Jeff Samardzija

Giants can still flex their big arms

Giants can still flex their big arms

It was late in the afternoon, on the first Friday in December. The baseball world had been stunned by the breaking news: Zack Greinke had agreed to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Larry Baer, the president of the San Francisco Giants, sent a text message to his counterpart with the Diamondbacks, Derrick Hall.

“Congratulations,” Baer texted. “We certainly wasted a lot of brain cells on this one.”

However, the Giants wasted no time pivoting to Plan B. Within 24 hours, they had agreed to terms with Jeff Samardzija. Within 10 days, they had added Johnny Cueto.

The Dodgers, like the Giants, ardently pursued Greinke. How each team responded to...