SF Giants: The Arbitration Case for Reliever Reyes Moronta
Reliever Reyes Moronta 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 11 arbitration-eligible players before the December 2, 2020 deadline. Moronta missed the entire 2020 season as he recovered from torn labrum surgery in his right shoulder.
Reyes Moronta Before 2020
Moronta debuted with the Giants in 2017, and quickly emerged as one of the more reliable arms. From 2017-2019, the right-handed hurler registered a 2.66 ERA (3.38 FIP) with a 29.8 percent strikeout rate against a 13.4 percent walk rate across 128.1 frames.
While he demonstrates less-than-stellar command, Moronta has had no problem getting opposing hitters to swing and miss. Plus, based on the eye test, opposing hitters have never looked totally comfortable in the batter’s box while facing off against the righty.
With all this being said, Moronta sustained a torn labrum in his shoulder while pitching in a game against the San Diego Padres in August of 2019. He collapsed on the mound, and it was a very scary moment for the young reliever.
He had surgery performed shortly thereafter, and the door was open for him to return at the end of the 2020 season.
Reyes Moronta with the SF Giants in 2020
Due to a shoulder injury that Moronta sustained at the end of 2019, he did not make an appearance in 2020. It seemed as if he was making progress toward a return this season, but SF Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi indicated that the Giants did not want to take any risk on the right-handed hurler’s health.
Should the SF Giants Tender Moronta a contract for 2021?
It is complicated. The arbitration process is really a “what have you done for me lately” exercise, and that does not bode well for players who spent the entire season on the injured list.
That said, the 27-year-old is projected to earn $800,000 in his first trip through arbitration, so it is certainly a sum the Giants can afford. However, as we have seen so far this offseason, teams are in cost-cutting mode
While the Giants will likely retain the hard-throwing reliever, they may try to see if they can keep him at a discount from his projected salary.