The San Francisco Giants have struck gold on the waiver wire a few times since Farhan Zaidi assumed control of the front office. They might have done it again on Friday.
After trading away Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon and Drew Pomeranz at the trade deadline, the San Francisco Giants had a few holes to fill in the big league bullpen.
Guys like Sam Coonrod, Sam Selman, Jandel Gustave and Williams Jerez have been afforded an opportunity to prove themselves after spending the bulk of the year at Triple-A, but it makes sense that the front office would still be on the lookout for potential additions to the relief corps.
They found one on Friday when right-hander Kyle Barraclough was claimed off waivers from the Washington Nationals:
So who is Kyle Barraclough?
Not long ago, he was one of the most overpowering late-inning relievers in baseball while pitching for the Miami Marlins.
Originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, Barraclough was traded to the Marlins at the deadline in 2015 in exchange for former closer Steve Cishek.
In four seasons with the Marlins, he posted a 3.21 ERA with 11 saves and 67 holds while racking up an impressive 11.5 K/9. He also walked batters at a 5.5 BB/9 clip during that span, but he was largely able to pitch around potential trouble.
Looking to bridge the gap to closer Sean Doolittle, the Nationals acquired him this past offseason in exchange for international bonus money with the intention of plugging him into a setup role alongside fellow newcomer Trevor Rosenthal.
Instead, he struggled to a 6.66 ERA and his hits allowed per nine innings skyrocketed from 6.5 to 11.6. He was optioned to the minors on July 27 and designated for assignment on Aug. 6 when the Nationals signed veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera.
While this season has been an unmitigated disaster, the swing-and-miss stuff and strong track record make this a worthwhile roll of the dice for the Giants.
Last time they claimed a reliever off waivers from the Nationals, it was Trevor Gott, and that has worked out pretty well.
If he is able to regain his old form, Barraclough is under control for two more years through arbitration, and he likely won’t make much more than the $1.725 million he’s earning this season in 2020, so it’s a low-cost gamble.
In other words, file this one under “why not?” and hope for the best.
The San Francisco Giants have done an excellent job playing the waiver wire all season, and they just might have found another diamond in the rough with the addition of Kyle Barraclough.