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An early SF Giants roster projection, and a look at how they stack up in the NL West

This week, FanGraphs analyzed teams’ offseasons through the lens of wins above replacement. Which clubs had gained the most, and which teams had lost the most, from last season through free agency?

The Giants, despite their five signings, were still at a net loss.

Down 0.8 fWAR, they were still better off than the subject of the article, the suspiciously quiet Dodgers, who have lost 14.3 fWAR from last year’s 111-win club, as well as the Padres (minus-2.1) and Rockies (minus-1.2) among their NL West foes. However, the Giants enter the season with a 30-game handicap on the division race. (The D-Backs were the only division team with a net gain, at plus-2.8.)

The Giants may not be entirely done, but the foundation of the roster is set. Is it enough to compete for the NL West, or at least a wild card berth? Take a look at how it’s shaping up with our projection below.

Starting pitchers (6)

Projected: Alex Cobb, Anthony DeSclafani, Sean Manaea, Ross Stripling, Logan Webb, Alex Wood

Other 40-man options: Tristan Beck, Sean Hjelle, Sam Long, Keaton Winn

Total WAR (Steamer projection): 12.1 (Cobb 3.1, Webb 3.0, Manaea 1.9, Wood 1.8, Stripling 1.4, DeSclafani 0.5, Harrison 0.4)

One player accounts for the majority of the WAR the Giants must replace from last season: Carlos Rodón, who totaled 6.2 fWAR, the second-most in the majors, and parlayed that into a $162 million contract — and a clean shave — in New York. Their two additions, Manaea and Stripling, combined to throw more than 100 more innings last season than Rodón but were worth 2.0 fewer wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs.

What they lost at the top of their rotation, however, they hope to make up for in depth. And, maybe, a little creativity.

“There may be some situations in which we go to a six-man rotation for a period of time,” Farhan Zaidi said last week. “There will be times we do that. There will be times we tandem guys and try to use two of our starters to get through an entire game. … We don’t have a group of 34-start, 200-inning guys, so I do think an element of this will be managing workloads more generally across the course of the season.”

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