LHP Aroldis Chapman
The San Francisco Giants are, at the moment, without a bona fide closer.
Aroldis Chapman has been one his entire career and he’s coming off a season where he converted 37 of 42 save chances while holding opposing hitters to a .189 batting average.
A match made in heaven?
First off, there was some concern about Chapman’s declining velocity early in the 2019 season. Though a “decline” to a high 90s fastball and low-to-mid-80s slider is by no means bad, it’s still an area of concern.
“I’m not 20 or 22 anymore. The years pile up — not by choice,” Chapman told reporters.
He went on to say: “My objective now isn’t to throw as hard but to pitch,” which could explain part of the decline. He’s relying on movement and differential in speeds to throw hitters off more than absolute gas.
More from Around the Foghorn
- SF Giants sign veteran 1B John Nogowski to minor league deal
- SF Giants call on veteran LHP Scott Kazmir for big start against Padres
- SF Giants: Update on Alex Dickerson’s rehab assignment
- Atlanta claims SF Giants C Chadwick Tromp off waivers
- SF Giants: Could Johnny Cueto help down the stretch?
However, he still has 570.2 regular and postseason innings on his arm of throwing up to 105.1 MPH, and he will turn 32 years old in February.
He would first need to opt-out of the final two years and $34.4 million of his contract in order to reach free agency. He’s still at a good place in his career, and teams in contention will no doubt have their eyes on him as a bullpen addition.
However, his high price tag will likely not be a worthwhile deal for a team the is not quite ready to contend like the San Francisco Giants.
March will also mark the four-year anniversary of his suspension for domestic violence, which included the use of a firearm. The Giants have a reputation of bringing in players of a certain moral character and clubhouse presence (a-la Hunter Pence), and they have consistently avoided those with controversial backgrounds.
Case in point, remember Melky Cabrera and his PED suspension in 2012? The Giants could have added Cabrera, who hit .346 with 35 extra-base hits in 501 plate appearances prior to the punishment, to the NLCS roster after his 50 games were served. The team opted to leave him where he was.
We can all admit it now. The Giants are in rebuild mode. There are other intriguing, younger free-agent pitchers that would complement those who will remain on the roster next year and going forward.
The goal for this offseason is not just signing the best arm available. Farhan Zaidi and the San Francisco Giants will be looking for long-term investments, and these three players would be poor investments.