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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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Potential SF Giants free-agent target Aníbal Sánchez #19 pitches for the Washington Nationals on September 21, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Potential SF Giants free-agent target Aníbal Sánchez #19 pitches for the Washington Nationals on September 21, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

Free-Agents for SF Giants To Avoid
2. Aníbal Sánchez

Ever since he finished fourth in Cy Young Award voting in 2013, Aníbal Sánchez‘s career has gone on a downward spiral. Although his win-loss record has been passable (50-54 in 185 games), his overall statistics are all over the place.

His earned run average ballooned from a career-low 2.57 in 2013 to 6.41 in 2017 with the Detroit Tigers. Then it dipped all the way down to 2.83 in his lone year with the Atlanta Braves in 2018. However, after a decent 3.85 mark last season, it spiked up to a career-high 6.62 this year in the nation’s capital.

Sánchez is susceptible to the long ball as well as he has served up at least 20 homers six times in his 15-year career. That includes back-to-back years of 20 (2011 and 2012) and a three-season stretch (2015 to 2017) in which he allowed 29, 30 (career-high), and 26 respectively. There are few pitchers more directly harmed by the MLB’s new juiced ball.

Sánchez’s hit-to-inning ratio isn’t all that great either as he has accumulated more hits allowed than innings pitched three of the last five years, including 70 hits in 53 innings this season. One upside for the 6-foot right-hander is that his strikeouts have remained relatively consistent around 7.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. He induced 43 in 53 innings in 2020, right in-line with his performance in 2019.

If the Giants are thinking about signing Sánchez to strengthen their rotation, they are banking on him having one of his more productive seasons. Sanchez would greatly benefit from the pitching confines of Oracle Park, but he’ll be 37-years-old by the time next season starts. He’s shown the ability to bounce-back from bad seasons before, but eventually, a career has run it’s course.

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