Looking to the 2019 season for the San Francisco Giants, we dream about what the pitching staff could look like if healthy all year.
Johnny Cueto has already been ruled out for the 2019 season, which puts the Giants in a bit of a bind at the top.
But there are still a lot of promising arms returning to the rotation that gives the Giants hope for 2019.
At the top, you have to imagine the odds are in favor of Bumgarner making more than 25 starts this year and throwing over 150 innings.
From 2011 to 2016 he made over 30 starts and pitched over 200 innings every year.
He’ll pitch the 2019 season at age 29, so you have to think there is still plenty in the tank, especially after missing a lot of time the past two years.
I’m expecting a big year from Bumgarner. I think he makes 30 starts, posts an ERA around 3.20 and wins close to 15 games. Most fans will take that type of production out of their ace.
Here is where things get a little tricky. With Cueto out, the Giants don’t have a legitimate number two starter. They will need to go out and get someone through trade or free agency to fill this spot.
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Patrick Corbin would obviously be a nice fit, but he may price out of our range as he’ll be the most sought out starter on the free agent market.
The Giants may have to go for the second best arm on the free agent market in Dallas Keuchel.
While I’ve heavily criticized the Giants for giving huge contracts to aging players — or rather trading for those type of players — I could make an exception here for Keuchel.
Maybe a 4-year deal for around $16 million a year gets it done for the soon-to-be 31-year-old.
He’s coming off a down season in which he had a 3.74 ERA in 204.2 innings pitched. But based on his track record that means he is due for another breakout year in 2019.
I could see him making 30 starts for the Giants next year, winning 12 games with an ERA around 3.50.
Next up would be Jeff Samardzija. You have to hope that he can bounce back and give the Giants 25 starts with an ERA around four and double-digit wins.
Then the Giants have to hope they get a team-friendly discount to bring Derek Holland. I don’t expect him to be nearly as good as he was in 2018, but if he can give you 25-30 starts with an ERA around four and hopefully 10 wins, I’ll take that all day from our number four starter.
That may seem like a dream scenario to some, but there is a very real possibility that could happen for the San Francisco Giants in 2019. If that’s the case, then this team should have a shot at competing again.