The Japanese left handed pitcher is considered one of the top available arms on the open market, and the Giants have openly expressed interest in the former Seibu Lion. A former teammate of Shoehei Ohtani, Kikuchi was posted this off-season and has until January 3 to sign with a Major League team.
His agent is Scott Boras, so the price may remain high, but Zaidi has spoken about the attraction AT&T Park can be for pitchers.
The Giants employ former Oakland Athletic pitcher and pitching coach Curt Young, and he has worked with several available free agents in this year’s market. Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Bartolo Colon are among the pitchers who have worked with Young in the past, and Gio Gonzalez might be the best of the group.
After posting a 15-9 record and a 2.96 ERA in 2017 for the Washington Nationals, Gonzalez struggled last season. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers at the August deadline and posted a 3-0 record and 2.13 ERA. After posting a 6.4 Wins Above Replacement in 2017, his numbers dropped and he posted a 1.8 overall WAR in 2018.
Young may be able to help Gonzalez find his All-Star ability he had in Oakland and showed again in 2017.
Holland pitched well for the Giants last season, making the team as a non roster invitee and ending up having one of the best seasons of any pitcher on staff.
Reports say Holland is weighing multi year offers, including interest from the Giants to return.
While a reunion makes sense, the price tag will be much more significant this time around. After posting s 3/57 ERA over 171.1 innings as both a starter and a relief pitcher in 2018, he may be worth the pay raise.
One interesting statistical note is that both Gonzalez and Holland posted the same WAR last season of 1.8 and yet, based on other more traditional metrics, Holland seemed to have the superior year.