San Francisco Giants Best Free Agent Signings of All-Time
By Michael Saltzman
Cueto was signed only one year ago on December 16, 2015. In one season, Cueto dominated lineups and helped lead the Giants to the postseason. He finished 6th in the Cy Young voting and his WAR of 5.6 is already better than the production on several Giants free agents of the past.
McGee was signed by the Giants on December 3, 1990 at the age of 32. McGee would go on to play four seasons with the Giants, slashing .301/.348/.386 for an OPS of .734. As the Giants transitioned from Will Clark‘s team to Barry Bonds team, McGee was a solid veteran the team could count on during his tenure.
Vogelsong was originally drafted by the Giants in 1998, but he was signed as a free agent on January 11, 2011. The Giants were coming off a World Series, so Vogelsong was unlikely to even make the team. By July, he was an All-Star and in 2012, he was a key part of a staff that won the World Series in 2012. They won again in 2014 and Vogelsong would finish his Giants career with 3-0 record and 2.92 ERA in the postseason. His five seasons back in San Francisco also included a Willie Mac Award and a permanent place in Giants history.
Torres signed as a free agent on January 9, 2009. One year later, Torres went from a Spring Training invite to the team’s starting center fielder. Torres would win the Willie Mac Award as the team’s most inspirational player and be the team’s leadoff hitter and center fielder on their first championship team in 2010. Torres had a long road to get to San Francisco, but his career was one of the most productive among the free agents in team history.
Casilla was signed by the Giants as a free agent on January 2, 2010. He would become an integral part of the Giants bullpen that helped the Giants win three World Series in five seasons. Casilla was a part of the “Core Four,” along with Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez. Casilla was best in the postseason, with a 0.92 ERA and 1.017 WHIP over 19 postseason innings. He also hasn’t allowed a run in his last 11.2 playoff innings over 16 appearances.