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Three free-agent starters SF Giants need to avoid this winter

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jake Arrieta is a free-agent the SF Giants need to avoid. (Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jake Arrieta is a free-agent the SF Giants need to avoid. (Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports)
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The SF Giants might regret targetting Mike Fiers #50 during free agency. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
The SF Giants might regret targetting Mike Fiers #50 during free agency. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Free-Agents for SF Giants To Avoid
3. Mike Fiers

Mike Fiers will be one of the most sought-after pitchers on the market. The 6-foot-2 right-hander leads all free agent pitchers with six victories in 2020. But along with that comes his 4.58 earned run average (highest since 2017) and 65 hits allowed in 59 innings of work.

Fiers is a pitcher that needs a lot of run support and strong defensive play because he surrenders a decent amount of baserunners. Along with his hits allowed, he sported a 1.37 WHIP (walks and hits per inning) and gave up multiple runs in nine of his 11 starts. That included six outings of at least three runs, four of which he allowed four and one in which he gave up a season-high five.

Additionally, Fiers held opposing lineups to four hits or less only twice. The 6-foot-2 right-hander allowed a season-high seven hits six times (including the outing where he allowed five runs), six hits once, and five hits twice. Furthermore, his .294 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), implies that he did not suffer from much bad luck.

Fiers doesn’t induce many strikeouts as well. He only sent down 37 of the 257 batters he faced this season and has 990 in 1,141 2/3 career innings. This means Fiers relies on hitters making contact in order to produce outs, putting that much more pressure on the defense. As he gets older, and plays in the era of the juiced ball, that’s not a recipe for success.

The only benefit for the Giants to sign Fiers is that he’s a workhorse and eats up innings (he averaged 5.4 innings per start this season). But he’s too much of a risk because of his propensity to allow baserunners and heavily relies on his defense.

The Giants offense can mask Fiers’ flaws. However, there are plenty of better options on the market for next season.

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