San Francisco Giants Extension Candidates
By Joel Reuter
A sketchy free-agent market has sparked a wave of early extensions around Major League Baseball. What extensions might the San Francisco Giants pursue?
Just yesterday, Atlanta Braves budding star Ronald Acuna Jr. (8/$100M), Colorado Rockies right-hander German Marquez (5/$43M) and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk (5/$52M) all signed new deals that will keep them where they are for the foreseeable future.
It’s a trend that will likely continue until the current arbitration system is overhauled.
Are there any San Francisco Giants players worthy of an early extension?
The first name that comes to mind is ace Madison Bumgarner, who is staring down free agency next offseason.
The 29-year-old has been slowed by a pair of freak injuries the past two seasons, and he has a lot of mileage on his arm, but he’s looked sharp in the early going this season with a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings of work over his first two starts.
However, his asking price and potential value as a summer trade chip could ultimately spell the end of his time in San Francisco.
If the front office is sold on what young right-hander Dereck Rodriguez showed as a rookie last season, he’s the most likely candidate.
The 26-year-old went 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 118.1 innings, though his 3.74 FIP is a good indication of at least some regression to come. Still, he could be a candidate for a team-friendly, pre-arbitration extension that buys out his arbitration years and a year or two of free agency.
Second baseman Joe Panik will need to bounce back from a dismal 2018 season where he posted a 77 OPS+ and -0.1 WAR before he holds any long-term appeal. That’s not out of the question, though, given his track record.
Looking a bit further into the future, a pre-debut extension for top prospect Joey Bart could be an option.
We’ve seen Philadelphia Phillies infielder Scott Kingery and Chicago White Sox slugger Eloy Jimenez both sign long-term deals before making their MLB debuts. That would probably need to wait until Bart is on the cusp of the majors which figures to be at least another year.
Beyond that, it’s slim pickings.
Steven Duggar could enter the conversation with a strong first full season and Reyes Moronta might be a candidate if the team views him as the closer of the future.
For now, it appears unlikely the Giants will jump into the extension pool.