MLBTradeRumors predicts Giants will sign Marcell Ozuna, Rick Porcello

By Joel Reuter
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 22: Marcell Ozuna #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a two-run homerun in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Busch Stadium on August 22, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 22: Marcell Ozuna #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a two-run homerun in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Busch Stadium on August 22, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images) /
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Another notable media outlet unveiled their top 50 MLB free agents list on Tuesday and two notable veterans were projected to sign with the San Francisco Giants.

Each year, MLBTradeRumors.com puts together a list of the top 50 MLB free agents and makes a prediction on where they will sign, for how many years, and for how much. This year, two of those free agents are predicted to sign with the San Francisco Giants.

In general, it will be interesting to see how the Giants approach their second offseason under team president Farhan Zaidi.

It’s clear the team is still building toward the future, but their decision to hold onto Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith at the trade deadline last year was a clear indication they are still trying to stay competitive.

This is not a full-blown tank job like we’ve seen from other teams in recent seasons.

By my own estimation, the team has roughly $70 million of wiggle room before hitting the luxury tax threshold.

Don’t expect them to spend anything close to that, but there’s definitely financial flexibility if they decide to make a splashy signing, and more money coming off the books in the years to come.

So who did MLBTradeRumors have the Giants signing?

Interesting…

The front office has made it clear that adding power to the lineup is a priority this winter, and Ozuna certainly brings that to the table.

Over the past four seasons, he’s logged a 119 OPS+ while ranking among the top 10 in home runs (112, ninth) and RBI (377, fourth) among all outfielders during that span.

At a $15 million average annual value, he wouldn’t be a drain on the payroll situation, and he’s more than capable of living up to that salary in terms of production.

However, there’s a catch.

Ozuna was tendered a qualifying offer by the St. Louis Cardinals, which means signing him will require draft pick compensation. Is that a trade-off the Giants will be willing to make at this juncture in the retooling?

As for Porcello, targeting him as a buy-low option to fill out the starting rotation makes a lot of sense. It would represent a similar roll of the dice to last year’s addition of Drew Pomeranz on a one-year, $1.5 million deal.

Porcello, 30, just wrapped up a four-year, $82.5 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.

He won AL Cy Young honors in 2016 when he went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 189 strikeouts in 223 innings, but his numbers have been decidedly more pedestrian in the years since.

Over the past three seasons, he’s logged a 4.79 ERA and 1.32 WHIP while averaging 190 innings, including a career-high 5.52 ERA in 2019.

A move to pitcher-friendly Oracle Park could be just what he needs to right the ship and return to quality form. If nothing else, he’s proven durable over the years, and he could help eat innings on a young staff.

For the record, the Giants own free agents Madison Bumgarner (No. 6-ranked free agent) and Will Smith (No. 13-ranked free agent) were projected to remain teammates, with both players slotted to sign with the Minnesota Twins.

Bumgarner was predicted to earn a four-year, $72 million contract, while Smith was pegged for a three-year, $42 million deal.

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Time will tell if any of this actually comes to fruition, but here in the early stages of free agency, it’s always fun to take a closer look at what the industry thinks will happen.

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