The San Francisco Giants made it clear they would be looking to add a closer this off-season and they wasted no time at all, signing Mark Melancon according to Buster Olney. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but people familiar with negotiations were estimating that the deal could be a four year deal for $15 million annually.
The Giants entire bullpen had a rough season last year and change was inevitable. Now with all four members of the famed “Core Four” gone, San Francisco’s 2017 pitching staff will look drastically different. By adding Melancon, the roles can be more clearly defined for the remaining members of the ‘pen.
Melancon had the eighth lowest average exit velocity against this year, according to Baseball Savant.
Melancon was a target of the Giants at the 2016 trade deadline, and was reported to be close to a trade to bring in the right handed closer. Melancon was with the Pittsburgh Pirates at the time, but ended up being traded to the Washington Nationals instead.
Mark Melancon has 168 career saves, despite not becoming a full time closer until 2014. In 2015 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he had a career high 51 saves. Over an eight year career with five teams, Melancon has a 2.60 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 1.036 WHIP and an 8.2 K/9 rate.
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The Giants appear set now to let the rest of the free agent market come to then. With a majority of their money now used on their closer, the team is less likely to pursue one of the big name outfielders that are available on the market.
If last off-season is any indication, Bobby Evans tends to be very specific with his pursuit of players. With closer the only position they identified this off-season, they may already be done going after the big names.
Reports have linked them to some outfielders such as J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers via trade, but so far those talks have not gone beyond the initial stages. However, according to Olney, the Giants may not be done.
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