5 Non-Tendered Players the San Francisco Giants Could Use

By Hiren Patel
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 11: Tom Koehler /
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MIAMI, FL – JULY 17: Tom Koehler
MIAMI, FL – JULY 17: Tom Koehler /

RHP Tom Koehler

Formerly of the Miami Marlins and, most recently, the Toronto Blue Jays, Tom Koehler represents an option as a long reliever or starter.

Interestingly enough, Koehler, who had started his whole career, ended up finding more success as a reliever when he was traded to the Blue Jays this past August. He had 7.92 ERA in 12 starts for the Marlins compared to a 2.65 ERA in 15 appearances as a reliever.

His past success as a starter and recent success as a reliever makes him a very intriguing fit for the Giants, as his role can be varied throughout the season.

While Chris Stratton may seem poised to take Suarez’s role as the bullpen long man, there is a chance in which Stratton beats out LHP Ty Blach for the last starting rotation spot. In that scenario, the team’s brass may be more open to complimenting Blach with a guy of Koehler’s quality in the bullpen.

In any case, more depth is always welcome in this team’s pitching stable.

As a starter from 2013-2016, Koehler averaged a 4.14 ERA over nearly 700 innings, albeit with slightly less appealing peripherals. Almost any team would accept that production from a back-end starter, but that is likely the 31-year old’s ceiling at this point.

As a reliever in the last few months of the 2017 season, his velocity rose, his ERA dropped, his K/9 rose, and his BB/9 fell from those he had posted as a starter over his career.

He could be one of several other average starters who experiences a renaissance with a role change, and the Giants haven’t had many of those players in recent memory.

For a middling bullpen, they can only gain by adding a relatively affordable, controllable, and potential above-average reliever who has the ability to start when needed. If his short time as a reliever proves to be flukey, the team can cut bait at little to no cost.