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San Francisco Giants: Three free-agent pitchers to avoid this offseason

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 14: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the seventh inning of the game three of the National League Championship Series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 14: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the seventh inning of the game three of the National League Championship Series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 16: Starting pitcher Cole Hamels #35 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on September 16, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 16: Starting pitcher Cole Hamels #35 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on September 16, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

LHP Cole Hamels

With the looming possibility of Madison Bumgarner leaving the orange and black, Cole Hamels is a potential left-handed replacement for the starting rotation should the team opt to bring-in a veteran lefty to—can’t use the word “replace”— fill-in for the loss of the longtime ace.

Hamels, 35, posted a 47.3 percent groundball rate in 2019, meaning he would be keeping the ball on the ground in front of Gold Glove winners Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford. It’s also beneficial with the outfield walls at Oracle Park moving in.

There are certainly reasons for the San Francisco Giants front office to take a look at the veteran lefty, but this decision comes down to his age.

Hamels turns 36 in December.

His 3.81 ERA, 9.1 K/9, and 3.6 BB/9 from last season will be attractive to many teams, but Farhan Zaidi and Co. will likely be searching for younger talent that can be part of the club’s long-term plans, much like they did at the trade deadline last season.

If that is the route they continue down, Hamels doesn’t fit the mold.

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