San Francisco Giants: A way-too-early 2020 Opening Day roster prediction
San Francisco Giants bullpen: There’s a lot of work to do rebuilding the relief corps.
LR Dereck Rodriguez: $560,000
After an out-of-nowhere breakout season in 2018, D-Rod took several steps back this past season. He’ll be 28 years old next June, so there’s not much to be gained by sending him to the minors, so if he doesn’t win the No. 5 starter job look for him to snag a long-relief role.
MR Sam Coonrod: $560,000
One of a handful of relievers who benefitted from the opportunities presented by the team’s deadline moves, Coonrod posted a 3.58 ERA in 33 appearances in his rookie season. It would be nice to see him miss more bats (6.5 K/9) and limit the walks (4.9 BB/9), but he showed enough to earn a spot.
MR Jandel Gustave: $560,000
Another bullpen arm who emerged from the minors in the second half, Gustave had a 2.96 ERA with four holds and one save in 23 appearances in his first season with the Giants. The 27-year-old will need to improve on his 5.2 K/9, but after fanning batters at an 8.9 K/9 rate in the minors, that’s something he’s capable of doing.
MR Trevor Gott: $560,000
Plucked from the waiver wire last offseason, Gott would be the last man standing from last year’s Opening Day bullpen if things play out as projected here. He pitched extremely well for most of the season before a rocky August ballooned his ERA and he finished the year on the injured list with a sprained elbow.
MR Tyler Rogers (L): $560,000
A 10th-round pick in 2013, Rogers spent seven seasons in the minors before finally getting his shot in 2019. He made the most of the opportunity, using his funky submarine delivery to post a 1.02 ERA and a 16-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio with five holds in 17 appearances. He looks like a lock for at least a middle relief role, and he could end up filling the Tony Watson void.
SU Shaun Anderson: $560,000
A reliever during his time at the University of Florida, Anderson showed some intriguing late-inning potential down the stretch after moving out of the starting rotation. He had a 3.55 ERA and 9.9 K/9 with two saves and one hold in his first 11 appearances out of the bullpen before allowing four earned runs in two-thirds of an inning in his final outing of the season to skew his numbers.
SU Arodys Vizcaino: $2 million (projected signing)
Last month, I wrote an article on why Vizcaino might be the perfect buy-low bullpen target for the Giants this offseason. Prior to dealing with shoulder issues in 2019, he converted 49 of 59 save chances while posting a 2.79 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 in 180 appearances during the four-year span from 2015 to 2018. A one-year, $2 million deal with incentives for games finished makes sense for both sides.
CL Dellin Betances: $10 million (projected signing)
If Betances winds up having to settle for a one-year, prove-it deal this offseason, the Giants should pounce. I outlined his impressive tenure with the New York Yankees in a recent article and touched on the risk of signing him on the heels of a season where he made just one appearance and saw his season end in September with a partially torn Achilles tendon. High-risk, high-reward. If he signs a one-year deal and bounces back, he could be the prize of the trade deadline.
So there you have it, my way-too-early prediction for the San Francisco Giants roster on Opening Day.
With $560,000 set as the minimum salary and arbitration projections borrowed from MLB Trade Rumors, the payroll for those 25 players comes out to be just shy of $140 million. It would represent a payroll cut, but given the current position of the team, it’s a logical approach while the farm system continues to develop.
We’ll do plenty more of these projections as the offseason progresses and things start to better take shape, but consider this a baseline for a busy winter to come.