The LA Dodgers recently DFA’d reliever Josh Fields, who Farhan Zaidi acquired and helped succeed during his time with the Dodgers. Could he be headed to San Francisco?
With Farhan Zaidi at the helm of the San Francisco Giants baseball ops, and no GM to make decisions, he’s calling the shots. And on top of that, any time a Dodger becomes available, the links are going to come in. Usually it’s worth scoffing at, but when the Dodgers put Josh Fields on waivers today, the eyebrows certainly raised.
With so much swirling during the offseason about the Giants trading out of their strong bullpen depth, an addition of fields to the bullpen could make for a strong precursor to a trade. Or the Giants just want to load up on bullpen arms for that deep playoff run they’re expecting in 2019. My bet is the former, not the latter. Although I’ll happily take a deep playoff run if that’s the bullpen they’ll have. Anyways…
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Josh Fields was decent in his time with the Astros, but after one year went bad, the Dodgers ending up taking him in 2015. He spent the last two and a half years with the Dodgers, posting a 2.61 ERA and striking out 115 over 117.1 innings.
His WHIP over that time is a nice 1.04. In each of his last two years he’s left over 85% of his runners on base. For comparison, the Giants bullpen was considered a top 10 bullpen statistically in 2018, and left 71% of their runners on.
As to why the Dodgers got rid of Fields? Who knows. They apparently wanted something to do with a pitcher that couldn’t stick on the Orioles roster (of all teams) and felt it was worth dropping a solid MLB reliever for. Whatever.
But this is exactly the type of pick up the Giants and Zaidi should be making, especially with all the rumors that have swirled about their trading of relievers.
If the Giants were to trade Will Smith and/or Tony Watson for a couple of solid, MLB ready prospects, the additions they’ve made to the roster and bullpen this offseason will certainly hold serve. And now if they choose to claim Fields, they’ll certainly need to deal out of their depth. It would be very “un-Zaidi” of them to ignore it.
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Only the Reds, Marlins, and Padres are able to beat the Giants on a Waiver claim. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Reds or Padres attempted to land him, just because both of those teams have serious playoff aspirations. But at the same time don’t be surprised if the Giants win a claim on him. And the ensuing move? Don’t be shocked if a trade quickly follows suit either.