt

MLBTR: Accepts one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer

FanGraphs: Two years, $33.2 million

ESPN: Two years, $25 million

Crowley: Two years, $32 million

The breakdown: Unless a team such as the Texas Rangers slides in with a three-plus year deal worth upward of $20 million annually, it feels like Belt will be back in a Giants uniform. I chose to align his contract with the extension Brandon Crawford signed in August, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Belt earned a little bit more than Crawford because he’s a year younger and has hit for considerable power over the last two seasons.

Anthony DeSclafani

MLBTR: Three years, $42 million

FanGraphs: Two years, $19 million

ESPN: Three years, $36 million

Crowley: Three years, $39 million

The breakdown: It’ll be interesting to see whether DeSclafani or former Rockies right-hander Jon Gray signs for more money this offseason. DeSclafani, 31, has the better major league track record whereas Gray, 30, is viewed as having more potential, but they aren’t all that different. I’d think the Giants would like to have both Gausman and DeSclafani back, but if one gets away in free agency, expect Gray to be a strong candidate to sign with San Francisco.

Alex Wood

MLBTR: Three years, $30 million

FanGraphs: N/A

ESPN: Two years, $22 million

Crowley: Two years, $18 million

The breakdown: FanGraphs didn’t rank Wood among its top 50 free agents, but when healthy, he can be a fairly valuable and consistent back-end-of-the-rotation starter. Wood is never going to pitch 200 innings and has trouble against hitters the third time through the order, but he has a really analytical mind and understands how to best attack hitters quite well. For a team that will be without Buster Posey next season, those qualities are important.

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