The San Francisco Giants have made another addition to the pitching staff by signing LHP Drew Pomeranz to a 1 year $1.5 million deal that could be a max of $5 million if he reaches all performance incentives and escalators.
Farhan Zaidi’s second major acquisition of the offseason is another versatile left-handed pitcher in Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz is coming off the worst season of his career in 2018. He struggled and posted a career high 6.08 ERA, 136 ERA-, .344 BABIP, 7.90 DRA, 176 DRA- ; his second highest ERA- 136, 5.43 FIP, and career lows of 37.1 GB% and fWAR -0.3. In addition to that, he also saw a decrease in velocity of his two primary pitches in his fastball and curveball.
For a majority of the 2018 season, Drew Pomeranz was bothered by arm and neck injuries which could offer some explanation to why he struggled to be effective. In fact he was so ineffective that he became an afterthought during the Red Sox championship run as the Red Sox opted to throw Nate Eovaldi out for a 6th inning of relief in an epic game 3 rather than turn to Pomeranz with the game on the line.
With a full off-season of rest, hopefully Drew Pomeranz can return to form and be a solid contributor for the San Francisco Giants this season. Farhan Zaidi has familiarity with Pomeranz as he was the Assistant General Manager with the Oakland Athletics when they acquired Pomeranz via trade with the Colorado Rockies as part of a package that sent Brett Anderson to Denver.
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Drew Pomeranz will also be reunited with Curt Young who was the pitching coach in Oakland that oversaw Pomeranz’s break out 2014 campaign that was derailed when Pomeranz lost a fist fight with a chair.
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In 20 appearances and 10 starts Pomeranz went 5-4 with a 2.35 ERA, a 64 ERA-, a 4.11 DRA,a DRA- of 100.7 and an fWAR of 0.6. He followed that with a solid 2015 campaign where he pitched primarily out of the bullpen racking up 53 appearances and 9 starts posting a solid 3.66 ERA, a 93 ERA-, a 4.17 DRA, and a DRA- of 97.5. Overall Pomeranz was worth 1.9 fWAR in his tenure with the A’s.
After being traded from the A’s to the Padres, Pomeranz went on to record two more seasons with a sub 100 DRA- and a 42% or higher GB% and was worth an additional 6.2 fWAR from 2016-2017. Then 2018 happened.
Farhan Zaidi is banking on hopes that Drew Pomeranz can bounce back from his 2018 season as it seemed to be more of an outlier season than the new norm.
The only thing that could have indicated that Pomeranz was trending in that direction was his loss in velocity, but now that he is healthy maybe his velocity has recovered as well. Pomeranz will also be reunited with his former pitching coach Curt Young and will be pitching at Oracle Park, which has become a rehabilitation center for wayward pitchers.
This can be a very beneficial signing as Drew Pomeranz can be slotted into the starting rotation, or pitch out of the pen. His versatility will provide some rotational depth that the Giants were looking to acquire this offseason. Furthermore, if he pitches well he can potentially be flipped for a controllable hitter, which I believe has been Zaidi’s plan all along.
However, the addition comes at a loss, as the Giants have designated recent waiver pick up Michael Gerber for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Pomeranz. If Gerber is to be claimed by another team, the Giants will be losing some organizational depth in an already thin outfield. My guess is they probably have a deal or trade for an outfielder already lined up. Now we wait for the next move as the Giants hot stove finally heats up. It’s not that hot though. I’m just excited they’re doing anything.