San Francisco Giants trade possibilities: Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly, Trevor Cahill
The Giants spent roughly $13 million combined on starting pitchers Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly, per MLBTR. Both were one-year deals, with Gausman drawing $9 million and Smyly $4 million. They added Trevor Cahill on a minor-league deal.
The only reason they even bother with these players is knowing that the investment could pay off in additional prospects. All three have a little proving to do.
A 29-year-old right-hander, Gausman was worth 10 WAR to the Orioles during his six years in Baltimore, posting a 4.22 ERA (100 on the ERA+ scale). Last year he bounced between the Braves and Reds, stumbling mightily to a 5.72 ERA and putrid 3-9 record.
If he gets back on track, he might not be a frontline starter for a club, but he can fill out a rotation competently and without any future costs coming with him. There’s value there. And he just might: Fangraphs’ Giants ZiPS projections puts him at 2.5 WAR, the highest on the team among pitchers.
Smyly, who’ll be a 31-year-old left-hander by the time the season starts, also tripped up hard in 2019. He posted a 6.24 ERA (77 ERA+) combined between the Rangers and Phillies. During his prior three seasons with the Rays, Smyly had a 3.95 ERA and 288 strikeouts in 290 innings. Again, it’s not unreasonable to expect a team looking to fill out their rotation with a journeyman with playoff experience would be happy to grab Smyly.
Cahill, a 32-year-old righty whose career began across the bay with the Athletics, is in a similar situation. He made 11 starts and 26 relief appearances with the Angels, finishing the year with a forgettable 5.98 ERA across 101 innings. The odds of a Cahill bounceback seem much less, but he had a solid start to spring training, giving some hope. If MLB packs more double-headers into its schedule this year, he’ll have a chance to prove himself.