Giants free-agent target: Danny Salazar
Not unlike both Drew Smyly and Clay Buchholz, Danny Salazar has also been bitten by the injury bug in recent seasons.
The right-hander missed all of the 2018 season due to a shoulder injury, and only made one appearance in 2019 as he recovered from shoulder and groin injuries.
After the 2019 season, the Cleveland Indians decided to outright Salazar off of their 40-man roster, thereby making him a free agent.
Throughout his career, Salazar has produced a 3.82 ERA and a 3.61 FIP across 591.1 innings in six seasons. When healthy, Salazar has proven to be a key cog in a very strong Indians rotation.
However, at an average of just 99 innings per season, Salazar has never had a reputation as a durable arm, and he has only eclipsed the 150-inning mark once.
That limited workload could prove to be beneficial for his free agency case. As he enters his age-30 season, Salazar’s arm has very little mileage. Still, the avalanche of injuries could make that low mileage a moot point.
As the free-agent market for starting pitchers continues to thin out, Salazar might offer some of the highest upside available. However, he is in the same boat as both Smyly and Buchholz in that teams will be hesitant to offer guaranteed money given his extensive injury history.
The Giants would be wise to add insurance to protect against injuries and regression. They have seven starting pitchers who will combine to fill out a five-man rotation, so they are not necessarily in the market for one of the top starting pitchers available, but it would behoove them to add depth on a bargain contract from one of the names mentioned above.