SF Giants: The Arbitration Case for Trevor Gott

Righty Trevor Gott is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career, but what are the odds that the SF Giants tender him a contract?

The SF Giants must decide whether to tender contracts to nine arbitration-eligible players prior to the December 2, 2020 deadline. After a solid campaign in 2019, Gott struggled mightily in a brief showing in 2020.

Trevor Gott Before 2020

The hard-throwing right-hander was originally drafted by the San Diego in the 6th round of the 2013 draft, but made his way to the Washington Nationals by 2016 following a pair of trades.

He spent three seasons in the Nationals bullpen and struggled to the tune of a 7.39 ERA (5.80 FIP) with a 17.8 percent strikeout rate against an 11.9 percent walk rate in only 28 combined innings. He struggled badly with suboptimal command, and for years, it seemed like the stuff never matched the results.

Washington’s patience on the reliever wore thin, and they placed him on waivers in the 2019 offseason. At that time, the Giants had been aggressively churning out the back-end of the 40-man roster, which landed them Gott.

Gott put together a solid season in his first year with the Giants. Across 52.2 innings, he posted a 4.44 ERA (3.12 FIP) with a 26.6 percent strikeout rate against a 7.9 percent walk rate. he was striking out opposing hitters at a higher rate than at any other time in his career, and his command had improved considerably.

He battled an elbow injury down the stretch and finished the season on the shelf.

Trevor Gott with the SF Giants in 2020

When the 2020 season began, Gott entered as the team’s closer. He started the year off strong as he converted his first four save opportunities, but he hit a bad stretch that he never recovered from.

In the middle of August, Gott appeared in three consecutive leverage opportunities, and the Giants ended up losing all three games. He blew saves in two of those games, and allowed a total of 11 earned runs across 1.1 innings.

In a shortened season, that was going to be a tough challenge for Gott to recover. After that, he was used sparingly and limited to non-leverage situations. In total, he registered a 10.03 ERA (11.93 FIP) with eight strikeouts and eight walks in 11.2 innings before finishing the season on the injured list with an elbow injury for the second straight year.

Opposing hitters produced a 93.7 MPH average exit velocity and a 28.2-degree launch angle against the right-hander. The hitter will normally tell you how good your stuff is, and in the case of Gott, hitters were not fooled by what the 28-year-old was offering. They were able to barrel-up his pitches with regularity and the fact that he allowed seven home runs supports this.

Should the SF Giants Tender a Contract for Trevor Gott?

The shortened-, 60-game season was especially tough on relievers as there were not enough opportunities to work back from a rough patch.

That was the case with Gott and the Giants will need to make a decision on him with an extremely small sample to work with. Given that he is projected to earn $700k-$1 million in his first trip through arbitration, he is not due for a huge raise.

However, the Giants will need to decide if there is a better use of his roster spot. Furthermore, we do not know the extent of his elbow injury, and those things do not always disappear with rest. I do think the Giants will decide to non-tender the right-hander, and perhaps, bring him back on a minor league deal.