Should the San Francisco Giants Go After A Starting Pitcher?
As the San Francisco Giants head into free agency, let’s examine if it would be wise for them to sign a starting pitcher.
While the San Francisco Giants answered a big question mark by hiring Farhan Zaidi as president of baseball operation this past week, many questions still surround the team.
The team has yet to hire a new general manager, but it appears they could do so soon as assistant GM to the A’s, Billy Owens, appears to be a likely choice given his history with Zaidi and the Bay Area.
But let’s forget about front office hires. What about the guys who are going to be on the field? Well, we can’t completely forget about those suits who we don’t see on a regular basis because they decide who is on the field.
The overarching question mark of the entire Giants off-season will be the future of Madison Bumgarner. It seems that ever since he fell off that dirt bike in 2017 his future with the team has been repeatedly questioned.
In Zaidi’s opening press conference, he said that “Everything must be on the table” when asked about Bumgarner’s future.
It will be interesting to see what Bumgarner’s fate shall be. If they do indeed end up trading him, then it would not be surprising to see the Giants make a run at a starting pitcher in free agency.
Heck, even if they decide to keep Bumgarner it may be wise to try and sign another starter.
Even with the emergence of Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez, with Johnny Cueto on the shelf for most if not all of 2019 and Jeff Samardzija being Jeff Samardzija, there are still holes in the rotation.
The two biggest starting pitchers on the free agent market would have to be Patrick Corbin and Dallas Kuechel. Corbin is familiar with the Giants and AT&T Park since he has played his entire career in the NL West with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Both Corbin and Keuchel pitched fairly well at AT&T last year as Corbin gave up 6 runs in 18.1 innings over the course of three starts and in Keuchel’s only appearance he gave up one run over the course of 6 innings.
Obviously, neither pitcher will base their decision on where to play for the next few years solely on their performance in that team’s home stadium the year prior. But there is something to be said of the fact that both pitchers pitch in hitter friendly parks and may find the allure of AT&T’s pitcher’s paradise attractive.
Oh yeah, and they probably wouldn’t mind a boatload of money either.
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They may also be concerned more about winning championships. Keuchel already has a ring, but perhaps Corbin wants to go somewhere that gives him a chance to win now as opposed to becoming part of the Giants’ mini-rebuild or whatever they’re going to try to do.
Maybe free agency isn’t their best option when it comes to starting pitching. Several individuals on this site believe the Giants may be wiser to go after Sonny Gray in a trade. Look no further than here and here.
This approach makes sense given how much a Keuchel or Corbin would cost as well as California’s high taxes which have historically deterred big name free agents from signing with the Giants.
Then there’s another option in which the Giants stand pat and maybe only try to re-sign Derek Holland and head into 2019 with a rotation that roughly looks like:
- Madison Bumgarner
- Dereck Rodriguez
- Derek Holland
- Jeff Samardzija
- Andrew Suarez
And presumably Chris Stratton as an insurance policy. But even that rough rotation isn’t guaranteed because Holland may feel that after a solid 2018, despite the fact that he seemed to fit in on the Giants’ club quite well, he wants to pursue a large paycheck to capitalize on his good year.
Personally, Farhan Zaidi doesn’t really seem like a “stand pat” guy to me. The dude has enjoyed success everywhere he’s been. Whether it’s trading Bumgarner or signing a big free agent, I think he’s going to go for something big to try to get the Giants back on track for the 2019 season.