San Francisco Giants Bullpen has Shocking Number of Lefty Relievers
The San Francisco Giants have a lot of left-handed relievers. In fact, they are dangling both Will Smith and Tony Watson in trade talks.
Will Smith, in particular, carries quite a bit of value for the San Francisco Giants. He has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining, and pitched effectively in his return from Tommy John surgery. This means that the asking price will be pretty high.
The San Francisco Giants recently engaged the St. Louis Cardinals in trade talks for Smith. In addition to this, the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers appear to be connected to Smith as well.
Farhan Zaidi seems to be practicing patience in trade talks. Andrew Miller and Zach Britton are two of the top free agent, left-handed relievers on the market. However, Andrew Miller recently signed with the Cardinals so Britton is the only remaining option.
Once Britton signs, Zaidi may have some extra leverage in trade talks. This is perhaps what he is waiting for as he may be able to take advantage of another team’s desperation in needing to add a left-handed reliever.
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Given Smith’s contract status, Zaidi will likely maintain a higher asking price. The same can be said for Tony Watson as well. Watson is on an affordable contract, and continued to be effective in 2018.
The Giants could wait until the trade deadline to trade either Smith or Watson or both. Relievers tend to get more in return prior to the trade deadline as acquiring teams are usually in a position of need.
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However, if the Giants do trade Watson or Smith this offseason, they still have an exorbitant amount of left-handed relievers. Yes. Exorbitant.
In addition to Smith and Watson, the Giants have Ty Blach, Josh Osich, Steven Okert, Pat Venditte, and Travis Bergen on their 40-man roster. Blach seems to be a better fit as a reliever, and Venditte pitches better from the left side. Yes, Venditte uses both arms when he pitches.
That is a lot of left-handed relievers. Especially, considering that the Giants typically carry only a couple left-handed relievers on their 40-man roster.
Currently, the San Francisco Giants have 36 players on their 40-man roster. So, they do not necessarily have a roster crunch, and can comfortably add to the roster.
While the Giants seem likely to continue entertaining offers for Smith and Watson, they may look at other changes from this surplus. These changes might include a minor trade or placing one or more of this group on waivers.
The Giants have an interesting surplus of left-handed relievers. They will not likely keep all 7 by the time Spring Training comes around.
This is one area the San Francisco Giants can subtract from if they choose to make moves this offseason, which would be nice at some point.