If the San Francisco Giants fall further out of contention, then reliever Sam Dyson could be on the move. There may be a few reasons to keep him.
Dyson has two more years of arbitration remaining. He set to receive a raise on the $4.43 million contract from this season. This a high amount for a reliever, especially a non-closer.
However, the amount is not exactly prohibitive. The case for trading Dyson away is the immediate cash savings. Dyson is owed about $1.1 million for the remainder of the season.
This amount may be the amount that helps the Giants stay under the luxury tax. Due to the trade of both Cory Gearrin and Austin Jackson, the Giants may be able to sneak under the luxury tax as currently constructed.
Trading either Dyson or Andrew McCutchen would help in staying under the luxury tax. But, if the Giants can remain under the luxury tax while keeping Dyson, they should consider it.
Dyson has turned his career around since joining the Giants in mid-2017. This season, he has posted a 2.78 ERA, a 1.0731 WHIP, and he is generating a 2.46 groundball-to-flyball ratio. That is a stout ratio as ground balls are good from a pitching standpoint.
The glaring negative is his 3.79 FIP. Now, just because a pitcher’s FIP is higher than his ERA does not mean we should expect ERA regression. In fact, Dyson has outperformed his FIP for much of his career.
The FIP would be more problematic if he was a pitcher who came in with inherited runners. This would likely mean he has a high rate of allowing inherited runners to score. And, his ERA may remain low as a result.
However, that is not his role in this Giants bullpen. He usually pitches an entire inning each time out. Occasionally, he comes into a game in the middle of an inning if other relievers need rest.
Dyson likely is not a reliable option as a closer. However, he can fill in as a closer if needed on a temporary basis.
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As a reliever, he is flexible because he can fill a number of roles. Plus, he is capable of pitching on back-to-back days. Not every Giants reliever currently checks that box. When his arm is well-rested, he generates a lot of swings and misses with his nasty sinker.
A lot of teams are looking for bullpen help. Bullpen construction is one of the harder aspects of creating a roster. Relievers have volatile career arcs. Much of their performance can be influenced by a team’s usage, pitch emphasis, pitching philosophy, and defensive positioning.
The Giants might be able to replace Dyson’s production with a minor league free agent or through the farm system. However, that is not a given.
The Giants are one of the few teams with a surplus of quality relievers. With that being said, that Giants should not trade Dyson simply because they have a surplus.
Dyson is controllable for two more seasons at a reasonable rate. He seems to have found a niche with the Giants. The Giants know that a good bullpen can go a long way in keeping a team competitive.
There are a lot of reasons to keep Dyson. There are a few to trade him. Trading him for salary relief would be a short-sighted approach if the Giants can remain under the luxury tax without a trade. And, let’s not forget the inconvenience a trade would place on his beloved cat, Snuckles.
However, contending teams are in need of bullpen help. Dyson would be one of the better relievers in many bullpens. So, if the San Francisco Giants get overwhelmed with a trade offer, then Bobby Evans should at least keep his phone on.