Proposal 3: Manning goes back home
The Giants are looking for starting pitching help, and are rumored to be willing to spend big to get it. They've been liked to guys like Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Blake Snell. However, they have developed a history of just missing out on some of the top players on the market. Just look at last year when they ended up with Arson Judge instead of Aaron Judge, and the Carlos Correa deal fell through at the last minute because of an issue with his physical. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
Of course, Scott Harris was with the Giants before coming over to Detroit, so he knows the organization well. He covets and believes a lot of the same things that Farhan Zaidi likes. We could have a match here.
Instead of getting a big-name free agent, the Giants get a young, controllable starter in Manning. The Tigers, however, get a nice stopgap infielder in J.D. Davis, as well as some outfield depth in Austin Slater.
Davis has a history of being a solid hitter. He's had a wRC+ of at least 104 every year since 2019. He had a 2,2 fWAR last year, his highest since 2019. Defensively, he had an outs above average of 6 last year, the best of his career. He could be a really solid player for the Tigers.
Slater has been a platoon outfielder for the Giants since 2017, and has performed very well in that role. He's never had more than 325 plate appearances in a season, so he's best used sparingly. With how much the Tigers like to pinch-hit, Slater could be a nice get as well.
The last piece of the deal is pitching prospect Mason Black, somebody I've personally been a fan of for a while. He's got a wicked fastball/slider combo, something the Tigers like in their pitchers. The walks were slightly elevated in Triple-A last year, but he's someone who could help the Tigers out at some point in 2024 should they actually acquire him.
This deal would also send Manning back home to California. He grew up an hour and a half up I-80 in Sacramento. Not a bad outcome for him.