The San Francisco Giants signed Drew Smyly to a one-year deal on Thursday afternoon. He has a chance to be this year’s Drew Pomeranz.
He will join an intriguing collection of starting pitchers vying for a spot in the rotation in the wake of Madison Bumgarner departing in free agency.
The 30-year-old Smyly was signed to a one-year contract on Thursday, per the team’s Twitter page:
He will add some welcome depth to a weak starting rotation and could wind up playing a similar role to the one Drew Pomeranz filled last season.
The 2019 season was a bit of a struggle for Smyly as he split his time between the Texas Rangers and the Philadelphia Phillies.
He finished the season with a 6.24 ERA in 114 innings of work, but it should be noted that he pitched considerably better upon joining the Phillies.
After he was released by the Rangers at the end of June, he spent some time in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, before he was released again and scooped up by the Phillies on July 21.
He immediately stepped into a spot in Philadelphia’s starting rotation and went on to post a respectable 4.45 ERA and with 68 strikeouts in 62.2 innings over 12 starts.
San Francisco Giants fans may even remember the masterful start he had against the orange and black on July 20, when he allowed just four hits over seven scoreless innings. We sure wouldn’t mind seeing more starts like that this year.
The addition of Smyly makes sense given how right-handed heavy the team’s current pitching staff is looking ahead to 2020. With the departure of Bumgarner, the only lefties contending for a spot in the starting rotation prior to Smyly’s signing were Andrew Suarez and Tyler Anderson.
In Smyly, the Giants get a potential rotation piece as well as a possible trade chip, should have rebound leading up to the trade deadline.
That brings us back to the comparison to Pomeranz, who struggled mightily in the rotation before finding enough success in the bullpen to turn himself into a trade chip.
His midseason renaissance allowed the Giants to flip him to the Milwaukee Brewers at the trade deadline in exchange for infielder Mauricio Dubon, who now looks like the second baseman of the present and future.
At the very least, Smyly is another option for a starting rotation that looks very weak.
He will compete with the likes of Tyler Beede, Logan Webb, Tyson Ross, and the aforementioned Anderson for a spot in the starting rotation behind the seemingly locked-in trio of Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Kevin Gausman.
With a rotation that is bound to be in flux throughout the 2020 season, we should all expect to see a lot of Drew Smyly on the mound for the Giants.