In a pair of bittersweet, but probably necessary, roster moves, the San Francisco Giants designated Jean Machi and Joaquin Arias for assignment over the past week.
When the DFAs were announced, I wasn’t sure whether either would be good enough to get a look from another team, but news broke today that Mean Jean has indeed been claimed off waivers by the Red Sox.
I know a couple things are probably running through your head right now:
- You totally made up that nickname, didn’t you?
Apr 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Jean Machi reacts against the Arizona Diamondbacks during opening day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Addressing those in reverse order: No, I didn’t make up that nickname, but I did steal it from somebody else. I think it’s pretty fitting too given the infamous bullpen incident:
It also has a touch of irony given how nice Jean’s been to opposing hitters this season: 5.14 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 52 baserunners in 35 inning pitched. With that said, it’s tough to top his real nickname—which translates to wild boar—given the fanbase’s infatuation with animal comparisons.
OK, nickname spiel over. Meh, you say?
Well, as those numbers clearly indicate, Machi has been pretty terrible, though his FIP of 4.21 says he’s been slightly less terrible. It’s hard to warrant a spot in a strong bullpen with that kind of production.
Let’s not forget how good he was in middle relief the past two seasons, though (sans 2014 playoffs). In 2013, Machi had a breakout campaign with a 2.38 ERA and 51-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He was very solid last year, too, pitching to a 2.58 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP.
Alas, all good things come to an end. But have we also reached the end of the road with Arias?
Production aside, losing two longtime Giants within a week would be a tough pill to swallow, especially when one of them filled the 10-year-old hole in my heart left by Ramon Martinez’s free-agency departure (I really like role players, OK?).
It’s a real possibility given the quality years Joaquin served in 2012 and 2013, but if teams are looking at more recent production, he should have a better chance of clearing waivers than Machi. Twelve hits in 59 at-bats—ten of which were singles—will do that to you.
His days as San Francisco’s do-it-all infielder are over, but if he’s not keen on becoming a free agent mid-season, I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance of Arias packing his bags for Sacramento and making a return later this season. He could also go the way of Juan Perez, but here’s to hoping the postseason GOAT can have another classic moment in orange and black.