When you think of the San Francisco Giants, starting pitching seems to be the first thing you associate with the current club and just how great its been over the past few years. With the same cast of characters (sans Jonathan Sanchez), you wouldn’t think improving the starting rotation would be a concern of the Giants if you didn’t follow the club but with the reemergence of bad Barry Zito and the unexplainable struggles of Tim Lincecum, the Giants are in the market for starting pitching and rightfully so.
While a handful of starters should be available at the deadline, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports notes that the Giants already have their eye on one particular left hander, the Houston Astros‘ Wandy Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, 33, has a 3.29 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 95 2/3 innings this year, this coming off nearly four straight years of a sub 3.50 ERA (’10 he was 3.60). So why is a player like that on the market? Contractual issues. In addition to the solid numbers, Wandy brings with him a hefty price tag – one that includes $10MM this year, $13MM next year and a $13MM vesting option for 2014. The ’14 option becomes a player option if the Astros trade Rodriguez, one he’s sure to exercise at age 35.
With multiple bidders, some (like the New York Yankees) who have a bit more ability to absorb such a contract, one wouldn’t think the Giants would have much of a dog in this fight as an already cash strapped team can’t afford to bring in more high priced talent. But, with a handful of large figure contracts coming off the books in the next two seasons, the Giants may feel the risk is worth the reward.
Rodriguez’s addition would certainly sure up the Giants’ rotational issues (assuming Lincecum at some point returns to a version of himself), but at the cost, it seems unlikely.