As the San Francisco Giants head into today trying to land the biggest fish since Barry Bonds, it is worth looking at a move the Giants did not make that is still puzzling.
Yusmeiro Petit, who had some of the most memorable performances in San Francisco Giants history, was given his outright release in December of 2015 from San Francisco. Petit originally signed with the team in 2012 and after two seasons in the team’s minor league system, spent 2014 and 2015 as one of their most consistent pitchers.
His best moments are some of the most impressive performances of any pitcher on the team in recent history. He was one out away from a perfect game Arizona on September 6, 2014 and would record the next out for a 1 hit complete game shutout.
He also played an enormous role in the bullpen in the 2014 playoffs with an epic six innings of shutout baseball in an 18 inning marathon against the Washington Nationals. He also holds the Major League record for consecutive outs with 46.
And then, after another strong season in 2015, Petit was let go. New General Manager, Bobby Evans, spoke highly of Petit at the time of the release.
"“Yusmeiro was instrumental in our 2014 World Series title,” general manager Bobby Evans said via text message. “His performance was particularly pivotal in Game 2 in Washington.”"
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So why did the Giants release him? For a team that has struggled in the bullpen ever since, his absence from the team was felt immediately. Homegrown pitchers like Chris Heston, Ty Blach, Chris Stratton, and others have tried to take the role Petit filled as a long man, spot starter and at times dominant relief pitcher.
Petit has gone on to pitch well over the last two seasons. He appeared in 36 games for the Nationals in 2016 and had career highs of 60 appearances for the Los Angeles Angels last season.
Earlier this week, Petit signed a two year deal with the crosstown rival Oakland Athletics. Not only should the Giants not have let him go in 2015, but they should have signed him back this off-season.
As the Giants continue to try to dig themselves out of the hole they have found themselves in since the 2016 All-Star break, it is clear the Giants made a mistake not keeping Petit.