The San Francisco Giants hope to sign one of the three elite free-agent closer options to ensure another 32 blown saves doesn’t occur again. An in-depth comparison to see who fits best, and the most effective pitch of all three options may come as a surprise.
San Francisco Giants’ fans watched even year magic evaporate, as the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians put on a familiar show in October. A show dominated by an October blueprint for success the Giants created back in 2010. Have a deep starting rotation followed by a bottomless power bullpen, and enough timely hitting to win.
That blueprint didn’t match the San Francisco Giants’ bullpen identity this season, and the 32 blown saves this season, two of which came in the postseason, ultimately were too much for the Giants to overcome.
San Francisco failed to acquire one of the coveted four closers at the August trade deadline, but it wasn’t from lack of effort. Yes, the Giants were all-in during their pursuit, but optimism remained minimal due to the haul teams were seeking in return for their closers. San Francisco didn’t have the farm depth to compete with other suitors.
Now with free agency starting, the Giants have the opportunity to acquire the services from three of those four closers from a different type of organization depth most clubs can’t match. Deep pockets.
Those three closers are Aroldis Chapman of the Chicago Cubs, Kenley Jansen of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Mark Melancon of the Washington Nationals. All three are elite closers expecting huge paydays for their services.
Expect the Giants to at least check-in with all three, but it’s clear there is a need, and the Giants should be aggressive in their pursuit to secure at least one.
With $220 million dished out during last year’s free agency to lengthen the rotation, and an offense that still headlines Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Hunter Pence, the Giants are still built to win now. $46.4 million will be off the books as players depart, only helping the Giants’ financial situation more.
San Francisco will be looking for a closer who has proven ninth-inning results, a high velocity fastball that misses bats, a proven track record in October, and someone who contributes to the amazing clubhouse culture Bruce Bochy and staff have established.
Comparing all three will give an accurate depiction of who could fill the roll best, along with the ability to compare each closers best pitch side by side to get an idea of who is most efficient. The first one we’re going to take a look at is Kenley Jansen.